How To Get Ahead At Work

No one wants to be a suck-up. Actually, that might not be true, some people seem to want to, but it’s rare that being your boss’s yes-man will help you get ahead at work.  If you want to climb the corporate ladder, there are far better ways to do it. And don’t let anyone tell you that trying to make your way to the top of the food chain is a bad thing. You should be rewarded for the work you do. Here’s how you can get ahead at work while keeping your dignity intact.

Do Good Work

The first and most important rule for getting ahead at your company is to do good work. Good work alone doesn’t always get you noticed, but if you want to have any hope of success, sucking up can only get you so far. To better your chances of a promotion, do more than just good work. Look for opportunities to grow your responsibilities. Take on more tasks, always ensuring a high standard of excellence, and you’ll be well on your way to promotion and success.

Find Out What the Boss Wants

You don’t have to say yes to every idea your boss has. Spend a little time finding out what your boss values and what they are looking for in their workers. Aim to fulfill those needs and show you have similar values. Being a person your boss can rely on is a far better strategy than just being the person who compliments the boss everyday.

Switch Companies

Studies have shown that staying within one company for more than two years can hurt your earning potential. There are many reasons for this, one is that you may be willing to take a pay cut in order to stay with a company you feel loyal to. Another is that switching to a new company will often bring with it a pay increase. If you want to grow your skill set, you may have to head to a new place to grow those new skills.

Market Yourself

This doesn’t mean shouting how great you are and how much work you do from the rooftops. This does mean being able to take credit for doing good work, being active in work discussions and adding your two cents. Offer new and interesting ideas that separate you from everyone else.

Just doing good work isn’t usually enough to get ahead at work. You need to couple it with self promotion and making sure you’re someone that others, especially your boss, can rely on. Once you’ve managed to balance all these separate things together you’re sure to find success and slowly start moving up the food chain.

Smile! Your Life is About to Improve

Smile! Your Life is About to Improve

You know the old adage, fake it till you make it? How you’re supposed to live like the person you want to one day become. Carry yourself as you would were you already the successful, established person you aspire to be. Wear the clothes you will wear. Speak with the authority engendered by your many successes. Set the stage for this person you are cultivating to enter – and eventually they will take their place under the spot light.


The life changing smile

That whole faking it till you’re making it thing can start with something so easy babies regularly do it. Smile!


Whether you are smiling because you are genuinely happy or because you just plastered one on your face, you are flooding your body with feel good chemicals – dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. You automatically feel good and more relaxed.


Two way mirror

A smile is like a two-way mirror. In general, you smile because you’re feeling good. At the same time when you smile you actually make yourself feel good. And while you’re going around feeling good you’re also more energetic, which helps you become more productive.


A round for the house

Not only are those smiles you’re going around wearing helping you feel good, they’re also bringing smiles and feel good feelings to everyone around you. Smiles are contagious. Smiling faces all around, people are more inclined to like each other.


Not only that, according to the article 9 Superpowers of Your Smile  from Psychology Today, smiling can make you seem courteous, likeable and competent. So if there are projects upcoming or opportunities in the offing, the person who is conceived of as likable and competent will most likely be chosen over their less captivating counterparts.


So smile and watch your world smile around you!

On The Job Hunt? Clean Up Your Digital Footprint!

vOn The Job Hunt? Clean Up Your Digital Footprint!

With graduation vastly approaching, now is the best time to tighten up your online presence AKA your digital footprint. Everything you’ve ever done on the internet is probably still there and might not paint you in the best light. So before you send in those applications, spruce up those cover letters, and schedule interviews, make sure you are aware of how your online presence presents you.

What’s a digital footprint anyway?


A digital footprint encompasses all of your online activity. Everything from likes, comments, online purchases, and social media posts are all connected to your name on the internet. Every time you post something online, websites collect all of your information by installing cookies on whatever device you’re using. They can gather your login credentials, IP address, and any other personal information about you available online. All of these tidbits of information add up to your digital footprint. Whether it’s good or bad is up to you…


How do I clean up my digital footprint?


There are several ways to change and edit your digital footprint. As long as you take the time to be tedious and do your research, your footprint will look a lot cleaner and hopefully represent you in a more professional way. Get started with some of these tips:


Make strong & secure passwords:


It’s important to make strong and secure passwords to keep your digital footprint in check. These strong passwords can also enhance your online privacy. Create complex passwords that don’t include any personal information about you that people already know or could publicly see online. For example, any birthdays, birth years or even nicknames could easily be guessed by someone who has seen your information online. Try to use symbols and numbers to mix up your passwords, making them harder to guess. This includes using caps, @ signs, 0 instead of O, and so on. Don’t forget to change your passwords every couple months to ensure you are keeping your information secure from hackers.



Google yourself:


This may feel cliche or unnecessary, but don’t worry, it’s not. Google yourself using your full name and the shortened version of your name, if you have one. For example, try searching “Michael Owens” and “Mike Owens” to make sure you don’t miss anything that might be listed under your name. Pay attention to any questionable written content you wrote maybe in college or even earlier in your career that might get brought up during the job hunt. This can also include any of your social media posts. Check the first couple pages of Google to make sure everything you see is positive and professional. Don’t be afraid to try other search engines as well (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) so you can be sure all the information about you matches up.


Implement changes:


Now that you’ve done all the preliminary work to enhance and update your digital footprint, it’s time to start making the necessary changes. Assess your social media accounts first, since those will be the first area your future employers will most likely look into. A recent study showed that 54% of employers found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. Make sure your usernames are appropriate and professional; “@sarahlovesbeer” should not be something a future employer sees when searching your name.


Browse through any old photos of you to see if any need to be removed from your profile or hidden from public view. Read through tweets and any status updates or location check-ins that you might not want future employers to see. Now is the perfect time to adjust your privacy settings if you haven’t in a while. There is always the option to make your social profiles private which means your personal information will be hidden from the public, except for a small profile picture and your name.


Taking the time to clean up your digital footprint should be just as much a priority as updating your resume. It’s essential to show the best version of yourself, and that starts with your online persona. Follow these steps to enter the job hunt ready and prepared for a successful future!

A Strong Cover Letter Can Carry You Into An Interview

A Strong Cover Letter Can Carry You Into An Interview

Everyone knows the importance of a cover letter. One that’s well written and engaging can get you an interview even if your resume isn’t quite up to par. A strong cover letter is a way to convey potential and energy and enthusiasm that a resume simply can’t. A weak cover letter can have the opposite effect. It can make a great resume seem duller and less motivating.


There are several key components to every strong cover letter. Make sure you cover all of them!



Before we talk about the content of the introduction we would like to talk about the importance of finding out the name of person who will be reading your letter. What letter are you going to be more motivated to read, one addressed to whom it may concern, or one addresses specifically to you? There are several ways to figure out the who on your own by checking the company out online. The most straightforward way to do it is to call and ask for the name of the hiring manager.


Now that you’ve addressed them by name you can go ahead and tell them a little about yourself. Why you’re applying, how you learned about the opportunity, why you’d be a good fit and an interesting point about yourself or your experience to whet their appetite.


Meat and potatoes

In this paragraph go deeper about your qualifications, your experience and your potential. Provide qualitative examples. I expanded my qualifications by taking this course and that one. This award came my way and along with that recognition. I increased productivity in my department through X,Y,Z initiatives.


Take it one step further and discuss how all these achievements, qualifications will benefit this company you are applying to. Imagine yourself already in the position and talk about what you can bring specifically to this job in this company.


Closing comments

Reiterate how interested you are in the job. Let them know when you are available for an interview. Thank them for their time and consideration and let them know you look forward to hearing from them.


Finish off with Sincerely, Regards, Best Regards and wait for the call for an interview!

Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Do For Productivity is Take a Break

Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Do For Productivity is Take a Break

When we have a lot to do, deadlines pressing down on us, it feels like the best thing to do is power through and work till it’s done. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, the opposite is true. The best thing you can do to increase productivity and performance is nothing. Full break.


Ninety minutes of focus

Your attention and energy can only go for so long before things start to get muddied. Generally that time is about ninety minutes. Same as the ninety-minute dream interval your body cycles through during the night.


It’s certainly possible to keep going past the ninety minutes – most people do, but work suffers. It takes longer accomplish what you need to get done and there’s a good chance you’ll want to revise what you did later. When you come back to it with a clear head.


To see just how important breaks are, check out this illustration from Daniel Pink, detailing how restorative breaks influence test results.tests-restorative-breaks_final

Breaks improve performance

If test scores increase after taking a break, imagine the impact those breaks have day in and day on the work we’re trying to accomplish. In general eureka moments don’t happen when we’re staring at a screen trying to will one more crumb of creativity out of our brains. They happen when we put the problem aside entirely. When we go out for a walk or are thinking about something else entirely. That’s because our brains need empty space or organize and re-set. An ideal break would be twenty or thirty minutes—outside, completely away from your workspace. That’s obviously not possible, especially every ninety minutes. But it is possible to get up and move around a bit to clear your head, even if that just means to going into the lunch room for a glass of water.


Avoid the temptation to lunch at your desk

The one time you can take a full, long break during the day is during lunch. Don’t waste that time sitting at your desk. Even if you’re not actually working, you are still in that same space. Give your mind and body a rest. Get up and get out. The rest of your day will thank you for it.

If You Want To Get Ahead, You Have To Start By Getting Started

If You Want To Get Ahead, You Have To Start By Getting Started

Are you perfectly happy with the way everything is going in your life or do you want more?


Still pending

Are there accomplishments you’re still working towards?  Dreams you haven’t achieved yet? Financial goals you have yet to meet?


One would be hard pressed to find someone who has achieved everything they set out to do and are happy sit back and spend the rest of their lives on autopilot.


The dangers of autopilot

And yet autopilot is the means by which so many of us steer our precious lives. Yes, there are things we want to do, plans we plan on starting, goals we have for sometime in the future. The problem is, unless we actually take concrete, definable steps toward achieving those goals they will waste away behind the mists of the unmanifested future, while autopilot takes steers us through our days.


First law of motion

According to Newton’s first law of motion, an object either remains at rest or continues to move unless acted upon by another force. Meaning if something is moving it will continue to move until it is stopped. And if something is not moving it will continue to not move until something moves it.


What that means for those goals we have yet to begin is, thinking about them and dreaming about them and talking about them will do nothing to bring them about. To get ahead, as Mark Twain so elegantly put it, is to get started.


Once we start the goal, or project, or plan, it will start moving and keep moving on the momentum created by starting. Once you start you become motivated to keep going. You begin to believe in the reality of this thing you are now actually doing.


So back to the question from the beginning. Are you perfectly happy with the way everything is going in your life or do you want more?


So start!

Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

In every office you’ll find all kinds of people. The introverts, the extroverts, the technical minded ones, the artistic ones, the list goes on and on. All sorts of different people with different temperaments thrive and get ahead. However, besides the specifics of a person’s personality and skills people can generally be sorted into two distinct categories, the waters and the doers.


Wanters expect things to come to them


Wanters are the ones who always want to know when they can expect to get a promotion or a raise. They look out for what the company can do for them. When things aren’t working to their satisfaction, they want change, but they don’t necessarily do anything about it. In general wanters are their own number one priority. When five o’clock rolls around, they want to get out of the office and move on the next thing they want to do.


Doers create what they want


Doers on the other hand, are prepared to do what it takes to get a job done. They don’t ask when they will get a promotion they ask what they can do to get that promotion faster. They realize there is only one way to get ahead and that’s through merit. Not time, not the people they have drinks with not good intentions or talk.


If a job isn’t finished when it’s time to go home, a doer will stick around to make sure it gets done. If something isn’t working as well or as efficiently as it should, they don’t just complain about it or work around it, doers address the problem. They find better ways of doing things. If they have to improve themselves then they take the course or they ask us to put them in touch with a mentor.


Wanters might talk about how they want to make a six figure income one day. Doers spend every day going that extra mile to ensure they achieve their wants.