I was reading an article recently and came across this quote:
“Someone told me not long after I moved to New York that in order to succeed, you have to understand which rules you’re supposed to break. If you break the wrong rules, you’re finished. And so the easiest thing to do is follow all the rules. But then you consign yourself to a lower status. The real trick is understanding what rules are not meant for you.”
This really resonated with me — they often say that girls follow too many rules and I know that’s been true with me. Penelope Trunk’s post (which is an entire other ball of wax) indirectly referenced this also — that girls should do less homework, apply to business school before the conventional “time” to apply, and focus on finding a husband instead of her career in her late 20s. (Pictured: Police Officer Breaking the Law, originally uploaded to Flickr by Call to Adventure)
So I thought an interesting question for the readers would be: what rules should you break?
Personally, one of the rules I realized I needed to break was a silly one: that one shouldn’t swear around one’s superiors. I’m not saying I was dropping the F-bomb around the VIP partner I worked with, but frequently when I was working with men about 5-10 years older than me (and especially where I was the only chick on the team) I would realize, at some point, that they were holding their tongue around me. And I had to be the one to break the civility barrier, and then it was all cool.
Similarly, someone told me that when you’re working with a persnickety boss you should forget whatever you think are the priorities for the job, and focus on what the boss’s priorities are — that your success or failure in those areas will determine whether the boss sees you as a success.
Readers, what rules have you learned to break?