5 Things You Learned in Kindergarten that Will Ruin Your Career



I had an amazing Kindergarten teacher. I absolutely LOVE her!!! She was firm and caring and interested in our academic and personal growth. We sang, read, colored, danced, and played. Although my Kindergarten teacher was awesome – as are many other early childhood education teachers – there are rules we learned in kindergarten that if you still apply them today can be holding you back in your career.


5 Things You Learned in Kindergarten that Will Ruin Your Career

1. Color Inside The Lines – Kindergarteners are taught to color inside the lines and even what colors certain objects should be. Always coloring inside the lines can hinder self-expression and halt creativity. The best employees are creative and resourceful. They know the rules but understand how to use their talent and skills to add value to their organization.
• Color outside the lines!


2. Speak When You’re Called On – Five year-olds are curious. They love to talk and ask questions. The excited kid is jumping up and down with their hand raised in the air while screaming “oooh oooh” is rarely rewarded when they can wait no longer and blurt out the answer. What we learned in grade school (and sometimes at home) is not to “speak out of turn” but to wait to be called upon. As a professional you have to take initiative and offer suggestions for improvement to be noticed and taken seriously.
• Speak before you’re spoken to!


3. Share with Everyone – Sharing is caring right? Good children are expected to share their toys and books and sometimes even their food. The world isn’t fair and kids won’t always get what they want. And more importantly sometimes the things they share are broken or stolen. The same is true in the professional world. Sometimes great ideas are shot down by people who don’t want to see you succeed and other times someone else may claim ownership of your ideas. Use discernment and judgment to protect your dreams, ideas, and projects.
• Don’t share with everyone!


4. Don’t Talk to Strangers – I’m sure you were taught about stranger danger as a young child. Although children are naturally curious, we were told to stick with friends and family. The opposite is true for professionals. A key to a successful career is a strong personal network. The key to a strong personal network is staying connected and keeping – talking in person, on the phone, and virtually.
• Talk to strangers!


5. Teachers Know Everything – Most five year-olds think teachers are geniuses. Children tend to think that adults have the answers to all their questions and won’t hesitate to ask question after question. Not only are teachers providing instruction on reading and writing, they are also teaching Kindergartners how the world works. Now that you are all grown up you know that teachers (supervisors and coworkers) don’t know everything. Knowledge is fluid and available from a variety of sources. A successful career dictates that you become both a student and a teacher – open to new ideas and new ways of doing things and contributing to the greater good by sharing your experience and expertise.
• You are also an expert!



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5 Things You Learned in Kindergarten that Will Ruin Your Career











Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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