We all want to be good employees, especially as we’re just getting our toes wet in the working world and all of our coworkers’ low-key hate us because they think we’re coddled, know-it-all Millennials who only care about safe spaces and meaningless accolades and kale. Maybe this is all we care about. Regardless, we don’t’ want to enter the work world and have anyone peg us as a bad employee.
It can be hard to be a good employee. That’s why we’ve gathered advice from Uncle Sam’s greatest employees of all: Team USA.
Here’s some wisdom on how to be a good employee, compliments of Team USA’s top 2016 Olympians.
“It’s not about how many bongs you’ve smoked, it’s about how you come back after smoking those bongs”-Michael Phelps
Can we please all agree that Phelps is the man? He’s the best American Olympian of all time, but he also returned to his golden-boy persona after looking like an idiot because of his viral bong video and the subsequent shitting he took from the world because of it.
We’ve all been through that struggle—winning an absurd number of gold medals only to be grounded by mommy because she found our secret bong. But what can we learn from this too-common struggle and how can we apply that lesson to the work place?
Phelps taught us all that it doesn’t matter what kind of embarrassing flak. What matters is that we get over our egos and our embarrassment and we work our assess off to come back and show the world we’re still the man/the woman.
Phelps was amazing before his bong fiasco. But he’s THEE man and THEE Olympian because of what he’s done since then. Everyone thought he royally screwed his image and his sponsorship deals and his future swimming career, but he only worked harder and has been even more dominant since he traded his bong for more pool time. So, did you F up in work? Is everyone pissed at you now? Get over it and work harder and be a Phelps and redeem yourself. That’s the only way to shut everyone up about whatever you did in the first place.
“I may be young and only 4’9, but I am still way better than all of you”-Simone Biles
Simone Biles radiates the confident, badass personality all of us 4’9, 19-year-old gymnasts should radiate. She’s the best women’s gymnast in the world, and she knows it.
Biles is only 19 years old and probably can’t get anything out of the cabinets in her kitchen. Do you think she lets these realities negatively affect her self-assurance? Hell no! She knows she’s hot shit regardless.
It can be tough to be the youngest and potentially the shortest in the workplace. Coworkers sometimes stereotype you based on your entire generation and assume you know nothing, plus it’s embarrassing to ask for help getting top-shelf items down in the copy room. Biles may not be the youngest or the shortest gymnast out there, but she provides a killer example of confidence and execution.
Want to impress your boss? Channel your inner Biles at work. Have the confidence and self-assuredness to know you’re a badass and to execute on your badass-ness.
“It’s okay to suck in all of those normal moments as long as you come through in the big moments”-Carli Lloyd
Carli Lloyd is arguably the weirdest hot-shot athlete in the world. Watch any non-Olympic or World Cup US women’s soccer match and you’ll occasionally wonder if the USWNT plucked Lloyd up from the local community soccer field because they were THAT desperate for a midfielder. Half the time, Lloyd’s quality of play just makes you think of the poop emoji.
But that’s not the Lloyd the world knows. The Carli Lloyd of the Olympics and World Cup is the Carli Lloyd that is clutch at all the right moments. On the biggest of stages, Lloyd is the one who scores the hat tricks and the game-winning goals and plays out-of-her-mind good. She’s sucks when the match doesn’t matter and dominates when it matters most.
Lloyd doesn’t set a shabby example for the workplace. Even if you’re known as the employee with ‘meh’ performances most of the time, come through in the clutch and everyone magically forgets the vast majority, if not all, of those ‘meh’ times. The bigger the stage, the bigger the statement you can make. Execute when it matters are work and al of a sudden you’re the “greatest women’s soccer played in the world” Carli Lloyd, not the “how the f*ck is she even on this team?” Carli Lloyd.
“Always jump ship to whichever team allows you the easiest path to a championship”-Kevin Durant
Hey, remember when Kevin Durant claimed signing with the Golden State Warriors gives him the most-difficult path to an NBA championship (SMH)? Not a great look generally, but still semi-wise for us new employees trying to make it at work.
We probably shouldn’t take loyalty lessons from Durant, but we can agree with him on the importance of teammates. None of us can do it alone, so let’s stop acting like we can. Why wouldn’t we want to collaborate with the best assets we have at work?
Don’t burn bridges or break loyalties, of course, but do surround yourself with the people who are going to make your job easier thanks to their own great ideas and performances. Even though being a good employee sounds like an autonomous effort, that’s not entirely true. Being a good employee is so much easier and even more natural when you surround yourself and collaborate with other good employees. Go team.
“If I can win three straight gold medals, have my partner retire, have a baby, find a new partner, raise three kids and start training again and qualify for the Olympics and make a run for my fourth straight gold medal, you can STFU and get shit done”-Kerri Walsh
Kerri Walsh: beach volleyball legend, mom, goddess amongst earthlings. If Kerri can do all of THAT, you can make it through Monday, or make it through your meeting, or meet your deadline, or whatever other crap you do at work. Don’t complain. Be a good employee and get shit done.