A Little Smile Goes a Long Way

I crossed the street this morning and a wild-looking giggling grandpa covered in electric pink paint blew by me on his bike wearing only a loincloth and a foam Statue of Liberty headband. This guy literally made my commute with his smile and his positive attitude…so what if he’s a little crazy?

You don’t have to be crazy approach your day, your week, and others with a smile. It sounds pretty corny, but people notice, and they feed off of it. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile back (unless he/she is just straight-up rude and dead-panning you on purpose). Smiling makes you more approachable. It’s even suggested that smiling boosts your own level of happiness!

I met a speaker from Simon & Schuster who gave me some great advice, and I think you all should take note. I’m generally a pretty smiley person anyway (I got gold star superlatives and awards like “Miss Smiles-a-Lot,” and “Miss Approachable – Highest Client Satisfaction” in high school classes and college jobs (LOL…really?), but I never thought to share the role a smile can play in an interview, or the difference it can make when meeting a professional in the field you are looking to enter.

As this great Editorial Assistant emphatically explained, “You should be smiling at least four blocks away from the place you want to work. When you’re already working there, do it anyway. Your higher-ups may not know you personally, but you never know who you’ll hold the door for or who you’ll pass in the lobby that morning.”

Awesome!

Just for fun, here are some smiles that may not send the right message:

     

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The Party behind the Publisher

Walking through the doors of larger publishing companies, absorbing the grandeur, the machine, I started to wonder (and I’m sure I’m not alone) where it was that the creativity was hiding. The lobby spaces were large, intimidating,Image and particularly closed off…not so reflective of what you think these companies stand for. Even our name tags read, in bold lettering, “Unannounced Guest.”

Don’t let the façade fool you. Think of a big publishing house as one of those Nerds Gumballs (my favorite, even now). The traditional outer shell is no reflection of the flavor and creative, awesome nerds that are hiding inside!

I’ll say it again. I’ve found my people. Here are some words of wisdom from various professionals that absolutely made my day:

“Write drunk; edit sober.”

“Don’t set your trash can on fire first week on the job.”

“Fail!”

“Hire your boss.”

Below is an actual exercise we did…hysterical! I’d love to hear your comments.

Exercise:

X Publishing company would like to hire three new Editorial Assistants, but these hires depend on the acquisition of one of the following three books that would be hugely profitable:

1. A book by a hateful religious extremist

2. A book by a self-justifying felon who caused the financial crisis

3. A book by Justin Bieber endorsing crystal meth and promiscuous sex for minors

What would you choose, and why?

Happy 4th!