Here is some unusual, but practical and useful career advice for anyone wanting to succeed in the working world.
Don’t appear to be too busy
This may sound counterintuitive, but actually makes a lot sense. Get things done to impress your boss and others, but if you are overloaded by taking on too much, that can be even worse. Being too busy can make you stressed and frazzled, can appear that you are too stressed and frazzled to handle more responsibility or a promotion. He may even think you are a great employee because you work so hard. But at the same time he may also feel that you can’t handle his “pet” project on top of it. You just missed an opportunity to shine because you work too hard!
Go the extra mile
Anyone who has ever said “that’s not my job,” or something similar, may have just as well said “I don’t even want to be promoted or make more money.” Doing things that may not be specifically in your job description can be a great way of proving your loyalty and ability to adapt.
People that no longer work with you may be more valuable than those that do
Bob in the cubicle next door just left for a bigger firm and fatter paycheck, he may be the ticket to your next gig. Now that he is there you have a connection and if you are considering changing companies, he becomes your ‘go to guy.’ This is especially true if your company is not likely to have a promotion for you for a long time.
Copy the success of others
If someone you work with is skilled at something that you want/need to be skilled at, do what they are doing. You don’t have to do it exactly the same way, but if they are successful, then they are at least doing it better than you are.
Make the next guy’s job easier
Even if the next guy is ‘lower’ than you, it is important to impress everyone. You never know if he will be your boss someday or be a connection you need for a future job or promotion. For example, if you are a cook at a restaurant and always leave your area clean for the next shift, they will love you. The more people that love you, the more likely you are to be promoted and/or paid more. On the other hand, if you always leave your area in disarray, the next guy will probably gripe about you and soon others will too.
If you are new, accept any and all invitations to lunch or drinks
Even if you don’t drink, you should go so you can build repore and friendships with those you work with. This will pay off later, BIG TIME. Taking advantage of situations to socially interact with your co-workers is a plus. They will be more likely to respect you and listen to you if they like you.
Beware what you cook in the breakroom microwave
Solve the biggest problem
Ask your boss what this is and fix it. When you it is done, you make your job easier and you become the hero. For example, let’s say you work at a shoe store. Your boss tells you that the biggest problem is keeping the products organized throughout the day. By closing time, the store is a wreck. So you develop a “cleaning” schedule. The whole team takes part by keeping up with organizing inventory multiple times throughout each day. Pretty soon the store is looking great almost all the time and you are the hero!
You are entitled to nothing
Always show gratitude for what you are provided with at work. You may recieve pay, benefits, free coffee, a breakroom, whatever. They don’t have to provide these things and you should not expect them. Even if you do, at least act like you are grateful. Of course you don’t need to go out of your way to seem grateful either. However, you should not be griping that the healtcare isn’t good enough or that the 401k doesn’t match and or the breakroom is too small. If you have an entitlement attitude, you are not likely to get very far. Although, you are likely to end up back on the unemployement line.
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