Farewell! So, Long! Until We Meet Again…


Amazing! Time certainly has flown by, as a GovLoop Featured Blogger. But, as they say, ‘all good things must come to an end’.

I will certainly miss sharing both experiences and lessons learned over decades, as well as the insightful feedback some of you have left me.

Following is a series of ‘random thoughts’ covering a number of areas. Hopefully, their bottom-line nature will still allow them to be useful. – So, in no particular order:

#1 Save $$$ with some technology-related alternatives to common needs. So, use Open Source software when possible. It can be reliable and as safe or safer to use than many commercial programs. – If your printers allow it, use remanufactured laser toner cartridges. They can be extremely reliable and open up available $ for other needs. – Smartphone expenses can be quite high. So check into using MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Providers). These alternatives to the ‘Big Four’ are carriers that use the resources of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, in most instances. But, you can see substantial savings with them, often without committing to long-term contracts. I personally utilize FreedomPop which I have found to offer great phone service along with ‘dirt-cheap’ Wi-Fi hotspot devices.

#2 Not every slight that you experience is due to the other person being a bigot. Most people are fair-minded. Sometimes we don’t get that promotion or plum assignment because there is someone more deserving than us. Not because we are Jewish, Muslim, female, black, Native American, Hispanic, Caucasian, or male.

#3 Acknowledge that men as well as women can be the subject of sexual discrimination or harassment. Apply standards, equally. Men, as well as women can be denied promotions or be sexually harassed.

#4 Avoid bluffing. As with lying, you will be found out, eventually. Better to admit that you don’t have the answer, but will find out, than to pretend that you do know.

#5 Depending upon your job, you don’t need to be a great communicator. Simply an effective one.

#6 Avoid foul language and ‘off-color’ jokes. It’s unprofessional and will negatively impact your message.

#7 Like it or not… Fair or not… Many/most people will judge you by your attire and hygiene. So, follow your agency’s dress code and be neat & clean.

#8 Data. Learn how to mine and analyze it. It is key to most projects’ success. And, if this is not your forte, that’s okay! Just get someone who is proficient with it, to assist you.

#9 Know your audience. Not simply as a trainer. But, know how your supervisor, coworkers, and clients respond best to ideas and requests for assistance, on a day-to-day basis.

#10 Relationships. Successful workplace relationships are often those that follow the basic rules for a successful marriage, committed relationship, or family. (Minus the ‘sex part’ of course.)

Bonus Tip: As I point out in my books, the answer to resolving most relationship matters lies in looking at ‘the obvious’ solutions. We far too often overlook them because they sound like a cliche, seem too easily ‘come upon’ as a solution, or might involve more work/compromise than we want to participate in.

Finally, I wish to thank Catherine (Andrews) for accepting me as a Guest Blogger, as well as Steve (Ressler) plus the rest of the GovLoop Team for all that they do! Thank you!

I hope to be in touch with some of you, down the road as we traverse the many paths found in government employment and beyond. You can reach me at [email protected]

‘Nuff said.

Russell A. Irving is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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