This is the most important of all The Rules. Memorize the entire chapter. We're not joking here. You open yourself up for a lifetime of misery if you do not observe this Rule. You'll be co-dependent, at the mercy of other’s whims, and experience needless pain if you break this Rule. Now, you should follow all these Rules strictly. However, the consequences of breaking other Rules sometimes aren't as severe. However, this one is non-negotiable. You have to observe this one. Really, what it’s all about are establishing firm boundaries.
In terms of how it applies from a jobfairy.com perspective – it’s the key to all your interactions at work and everywhere else. If you work with people who know that they can take from you endlessly and never have to give anything back in return, you might as well just stencil the word “Welcome” on your back right now. Because you'll be nothing but a doormat.
You don't bring goodies to the office all the time, hoping to make everyone like you. You don't always rush to organize the office parties. You're not the one who always brings the birthday cake. You're not the one who always volunteers to do all those little extra personal errands for your boss in the hope that it will increase your value in their eyes. If your colleague sends you a Christmas card, then you send one back - but not otherwise. You have a strong sense of self-worth. You respect yourself. Your job skills plus forty hours a week should be enough. If it’s not, screw ‘em. Go where you're wanted and valued. You should not have to wrap your life around a job in some insane pretzel-like configuration.
You should read this Rule no less than every week until it, a) sinks in b) you have it memorized and c) you quit feeling as if you have to try so hard with work. We're serious here; this is the kind of thing a Fairy will stop and correct you for if they catch you doing it. And you never know when one of us might be around…