I am back and pumped up right now ready to give you my POV and tips on how to begin, accelerate, or peak your career. What is success for you? Think about it and once you decide what it is, work towards it. I must say that success is not prescriptive, so never feel the need to fit into anyone else’s definition – do you! Never feel bad about where you are, that is not constructive. Instead, continue to be excited about where you’re going and sail on! With that being said, I [do] consider myself very young in my career however, I’ve gained a breadth of experience working at startups and large companies in Silicon Valley and I love sharing that experience. I am also married to an extreme working machine and you cannot help but learn when you are surrounded by hard working people and constantly having conversations about career. Here we go!
Be well liked – as defined by Google, “regarded with much affection; popular with many people.” Popular with many people is more important than you may think when it comes to getting what you want around the office. Being popular with the right people is even more important. I’ve noticed that many people associate being well liked with kissing ass. Not the same thing. When your co-workers come to you for help with even the smallest tasks, your answer should be “yes.”
- If you can do the task, do it.
- If you can’t do the task but you know someone who can, connect them with that person.
- If you can’t do the task and you don’t know who can – why would I ever come to you for anything else ever again? Make a suggestion.
Even the wrong referrals often lead to the correct answer to a problem. At least you tried to help them and people appreciate that. Being well liked is also about advocates. My boss is extremely seasoned and she once told me that she will always be an advocate for me but she can’t be the only one. You want to look around your office and have many people agree that you do a great job because one day, you will make a mistake. Mistakes (even big ones) made by team members who have a lot of advocates are often forgotten.
Pick A Great Boss – You should want to be where your boss is right now. If you’re not interested in your boss’ job – you need a new job. Having a terrible boss can be detrimental to your career. I had a boss in my past who was not an advocate for me. If I fell, he watched me fall without offering a hand and when I got up off of the floor with wounds, he offered no anti-bacterial. He also never stood up for me in meetings with higher level execs. As a result, I never received the raise I deserved and I eventually had to leave the company. (for my pockets and for my mental health) I even had an interview for a job the other day and my interviewer told me “You sound like you have a great job and a great boss.” I told her, “You’re right, this role doesn’t sound like the perfect move for me right now but, I always explore opportunities.” Your boss should be able to teach you what you don’t know, grow you within the organization, mentor you through tough situations, and you should like each other. If your boss doesn’t like you or vice versa you are in a piss poor position. If your boss doesn’t like you, how will they advocate for you? If you leave the organization, how will they speak about you? If you don’t like your boss, it’s like being in a relationship with someone you don’t like, you’re wasting time.
Raise You Hand For Cross-Functional Projects – Being involved at work is extremely important. Not only is this an added bonus on your resume but it gives you exposure to more than just the people on your team. Getting to know different managers and teams at your company will help you make that jump if you hate what you do and actually want to change careers completely. It can also make your job more enjoyable as you’ll have more people to communicate with than just those on your team. When you join the “Women @ Work” or the “LGBT” groups at your company, you also have the ability to change the landscape of your business and/or company benefits. If you’re a part of the Women’s group at work and you all decide you want in-office yoga on Fridays, presenting that as a group is way more impactful than you bringing it up at the water cooler. If you don’t have a Women’s group, here’s your change to start one. Think about it, no one in this group will work for your company forever, when they move on, you have a connection at a company where you worked closely with that person to create positive change, even if you hate your boss.
Keep Your Mouth Shut – Office gossip ain’t cute. Trust me. Being the person who people tell all of their business in the office has not only progressed my career, but it has made me friends with so many people at past companies. I’ve literally made friends with so many people in Tech here in SF that I can go anywhere. Senior leaders at my company trust me and I often sit in on conversations that I should’t be hearing because after working for my current company for a year, I am a trusted source for being confidential. This sounds trivial but you’ll be amazed at how much you’re told when people know you won’t tell.