Dropping Pearls of Wisdom

by Julie, wanting to wear sandals in Somerville (but wearing boots instead)

Julie's PearlsI have a few different jobs. I run an arts service organization called StageSource. I write the Clock Shop Mystery series as Julianne Holmes. I also teach arts management classes as adjunct faculty. I only started teaching eleven years ago, and I really love it. In fact, if I’d known how much I love teaching I likely would have rethought some of my earlier career and gone on the academic track, but I digress.

This time of year, with classes winding down and graduation looming, part of my job is to calm the seniors down, and get them ready for their next adventure. The advice I give is applicable to other fields, and all ages, so I thought I’d share some of it here.

Be Curious. Never stop learning, questioning, thinking. Find new ways to do things that are routine. If you don’t know an answer, find it.

Lead with Kindness. Once I turned fifty I stopped being nice all the time. But I always try to be kind. A subtle but important distinction. Snarkiness and cynicism is easy, but also lazy. Be kind.

Once You’re Done Learning, Move On. A former student reminded me of this piece of advice, which (we think) came from Michael Kaiser in the Art of the Turnaround. You can keep doing a job when you are done learning, but it is really tough to stay fresh and on point. I’ve been in arts administration for thirty years, and I keep learning. I’ve changed jobs, but I keep learning.

Be Brave. You will be afraid–afraid to make a mistake, afraid of rejection, afraid of being laughed at. The key is, do it anyway. Be brave.

Don’t Lose Sight of Adventure. So many folks are so focused on the path/career plans they are pursuing, they lose sight of the side paths, other opportunities that may actually be the better choice. Life is full of side paths. Explore a few.

Be the Person You Aspire to Be. Be classy. Dress as if you are the boss. Manage your social media profile/life well.

No One Cares About Your Career As Much As You Do. Don’t look for outside validation. Listen to other people, but make your own decisions. Then live with the decisions you make. You have to take care of you.

Don’t Be Afraid of  Change. Making change, or being the change that folks need.

What are your pearls of wisdom? What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

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About J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes

J.A. (Julie) Hennrikus writes the Clock Shop Mystery Series under the name Julianne Holmes. JUST KILLING TIME, the first in the series, was published in Oct 2015 and was nominated for a BEST FIRST NOVEL Agatha award. CLOCK AND DAGGER was released in August 2016. CHIME AND PUNISHMENT will be released in August 2017. Julie's Theater Cop series will debut in the fall of 2017. A CHRISTMAS PERIL is the first in this series about an ex-cop who runs a theater company. wears two hats. Her short stories have been published by Level Best Books: “Tag, You’re Dead” in THIN ICE, “Her Wish” in DEAD CALM, and “The Pendulum Swings, Until It Doesn’t” in BLOOD MOON. Julie is an arts administrator and arts advocate. She tweets her writing life as @JHAuthors, and her other life as @JulieHennrikus. She is an avid theater goer and a member of Red Sox nation. Her website is jahennrikus.com, and she blogs with WickedCozyAuthors.com and KillerCharacters.com.

30 thoughts on “Dropping Pearls of Wisdom

  1. These are brilliant, Julie. And all so true, as Michele says, for all ages. I would add Carpe Diem. Seize the day. This might be a corollary of your Be Brave, but we really never know how long we have to live. Grab that chance, take that risk, because you might not have another opportunity to do so!

  2. I am printing this out! Great post! This year I became a cheerleader for myself. I wish I had done that all along. Being supportive of other people is a wonderful thing to do, but don’t ever forget to show that same type of spirit and confidence to yourself.

  3. Great advice. This should be given to every senior. I would add — Own your mistakes, apologize when necessary, and learn from the experience.

  4. These are pearls indeed, Julie. I would add two: (1) Learn how to ask for help (not to be bailed out of hard work or trouble, but helpunderstanding challenges you are facing for the first time) and (2) always make a point to thank others for their support.

    On that note, thank you for your many wonderful posts and ongoing support of other writers, Julie!

  5. Seriously, what is with the reminders to keep learning new things this week? It was a point in both my pastor’s sermon and my brother’s sermon (I listen via podcast since he doesn’t live in town). Now it’s the first thing on Julie’s list. But I refuse to learn anything from it!!!! 🙂

    Honestly, this is a great list that people need at every point in their lives. Not sure I have much to add.

  6. Pingback: Dropping Pearls of Wisdom | Brand Fearless ~ Kim Fleck

  7. Great post. My additions would be: it’s a long game and it takes years for all the pieces to line up. And relationships count.

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