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12 Secret Tips to Help You Succeed at Work

Al Power

Okay, first off, they’re not secret, they’re generic. Also, maaaaan, writing this kind of article makes me feel old. Very old. I’m not old. Maybe I am old? Damn it. I’m old! How did that happen. One day you’re the new guy in the corner terrified to say anything, the next you’re that old guy in the corner writing a stupid, generic rant about what you’ve learned about work.

So here we go, this is it. 12 secret tips to help you succeed at work. I’ve already nearly lost interest in this article, but stay with me….

1. Be proactive

Pull your sleeves up early on. Get your hands dirty. Be that canary in the coal mine. Be helpful. Try to kickstart initiatives. If you see a quick win, grab it. If you see a gap in the market that you can exploit, grab it. If you see a way to shout about how great your team is, shout about it. Procrastination is the thief of time. Always be on the look out for something that will ignite ideas.

2. Be positive

Always try to be positive. Even if you don’t feel positive. Big up yourself, big up your team, big up your company. Smile. Pulling against others will only harm morale. Keeping your own morale high will rub off on others. Don’t literally rub off them, you’ll end up with an email from HR.

3. Learn from your mistakes

You’ll make mistakes along the way, that’s a certainty. You need to realise when you make a mistake, and then make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

4. Keep pushing

Always try to push yourself to gather more and more skills. Your mind will thank you for it, and so will your team. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Assess areas you can improve, then set goals. Stay determined. Stay passionate. Try to keep the fire burning as long as possible, but don’t burn yourself. That stings. Try to push others around you too: not literally, you’ll end up with an email from HR.

5. Be supportive

Especially for younger folks on your team. Don’t call yourself their mentor pur se, but try to help them, shield them when necessary. It can be a tough environment at times, so try ease them into things gradually. Then when that little bird is ready to fly, push them off that cliff and hope for their sake that they can fly by themselves. If not, move on and forget about them. It’s not your problem anymore. Find another little bird.

6. Choose your battles

Be careful which battles you fight. Sometimes you’ll just never win. Learn to read the room. Sometimes you’re best to suck it up and move on or you’ll just create a difficult working environment, and that’s not going to help anything moving forward. There are often Hippos in the room that are bigger and heavier than you. They will get their way no matter what is said. You have to be realistic at times.

7. Stop thinking your work is important

Yes, you may be passionate about it, and it’s something you put your life and soul into, but in the grander scheme of things, it’s just a job. Get your priorities right. Work to live, don’t live to work. Bertrand Russell once said "One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important." Live by that.

8. If you’re bored, leave

If you find yourself constantly bored at work, then leave. You’ve probably stopped learning, and growing, so it’s time to move somewhere that will get the best from you. You’re not adding any value if you’re stagnant. It’s not healthy for you or the company having you moping around and dragging your heels. Stay away from me if that’s the case.

9. Be patient

This may go against the last point, but be willing to wait (but not too long). Things can take time, and if you’re patient enough, and keep your head held high and do what you’re good at, you’ll reap the rewards. Unless it’s apparent nothing is going to happen, then leave 😂.

10. Watch out for spoofers

Spoofers live among us. Be careful. Don’t get too close to these spoofers or people will think you’re spoofer. (Saying that, I think everyone’s a spoofer to some degree, just some are better at hiding it than others.)

11. Share often

Whenever you finish a project, shout about it. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet. Pat yourself on the back. Find avenues socially that you can post about it so as to get as many eyes on it as possible. Linkedin, Behance, Medium, Twitter, Instagram, Bebo. Wherever, but make sure you’ve spammed like you’ve never spammed before. Be proud of what you’ve done. Within reason of course.

12. Don’t waste time

Too late for this one. You’ve spent the last 5 minutes reading this crap. Did you not learn anything from the first point I made?

So there you go. My 12 Tips about work that something something. I can’t remember the whole title. Let me know what you think. Or don’t. I’ve given up caring. Maybe that could be another point. Stop caring so much. I’m too lazy to change anything.

Finally, if you really want to succeed at work, use Shortcut. Go ahead and start your free trial.

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