My previous post received way more views and comments than I ever thought.
A few people asked me to elaborate on my Work Smart philosophy instead of the usual putting your head down and grinding mentality that is the norm to advancing.
Before I begin, I have only used this in a corporate setting and cannot guarantee this will work in other work environments, however most of this will sound simple once you read it.
Lets start with Internships
So you land an internship for the summer and you have 8 weeks to leave your Mark with your employer.
Work Smart1) Use your time to do as much research as possible to understand how the business works and what are some common challenges.
2) ask a lot of questions from long time employees about their day to day and learn from them.
3) work hard to make peoples lives easier by figuring out a simple solution to a simple problem that annoys everyone. Trust me we all have small issues that we can never get to since were occupied with other things.
4). When given only basic tasks to work on, make sure to do then the best way anyone can and take it upon your self to get involved in more complex tasks. Approach this from a I am really interested in helping solve this issue.
5) Schedule meetings with influencers to get to know them and ask them questions about how they became successful. 2 things ring true wherever Ive been 1) people like receiving sincere compliments. 2) people love to talk about themselves.
6) Make sure to be helpful at least once to the people that have the ability to hire you.
7) Ask your boss to advocate for you and get you a full time offer or part time work during school. So many people just never bother to ask or make it known that they are hungry and want to continue working.
Dont do this
1) treat an internship like summer camp.2) Expect to be told exactly what to do.3) only hang out with other interns or people your age.4) leave exactly at 5 if youre working on an interesting project.
So many interns at my company dont realize that they are in a competition to maybe fill in 1 spot. As managers we are looking for the brightest and the best and if you dont stick out to us then you wont get a shot.
Entry level job
So youre hired full time and now you must do the work.
1) you just landed an MBA class of the real world where they pay you to learn. So make sure you learn something new each day or your Day was a failure.
2) There are no problems only solutions. When you approach your manager with a problem or issue always start with a solution and let your manager decide if you should implement it.
3) Be confident even if youre wrong. No bodys perfect and your manager probably has a lot on their plate. Having an employee that comes to me with a solution and takes some chances on their own in order to make my life easier is a breath of fresh air. Granted there are big decisions that need multiple perspectives and sign offs but do the work yourself and come to your manager confidently with a solution.
4) manage up. Your sole job is to make your manager look good and earn more money with the hope that they cut you a slice. Make sure to help your manager look good.
5) Dont take credit for things. We hate credit hogs and can see right through them. We know who does what and even if we miss a few things it wont matter. Just keep on solving things the reward will come because no one will replicate what you do.
6) make sure your peers are involved in your ideas and win them over to your side. This is not a to the death competition. You are all a team so get the rest of the team on board to your ideas and then present them with the team to management. This shows that not only can you come up with solutions but you can also build a consensus.
7) Do the next level up job and dont take the credit. I believe that we should all be working the next job we want. When its time for promotions we know who has the skills to move to the next level.
8) Develop relationships with key people that will mentor you and help you advance in your career.
9) Understand the big picture and be a team player.
10) if youre ultimate goal is to be a leader then start leading now. A title does not make a leader successful rather people need to gravitate to you. Leading without a title and having people want to follow you is the recipe for a true strong leader.
There are many more things but I feel like this rant is long enough. I hope this makes sense and helps some of you.