Some career advice has become shared so often that it now has no meaning. If we have to be told one more time to “dress for the job we want, not the job we have” or to turn up earlier than our boss and finish later we may never read another career advice piece again. Today we wanted to do something different, we want to give you career advice that you have never heard before. This is the most important advice that no one ever shares.
Appear in control
The workplace is designed to seem like a friendly and supportive environment yet it is always a competition for the next promotion. Your boss may be your friend but she is also the person who will ultimately decide if you get that new title and bump in salary or if your colleague does. Therefore you must assume you are always under scrutiny. When you are given a lot of tasks and are under pressure it is important not to look stressed. If you need help or resources to complete a task you should still ask for it but don’t let it appear like it is stressing you out. Someone who can handle the pressures of the job will go far. Someone who can’t handle those pressures will not be looked favorably upon.
Ok, so most career advice will tell you the importance of networking. The key to this is to accept the first invites you get. When you join a company you will be invited to lunch or dinner by some people and because of the new job you may be exhausted and say no, do not. These are incredibly important invitations and if you say no you may never be asked again. It is incredibly important that you play the social game at least at the beginning of a job so that they understand you. Slowly over time, you can start to reject offers and spend your time however you want.
While in your job you will be given the tasks that you need to do you should always be on the lookout for problems that you can fix outside of your remit. If you become someone that people turn to as a problem solved in the office they will all support you when the time comes. Often the choice of who will get the promotion is nothing more than a popularity contest, not because the manager is picking his favorite but because he is picking the one that will cause the least stress in the office environment. Make sure you are that problem.
Always sit beside the pen
When there is a big meeting in the boardroom you should try and sit beside the whiteboard and pen. This will automatically make you the one who writes down the key points on the board. This task requires focus for the entire meeting but not much thought. If you do this you will automatically be included in conversations and you can ask points to clarify what you should write. You will notice that you are part of the conversation with the top minds while others are left out in the cold.
Confident, not cocky
Too many young people entering the workforce are incredibly cocky and they have done nothing to earn such self-belief. Self-confidence is a great trait and most people will find it charming but if you push it too far you will become unbearable.
Follow these simple steps to ensure you are one step ahead of those you work with and that you are standing out from the crowd. Simple steps like this will ensure that you are looked as a future leader, not excess weight.