How to REALLY Climb the Corporate Ladder

Looking to climb the corporate ladder? Well no matter what you learned in school… there are a ton of things I can guarantee that you’ll never learn in a schoolbook. The important stuff is what you only learn after you’ve been in the field for a while.

Well luckily the kids over at Buzzfeed.com put together a list of the top career tips that nobody will actually tell you. This actually came from Buzzfeed asking for input from their readers on a message board (so you know it’s very official).

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GETTING A JOB

  • Your college major is just a college major and nothing more: It’s your actual talents that will get you ahead of the competition… not your college major. (Christopher Craft, Author at OPENRoutine.com)
  • Always be kind to the receptionist, especially at an interview.This goes for anyone, no matter how far up the food chain they are. You never know who they know. (Ambra Benjamin, Engineering Recruiter at Facebook)
  • The weaknesses that you’re unaware of will hurt you themost. Use any roadblocks in your career to figure out your hidden weaknesses. This might be hard, and involve asking people who didn’t hire you exactly why they didn’t—but it will help you in the long run. (David Osborne, President & Founder at Simmetry Solutions
  • The number one quality for getting hired is likability. People want to hire other people that they want to spend time with. Assholes getting promoted are the exception,not the rule. (John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach)
  • Study and work in whatever seemingly unrelated areas you are interested in, even if it’s just a hobby. That way, when your dream job/business comes up, you’ll be perfectly and uniquely qualified for it. (Sarah Jansen, writer and editor)
  • Learn how to properly use questions. You can learn, get answers, give answers, mentor people and develop your reputation just by using questions. Learn to use questions in a non-threatening way and you will open up many doors. (Jan Theys, author and lawyer)
  • Important exciting careers aren’t linear or clearly defined. (Anonymous)
  • Don’t just look up for opportunities, look laterally. People with diverse experience usually progress faster than people with more experience. (Vikrant Vaidya)
  • Don’t be better, be different. You might not have the exact experience listed on the job description, but if you can show how your unique skills would better suit the company, you have a better shot than someone who is a more technical match. (John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach)
  • The best job for you won’t be ready at the exact time you are “ready.” You have to be open to and searching for opportunity all the time. (John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach)

KEEPING A JOB

  • Jobs are a marathon, not a sprint. People who always work 80-hour weeks will have to compensate somehow and they’ll be slowed down in the long run. (Michael O. Church)
  • Don’t complain about Mondays. It’s like wearing a huge sign that says: “I hate my job and do not want to be here.” It’s fine to be looking forward to down time, but work time shouldn’t feel that bad. If you hate your career that much, you don’t have the right career. (John
  • Sometimes it’s better to share credit for something even if you did most of the work. You’ll be building allies and creating a team. (Jane Chin)
  • Do not underestimate the power of social rituals. Always saying no to after-work drinks shouldn’t affect your career, but it probably will. (Jane Chin)
  • Talk openly about your failures. People will respect and trust you if they see that you’re taking risks and aren’t ashamed to learn from them. (Mira Zaslove)
  • Give (deserved) praise to your coworkers. It makes you both look good. Even (or especially) if they did something better than you. (Satvik Beri, Data Scientist)
  • Ask your boss what their biggest problem is and make it go away. That’s the quickest way to prove your importance. (Virginia Backaitis)
  • Your main goal at work should be to learn and contribute. Success and promotion will follow from there. (Laura Cooke)
  • Reviews only happen once or twice a year but appraisals happen every day. Assume that everything you do will have an effect on your raise and promotion opportunities. (Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Vice President at Piblicis Beehive)
  • You can learn a lot hanging out by the printer. (Anonymous)
  • The people you know who leave your current company are often more valuable to you than those still with your company. Those connections can lead you to new opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Make sure to stay in touch. (James Schek)
  • As an employee, you are essentially a small business of one. Your employer is the customer, and you must focus on how to increase your skills to be more desirable. (David Osborne, President & Founder at Simmetry Solutions)
  • Do everything you can to make your boss look good. They will remember this when it is time for a promotion or a raise. (Jim Fletcher)
  • Do NOT make enemies if you can avoid it. In the end, most industries are small industries. (Jeff Kesselman)
  • Never, ever cook fish in the office microwave. ‘Nuff said. (Ryan Harvey, Institutional Investment Consultant)

MOVING UP

  • You don’t get ahead by doing your job well—you get ahead by making new things happen that weren’t a part of your job description. (Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG)
  • Make sure people know when your work is successful. Sometimes higher ups only see things that work, not who made them work. Make sure to get credit where it’s due. (Satvik Beri)
  • When you get promoted, the majority of your work relationships are going to change. People that were comfortable with who you were will now test you. (Rohan Light)
  • Don’t look too busy. Sometimes people aren’t asked to do bigger, more important tasks if it takes them a long time to complete their basic work. (Mira Zaslove)
  • The way to get more responsibility is to build up trust with smaller things.(Anonymous)
  • If you need to get in favor with someone, ask for their advice.(Ankur Gupta)
  • …But don’t take too much advice. Too much advice, especially conflicting advice, will scare you from starting anything new or taking big risks. (Darren Beattie, Fitness Coach)
  • Attitude > aptitude (Anonymous)
  • The qualities that got you your first promotion won’t always be the ones to get your next one. At higher levels, employees are judged on their ability to deliver future value to the company in ways that are not taught or explained to them: most importantly, how much business are they are able to bring in. (Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG)
  • Don’t confuse wealth with success. Wealth means different things to different people, and it doesn’t mean someone is happy or content. (Christopher Moye, Attorney)
  • Ultimately, your career is largely a concept that exists in your mind. What you really have is a series of jobs, strung together, that form a story you are in charge of writing. (Blaine Lee Pardoe)
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