Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How to get ahead at work

You surf the net and u would see tons of articles written on how to excel at work, how to recession proof your job or how to attain a six figure salary. I have read almost all of these type of articles actually and I picked up some tips here and there that apply for me. Honestly, they did work. However, as I walk through my career for eight years now, there are some techniques that I discovered on my own which may not be new to others, but I learned and harnessed the hard way and proved effective. I believe they're worth sharing.

So how do you get ahead at work?

1. Make a way for a promising career starting from college/university.

Four or five years in the university are the best years to prepare and define a competitive and promising career. Good grades in your transcript of record are more than enough to tell how hard you work, your level of commitment and your IQ. The number and type of extra-curricular activities that you joined in the university also tells how good you are at multi-tasking and how well your sense of responsibility and initiative is. Exposure through quality extra-curricula’s will allow you to gain connections that you might need in the future when you look for a job. It will also improve your skills in public relation as well as other valuable skills such as persistence, perseverance and problem-solving, etc.

2. Keep learning.

You might be thinking that I am literally referring to Post-graduate studies? Yes I am. You know that it's a very key advantage. Of today's stiff competition at work, advance studies are strong weapons. But if situations don't allow you to earn a Masteral Degree, PhD, or even a diploma; still, keep learning. There are so many self-taught experts out there that get ahead at work because they've learned a lot of skills which others do not. Discover and learn more skills. Strengthen your key strengths and keep learning.

3. Be friendly.

A good public relation is very crucial in getting ahead at work. Be friendly to everyone and to anyone even to the lower profiles. You would not know who can give you a lift or who can destroy you later at work. Always carry a smile and try to be polite and fair to everybody. [It ain't easy, but just try.]

4. Know whom you can trust.

Not all friends at work can be trusted. Some institutions use a “divide and rule” policy to get a complete control of their employees. Some employees use a “crab mentality” to get ahead and trusting friends are the easiest preys. If you have any negative feedback against your superior or employers or to anybody, think first for how many times if you could trust the person next to you or if the issue is even worth discussing with him/her. Do not be a victim.

5. Plant some investments.

Sometimes, you have to work hard for a year or two for a useful project or activity that would benefit your institution but you are not compensated. It can be frustrating, yes, but just think that it will pay off later. When your project bears fruit, it will make you indispensable and expensive. Then, you can demand a good price.

6. Know your boss and play his game.

I’m sure you have heard of the saying “know your enemy and you can win the battle”? It also works at work. You have to know your boss and learn his game. For instance, if you have a gullible not so smart boss [don’t laugh because there certainly are some], then learn how to be angel to gullible. If you have a boss who exhausts you a lot and squeeze all your talents, don’t show all your talents at once. Show and top one talent at a time. Why? Because it might be that when all of your aces are laid today, you will be a hero just for today and is dispensed by tomorrow. But you see, it's all case to case bases. The bottom line is that you have to know how to play well in each particular environment.

7. See if it is worth getting ahead at your present work.

Sometimes, no matter what you do and how hard you try, some institutions are just not worthy of you. If you tried hard in at most two years and there are still no signs that you would get ahead, then perhaps you should start evaluating if it is better to try somewhere else. Do not be afraid to change your job.

8. Pray hard.

I’m sure you heard this proverb since you were very young? “Do your best and God will do the rest.” That’s right. Of all your hard work, don't forget to couple it with prayers. God is a very fair God.


  1. Oy, kunjungan malam, salam kenal.

  2. Such good advice and strategies Gleen. Also it is very important to keep pushing forward and not allow certain stumbles keep you down :)


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