I started my carer in 1993 selling insurance over the phone at a firm off Wall St. in NYC in 1993. I cold called people out of the phone book for days on end. It sucked.
Since then my career has had glorious highs (selling Sterling RE for $400K in 2006) and insane lows (cratering a wireless startup in 2002). I’ve worked in NYC, LA, SD for Fortune 100 companies to companies with two people sharing a desk.
So I’ve seen some shit.
That in mind I’m going to give you the answers to the test and give you the ultimate list of career power moves for any job, any place in the world. Follow these and you’ll go farther, faster. Disregard these and you’re screwed.
Be On Time– This one seems so obvious but I cannot count how often people are late and how adversely it affects their career. Being on time is a matter of priority. Make it a cornerstone of your life to show up prepared and 10 mins early where ever you go. I’ve hired/fired 1000+ people and one of the easiest ways to put someone in the ‘don’t promote’ category is if they’re late . Too easy to get this one right so don’t be late.
At company functions don’t get drunker than your boss– Should be obvious but don’t drink more than your boss ever. Breaking this rule is just stupid and makes you a target so don’t do it. And if you don’t drink at all, even better. I’ve had employees get drunker than me and tell me things they should NEVER tell their boss. Things like:
- “I’m in love with [other employee]”
- “I’m addicted to Oxy”
- “I hate this job” (really, why tell your boss this?)
Always add value– This is really the 1st rule of everything. Always consider how you can add value to the organization you work for. Be the woman/man who’s consistently adding value to the team and enjoy the rewards. Some people are just more valuable than others- be that person.
Don’t kiss ass– Early in my career I worked for Sprint and we used to go to Vegas for meetings with our VP, John B. He was a New York guy, very charming and all the mangers clamored to be around him. He was pretty powerful at Sprint at the time. I was pretty new in my career so I didn’t try to kiss his ass the way everyone did, probably because I didn’t think it would work.
So one night we’re all out after dinner and I’m at the bar getting a Captain & Coke (my drink in the 90s). John comes up to me and out of nowhere and thanks me. i say, ‘What for?” I’ll never forget his words when he says, “You’re the only one who doesn’t kiss my ass and I appreciate it. If someone’s kissing my ass I know I can’t trust them so I appreciate you not following the herd”.
That blew me away. Later in my carer when people would kiss my ass I would think of them as being weak, untrustworthy and definitely not someone I wanted to promote. So don’t kiss ass.
Be decisive– Don’t hem & haw, don’t be wishy-washy. Take the available info you have and make a decision when it’s time to make a decision. sometimes you’ll be wrong but more often than not, action always trumps in-action. Do you best but take action. People who take action win more often than people who do nothing and stand on the sidelines.
There’s probably more I can think of but that’s good for now.
Wait, some more about email:
- If you’re asking for something in an email, ask at the top and put the detail/background underneath. No one wants to scroll endlessly to find out what you need.
- No emojis, this isn’t high school. If you can drink legally lose the emojis.
- Be succinct. If it takes more than 10 sentences then pick up the phone and call.
- Don’t blast anyone. Email is like DNA evidence at a murder scene so don’t blast anyone, no matter how pissed you are.