Success at the Workplace
If you look at the world around you, you’ll quickly notice that some people are successful with money and others are not. Some find ways to get and hold good jobs; and to get promoted within those jobs. And some do not.
Again, it’s no surprise that we see these differences. But what is important is that we learn from these differences and find out how we can get better at getting good jobs, getting good promotions, and managing our finances better.
Principle #1 – Improve Your Written Communication
Many who are successful and frequently get promoted in the workplace have powerful written communication skills. If yours are lacking, consider taking an English class or purchasing an English textbook.
Principle #2 – Improve Your Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is a vital ingredient of success. Without being able to clearly communicate your ideas to others, you will have a tough time being a strong leader. If you don’t yet have this skill, you may want to consider taking a public speaking class.
Principle #3 – Make Friends and Allies
When it comes to being successful in the workplace, few things are more important than having a group of friends and allies who can say good things about you to the higher-ups. So make an effort to be social, make friends, and have lunch with your co-workers.
Principle #4 – Stay Late at the Office Occasionally
Successful people know that being dedicated to your job isn’t enough. You must also demonstrate that dedication to your employer. One way in which you can do this is by staying late when your employer is also staying late, so she can observe you working and gain a positive impression.
Principle #5 – Be the First to Volunteer for Undesirable Projects
One easy way to differentiate yourself from others at work is to always volunteer for projects that no one else wants to do. Sure, it’ll be painful at first, but you’ll quickly become recognized as an invaluable asset for the business.
Principle #6 – Volunteer to do Presentations
In many workplaces, presentations are a vital part of communicating ideas to employees and business partners. Unfortunately, many people fear presentations; and often opt not to give them when given the choice. If you want to be successful, you should take every opportunity to give a presentation.
Principle #7 – Don’t Complain Frequently
When it comes down to it, a good manager or business owner knows that the buck stops at her desk. Instead of complaining about problems, she realizes that she must ultimately solve them. If you want to get promoted, you must also take on this mindset.
Principle #8 – Try to Take the High Road
When it comes to petty, intra-office disputes, always be the one to take the high road. Don’t focus on getting revenge or supporting an argument that is clearly wrong. Instead, just admit fault and move on with your life.
Principle #9 – Avoid Jokes that Some Might Find Inappropriate or Offensive
Making jokes can endear others to you. However, making offensive or inappropriate jokes can permanently eliminate you from the running for upper management jobs. Next time you go to make a joke, think twice about your audience; and don’t do it if you think it might offend someone.
Principle #10 – Make an Effort to Appear and Be Stable
Stability is an important quality in individuals who are given a lot of responsibility. If they are unstable, they could make very bad decisions that jeopardize the entire business. For this reason, you should push very hard to demonstrate your stability to the managers above you.
Principle #11 – Collaborate When Asked
Team work is an essential component of success in any business endeavor. This is why it is essential that you learn how to collaborate with your peers and colleagues and practice it regularly.
Principle #12 – Always Be Early or On Time
When you’re late to a meeting, everyone notices, including your boss. This is why it is vital to be early or on time, so that you don’t stick out as a bad example.
Principle #13 – Think and Contribute Critically
When you’re at meetings or when a co-worker or boss asks for advice, think critically and try to make an important contribution. Don’t let the words go in one ear and other the other.
Principle #14 – Don’t Sit Quietly at Meetings
If you want to be successful in the workplace, you cannot sit passively at meetings. Instead, you must take charge and make comments. Get recognized; and make important contributions.
Principle #15 – Empathize with Co-Workers and Higher-Ups
Empathy is important. Getting it from others makes you feel wanted and cared for. And giving it to others will improve your status within the company. It will show people that they can come to you if others do not understand their position.
Principle #16 – Don’t Make Enemies
If you want to be successful in the workplace, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up locking horns with a few people on the way. However, at the end of the day, it is vital that you don’t take these disputes personally; and work hard to avoid making enemies.
Principle #17 – Generate High-Quality Work
At the end of the day, the quality of work that you produce will determine whether your boss thinks that you are barely fit to carry out your current job; or whether you are over-qualified and should be promoted.
Principle #18 – Share Your Work and Ideas with Others
If you have good ideas, then share them with others. Let your co-workers and bosses benefit from your insights. Occasionally, you might get no credit for this, but over time, the praise you receive here and there will help to improve your profile within the company.
Principle #19 – Be Honest with Follow Co-Workers and Higher-Ups
Above all else, honesty is an important quality in the workplace. Being honest with your co-workers and your boss means that they can trust you and come to you for advice in the future.
Principle #20 – Be a Self-Starter
One of the most clearly identifiable traits of successful individuals is their ability to self-start. Instead of needing to be pushed around by bosses, they take action immediately and accomplish tasks on their own. If you want to get promoted, you should also get in the habit of doing this.
Principle #21 – Meet People and Make Friends
At least one a week, get out of your cubicle and walk the office. Meet the people who work next to you; and endear them to you. When you’re up for a promotion, it can never hurt to have too many friends.
Principle #22 – Expand Your Understanding of the Business
When it comes to getting a promotion, being good at your job isn’t enough. In fact, it’s just one prerequisite. In addition to being good at your job, you will also have to gain a much stronger understanding of the business you work in, so you can make broader, bigger picture suggestions.
Principle #23 – See Opportunities—Not Challenges
Many people see challenges and freeze with fear. The successful don’t see challenges, but instead look for opportunities. Be like the successful and look for opportunities.
Principle #24 – Don’t Pass the Buck
Passing the buck is what you do if you don’t want responsibility. If you want to be successful and to get promoted, don’t pass the buck. Take any responsibility that comes your way; and ask for more.
Principle #25 – Don’t Be Afraid to Stand-Up for Yourself
When it comes to contradicting your boss or a co-worker, you might decide that it is not a good idea to stand up for yourself, but instead to back-down. However, if you have good reason to believe you are right, you should stick up for yourself as long as it is reasonable and respectful. Ultimately, your co-workers and boss will respect you more for it.
Principle #26 – Become Deadline-Oriented
In the workplace, deadlines are everything. If you want to become successful, you must make it a point to follow deadlines very closely, so that your projects are always delivered on time.
Principle #27 – Share Your Knowledge
The successful don’t fear scarcity, but instead embrace abundance. When they have knowledge and skills, they freely give it away to others with the understanding that those they help will become important allies in the future.
Principle #28 – Build a Portfolio of Your Work
In some cases, you will not be promoted directly, but will have to apply for a job within the company. In these cases, you will want to have a resume and portfolio (if applicable) available, so that you can use them in the interview.
Principle #29 – Rationalize Why You Are Worthy of a Promotion
Getting a promotion can be a difficult process. This is why it is important that you spend some time thinking about and rationalizing why you are worthy of a promotion. When the going gets tough, you’ll have reasons that you can use to reinforce your choice.
Principle #30 – Don’t Shy Away from Gray Areas
Gray areas are important. Those who are successful find out how to succeed, even when things are clearly black or white. Those who often fail to succeed cannot work through gray areas, but instead get confused and bogged down. If you want to get recognized and promoted, you must charge gray areas head-on and demonstrate that they won’t make you ineffective.
Principle #31 – Don’t Be an Apple-Polisher
Most bosses will appreciate it if you are kind and respectful to them, but if you go out of your way to suck up to them, it will usually be perceived poorly. Instead of respecting you, they will see you as someone they cannot trust for a straight answer.
Principle #32 – Perform a Gap Analysis
Perform a gap analysis of what you are missing today in order to be worthy of the promotion. Think exactly what things you will need to do in order to position yourself well for it.
Principle #33 – Prioritize Your Work
Going forward, try to prioritize your work. Try to determine which projects are “urgent,” which projects are “important,” and which projects are both. And then attack them in the correct order.
Principle #34 – Master Your Job
Mastering your job won’t be enough to get you a promotion, but it is without a question the best place to start. So, if you think there is significant room for improvement, then getting working to master your job.
Principle #35 – Stay Alert
Stay alert for important information about promotions and job openings. If you find these opportunities quickly and exploit them, you will greatly improve your chances of getting promoted.
Principle #36 – Dress for the Part
One important part of getting promotions is dressing for the part. If you don’t look presentable on a daily basis that may factor into your boss’s decision not to promote you. So dress for success.
Principle #37 – Create a Career Map
Create a map of your career that shows where you have been and where you want to finish your career (perhaps in upper management or perhaps as CEO). Along each step of the way, have a plan for how you will move from one spot to the next.
Principle #38 – Find a Good Mentor
One good way to find out how to lead and how to be successful is to get advice from a great mentor. This mentor could be your boss or could be a co-worker who is highly successful. Either way, find at least one mentor and try to get as much as you can get out of the relationship.
Principle #39 – Find Someone Who Gets Promoted and Work with Them
Similar to finding a mentor, try to follow people closely to get promoted. Ask yourself what qualities they have that ultimately make them so promotable. And then try to copy those qualities
Principle #40 – Never Say “No”
One good way to demonstrate that you are responsible is to always say “yes” to difficult and unsavory projects. No matter how much you don’t want to do them, accept them anyway and demonstrate that you are management material.
Principle #41 – Consider Why You Want the Promotion
Being prepared is important. For instance, next time you’re in the elevator with your boss or with a higher-up, you will want to be prepared if your boss asks you something about a new job opening or a possible promotion. Have reasons ready for why you want the promotion and why you would fit well in the position.
Principle #42 – Observe Successful Co-Workers
Pay attention to co-workers who are especially good at their jobs. What is it that enables them to be so efficient? And what is it that elicits so much praise from upper management? Copy these qualities and you should see the same results.
Principle #43 – Be Scrappy
Scrappiness is an important trait of those who are successful. No matter how badly the road to success treats them, they take their lumps and then return to the path. Ultimately, they prevail because they refuse to do anything else.
Principle #44 – Make Your Boss Look Good
Another thing that the successful know how to do is to make the boss look good. This is especially true if you can do it in front of her superiors or a partner from another business. Your boss will appreciate this; and will want to do what she can to ensure that you are around to help her again.
Principle #45 – Befriend the HR Department
Make a friend in human resources. Next time there is a job opening in the works, you will be one of the first people to find out about it.
Principle #46 – Make Sure Someone Else Can Do Your Job
As unintuitive as this might seem, an important part of getting a promotion is ensuring that someone else can do your job. If no one can, then you cannot be replaced; and cannot get promoted.
Principle #47 – Timing is Important
When it comes to getting a promotion at work, few things are more important than timing. Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right things is vital. And this is why you must pay careful attention to your timing.
Principle #48 – Don’t Ask Questions if You Can Answer Them Yourself
One thing the successful do well is to solve problems themselves, rather than burdening others with them. If you want a promotion, you have to learn how to do this, too.
Principle #49 – Do More than is Asked of You
Whenever you are given a project at work, make it a point to over- deliver on all of the requirements. Make the boss appreciate your work; and make her have a vested interest in promoting you.
Principle #50 – Follow the Approach of Your Manager
If you want an example of how to get promoted, look no further than your own manager. She has been promoted to a position above you, so she knows how to be successful in your position.
Principle #51 – Eliminate Turbulence in Your Personal Life
Turbulence in your personal life is bad for a lot of reasons, but one reason is that it can often spill-over into your worklife, compounding the problem. So make every effort possible to reconcile with family members and to end fights quickly.
Principle #52 – Make Yourself Indispensible
If you can easily envision how the company could replace you, then your boss probably can, too. The successful know to make themselves indispensible, so that they are promoted or given a raise, rather than replaced.
Principle #53 – Learn How to be a Team Player
In essence, getting better at your job means getting better at playing your role on the team. Make an effort to demonstrate that you are a team player to your bosses; and you may be rewarded with an attempt to run that team.
Principle #54 – Learn New Skills
One large part of getting promoted involves developing new skills. If you don’t develop new skills, then you cannot expect that your boss will suddenly believe that you are capable of taking on a new job with different requirements.
Principle #55 – Develop New Strategies
In addition to acquiring new skills, you should also devise new strategies for tackling your current workload. Find ways to do it faster and better, so that you stand out more.
Principle #56 – Make an Attempt to Signal Your Readiness to Your Superiors
In addition to simply being prepared for your promotion, you should also try to signal your preparedness and willingness to your superiors. Let them know that you would be interested in a promotion if one should become available.
Principle #57 – If Someone Has to Stay Late, Let it Be You
Making a sacrifice for the company shows that you are interested in staying around longer. So, instead of trying to extract every last penny from the company while putting in as little work as possible, go the distance and prove that you are willing to make a sacrifice.
Principle #58 – Don’t Try to Advance Prematurely
In the long run, your promotion should come naturally. It should come at a time when it is obvious to you and obvious to your bosses that you are interested and worthy. If you try to force the issue to quickly, it could backfire and negatively effect you in the long run.
Principle #59 – Maintain a Sense of Urgency
In all things you do at work, maintain a sense of urgency. Show that you are hard-working, attentive, and alert. And show that you won’t become complacent simply because things are going well.
Principle #60 – Improve Your Profile within the Organization
Volunteer at charity events, help co-workers who are in need, and generally be available and helpful. As your profile improves within the company, so will your chances of getting promoted.
Principle #61 – Emulate Your Superiors
Your superiors have been promoted for important reasons. If you want to be promoted, too, don’t be cynical about the reasons for their promotion, but instead try to emulate their behavior.
Principle #62 – Always be Available
If you don’t own one already, get a smartphone that allows you to easily check and write emails. This will make it possible for you to always be on call for your boss, so you can become someone that he or she relies on.
Principle #63 – Keep Your Boss in the Know
If there is something important that your boss needs to know, be the first to let her know about it. You will become someone that she can rely on for information, which will make you indispensible to the company.
Principle #64 – Apply for Within Company Jobs
Don’t just passively wait for a promotion. Instead, do what the successful do and apply for within company jobs. Be aggressive about getting that promotion.
Principle #65 – Learn New Things
One way to make you indispensible to your company is to learn new things about your job. Work through a reference manual. Spend time learning how to use the company’s proprietary software optimally. Do something that makes you better and more useful.
Principle #66 – Look for a Job Elsewhere
Find jobs outside of your company that look promising. At a minimum, you might be able to get a better job elsewhere. At most, you might be able to leverage that offer into a promotion within the company.
Principle #67 – Practice Self-Promotion
As painful as it might be at first, get in the habit of self-promoting (but in ways that don’t make you look desperate or stupid). Get others to notice you and to appreciate what you do within the company.
Principle #68 – Always Maintain a Positive Outlook on Life
No matter what line of work you’re in, you’re likely to run into a few bumps on the road. When you do, try to maintain a positive outlook on life. Often, this simple difference in mindset will determine the success or failure of a venture.
Principle #69 – Make Yourself Known at Conferences
In addition to making yourself known within the company, make yourself known outside of the company. Go to the relevant conferences for workers in your industry; and try to make a reasonable showing, so that people remember your name.
Principle #70 – Think Like a Leader
Instead of thinking like a worker who will never be promoted, think like a leader. Reflect this in your decisions and in your aura of confidence. Demonstrate to others that you can think on your feet and make important decisions; and you will be rewarded with promotions.