Work smart – how to succeed at a great company

I sucked at my first job. It was 1992 and I had just been hired during a recession at Metropolitan Bank. Barely out of training, my boss Michael called me into his office and explained that my coworker Jean had blamed me for missing her deadline.

What I learned working for Michael and in the last 15 years hiring and managing my own team will help you work smart to avoid career-ending mistakes and help you succeed at a great company where the standards are high. Below, I share how you can be better than 95% of your teammates and get consistently promoted.

I just got promoted cartoonBack at the bank, when Michael reviewed my work he couldn’t tell if I had screwed up or not because my documentation was weak and unorganized. Even if I was a little humiliated to be put on probation just a couple months after starting my first permanent job, Michael turned out to be an awesome boss. What he wanted was simple and correct. He just wanted me to work smart.

It’s easy to suck at your job if you don’t know what your boss wants. Today, if you follow a lot of career experts, you’d think your boss wants you to ‘brand’ yourself. ‘Personal branding’ might be hot now, but we don’t want it. It’s a lot of crap. We crave honesty and sincerity. You’re not a corporation or a cow.

Creating a brand image or personality for yourself is empty marketing – a CYA policy that gets in the way of doing real work. Work smart and everything you do builds trust and value – you won’t need a CYA policy because you’ll always be in demand.

knowing what your boss wantsIronically, your boss doesn’t want to take time to teach you what working smart means. In fact, most bosses would have difficulty listing 20 specific teachable ways to ‘work smart’. Most will say it’s an inherent talent you’ve either have or don’t. I don’t buy it. Below you’ll find 20 ways to earn your boss’s respect and admiration for your work. So, decide for yourself if ‘working smart’ can be learned or not.

It’s not about becoming your boss’s pet. Ultimately, working smart is a step on the path to finding satisfaction in your work. Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work. The problem with sucking at your job is that it gives you very little power to make changes.

would you like a new boss?You need some leverage to get flexibility in your career — that might mean money in the bank (also called f*ck-you money) or a good relationship with your boss and previous bosses (for references). You can get all those things by working smart. You can also quit your job and start a business (if you do, your boss is now the customer and all the lessons below still apply). This is about being effective, nothing else – about becoming a diamond in the eyes of your boss.

If you’re in a job search and want to work at a great company, the rules are the same. The only difference is that everything you write and say will be scrutinized more closely for clues as to how you will perform on the job. If you suck in the job search, we know you will suck on the job. Want to get it right? Use “The complete job search guide – how to land a job at a great company“.

The stakes are high. Twenty years ago when I was starting my career, the difference between being average and working smart was the difference between a good career and a great career. That was before the Internet. Today, working smart can make the difference between having a career and having nothing. Your competition is radically tougher today — game on!

a raise and a promotion?Your thoughts become actions so choose the advice you take to heart wisely. There’s a career expert on every corner today. Most have not built companies as I have. Most have something to sell you; I don’t. These lessons exist because I love to teach and write. OK… I also hope you’ll share these pages with your friends and use our job search engine.

You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and still suck at your job. They don’t teach you how to work smart at school. If you do have a fancy degree, expectations on you will be sky-high. If you don’t deliver the goods, your boss is going to think you’re overpriced and may just let you go. On the other hand, put these lessons into practice and you’ll carve your name on the world without an Ivy League degree or even without any degree at all.



1. Don’t suck at e-mail
2. Don’t suck at instant messaging
3. Want to be taken seriously? Do this.
4. Know the shortest path to succeeding in your job?
5. 2 habits that show you are trustworthy and mature
6. Is your attitude subtly toxic?
7. Don’t interrupt me
8. Don’t make me interrupt you
9. Be precise, be specific and be blunt
10. Fail to do this and you may get fired

Above and beyond: Tame your ego


1. Got ‘the ace factor’?
2. Never do this
3. How to handle your mistakes like a pro
4. 10 ways to improve your emotional intelligence
5. Are you blocking conversation (when you think you’re listening)?


1. Perform like a surgeon
2. What your boss doesn’t want to tell you (and you need to know)
3. Stop whining – take ownership
4. Show up ready for battle
5. Know yourself and follow your bliss


  1. Rules are meant for breaking, but master them first and then break them.
  2. My team knows I don’t always lead by example. I’m better at some of these than others. Especially where I’m weak, I like to see corresponding strengths in my team.
  3. Like any good boss, I hope to hire above me – to hire a team that’s smarter and better than I am!

Get the ebook!

If you liked what you read here, and think you may want to refer back to this guide later, grab the e-book version for Kindle – we’re hoping you’ll thank us with a five-star review on Amazon if you found this material helpful. The ebook also includes our job search guide.



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  • I never really had a “real” job until my junior year in high school. The Lakewood Meridian Retirement Living was where I was accepted to my very first job. There was a restaurant inside of the Retirement home and I was a server there. I had absolutely no experience and didn’t know what I was doing. The first day my boss had showed me around and gave me an overall summary of what was expected. I felt really good about this job, but I was still very new. The next day I showed up five minutes early and just stood around while every employee around me was busy at work. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do so I waited for someone to tell me what I needed to do. Whoa, now that was a big mistake. My boss came up to me and asked me why I was just standing there; I replied “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.” He snapped back at me and said that he could not hold my hand and that if I want to be successful and keep my job that I better come in tomorrow without being told what to do and just find something to do. Boy did I learn my lesson. The very next day I jumped right onto cleaning and cutting vegetables. My boss was much happier and I was even more so that I got a second chance. I think that we all need certain experiences to overcome in our lives in order to learn how to ‘work smart’ and really become successful in our work. This experience definitely made me more conscientious of being a smart worker.

  • I believe that it is crucial to respect boundaries in the workplace, yet it is essential to determine the roles which each associates fulfills in order to have a perfect symbiosis amongst colleagues and management, alike. An employee who shows initiative and motivation is more prone to making decisions without the continuous supervision of her boss.

  • Working smart is pretty much the best thing you can do at work to keep your boss happy, for me working smart is to achieve your roles at work and think outside the box to do that extra that is going to make your boss trust you, and if you can manage to align your job and who you really are, you will be the happiest and most successful man ever at your job.

  • I completely agree with the idea that you must first master rules and then break them. I was employed at Starbucks during two years of high school and if I had not been trained properly and had not first followed each guideline, I would have not had a foundation on which to build my skills in dealing with customers, product, and coworkers. As my learning progressed however, it became apparent that not every rule needed to stay in place in order to function. In order to go above and beyond what my boss expected, I had to break the occasional rule that I had already learned was unnecessary. I also completely agree that taking responsibility is completely essential, because it shows maturity and is very impressive. 

  • I agree that working smart is a step on the path to finding satisfaction in your work. You have to focus on yourself and find happiness in your work. When you first get the job it is hard to get the ropes right away. I am a Skating Instructor and a Swim Instructor. At frist i didnt really know what i was doing but eventually you learn how to work smart. I made goals for myself and made a note of what i had to get better at for my next lesson. It is also important to have a good relationship with your boss. If you have a good relationship with them, they may be more willing to give you vacation time and even be a good reference.

  • I believe that a person should be able to understand the proper reactions to each situation in the work place. The intelligence that differs from everyday situations and the appropriate reaction for situations that happen in a work place must have different boundaries and rules. Work is a serious place that defines your future, yet, understanding what is appropriate is the key to having a successful future. Situations can arise from any tiny action and understanding that at work, your coworkers are also part of the solution and should be considered in these situations.

  • I know I can not always lead by example but to have a team that is better in your weaknesses is the greatest feeling ever. It shows team work and how responsible you are with your work. I once worked on a eassy and could not find the right words to say, my team mate helped me out. The next day that same team member asked me for help on her math homework. I was more than happy to help her. I had a weakness and so did she.

  • We hear it all the time…work smarter not harder.  With today’s global economy, the division of work and home life is less defined.  In the article, Don’t Suck at Your Job”, the author lists required skills and certain skill levels.  Blunt recommendations are suggested on Social life in the work environment.  Recognizing when to react and how can mean the difference in getting a promotion or not getting the chance to redeem yourself again…ever.  I especially like the portion that mentions breaking the rules and leading by example.  Leaders did not lead by conforming to their surroundings, and breaking the rules when it benefits more in the long run is called leadership. 

    Supervisors expect for subordinates to conform to the organization or to move on.  With the pace of the business world, subordinates have to stay abreast of changes and remain in touch with their supervisors’ needs so that business can continue to tranform and the employee can grow.  Sucking at Your Job can be as bad as not taking the time to learn what your employee is looking for and how you can contribute to the improvement or benefit of the country.

  • work is not just to make money to live. It gives you lessons in life, helps you grow up, and you learn a lot throughout your work experience. i think that you should do your job the way is expected of you meet the requirements and go out of your way to do something else for your job not only for your job and to show that you are a good worker but for yourself. Its not about becoming your bosses pet its about being the better you that you are.

  • It is important in the current job  market to have a plan for success. The first step in making a plan for your career is to think clearly and have precise ideas of what you want to achieve. The next step is to crystallize your thoughts into clearly defined  goals and milestones. It is easy to make progress in your career when you have a clear target and timeline. Once the plan has been constructed, the next step is to put it into action. Plans are a reflection of our future dreams and aspirations. it is necessary to put maximum efforts into executing your plan for success.

  • Tajuan:

    Although I went to a not so good public school, that didn’t prepare me for college, I’m still working hard and I finally made it to my senior year. Also, although you may have a degree, a lot of jobs are not promised.

  • Jasmine:
    I worked a cashier for a summer and one it became very busy. It was time for me to leave and get off work. And I was told by the personnel manger to never stay over time without being notified to do so. So I start to leave and my supervisor notice I was leaving and she stop me and fuss at me for leaving at the appointed time to leave. I learnt form this experience that you should always ask before doing something you are unsure about. And if your boss is to busy to answer your question ask a co-worker what have that done in a similar situation. The best thing to do is to know that you know all the rule before attempting something that may not be right.

  • It seems like I misunderstood what people would say from time to time, I decided to write down things that I think I heard and repeat them to be explained. I had applied for a position and I thought I was told I was not qualified so I did not apply. Later, I was asked why I did not apply and I told her that she told me that I was not qualified.

  • Cultivating a good sense of doubt is a keen way to ensure you will be prepared for all that can and will happen in your workplace. I found the section to be very helpful. Prior to returning to school, I worked in the event management field and it was very wise to have list of contingency plans, alternate workers, phone numbers, etc. The first time you benefit from “cultivating a good sense of doubt” you will be hooked.

  • I think we as humans are prone to make mistakes. But the real question is  how much of mistakes do we make? Are we repeat offenders or one time offenders. Working smart and studying smart go hand in hand. I have had the opportunity several times to incoroperate the two.In my studies i solve a lot of questions and answers instead of going head to head with my books at all times. This aids me to understand the material more. Secondly, i work in a warehouse where i do physical work but  am always adjusting and adding new techniques in orther to make my work easier and safer.

  • Re-evaluating and improving your people skills is very important if you want to be successful in the work industry. I have seen many people who had the knowledge on how to do the job but fail only because they were not able to communicate well with others. Whether it is showing lack of empathy, having a bad attitude or not acknowledging those around them.

  • The lesson in this article is very true. I had a history about picking jobs that didn’t make me happy. In result I didn’t reach my full potential. People forget also that its all about perspective. The way I changed my negative feelings for my job was making it positive. I saw being a secretary for a construction company as an essential role to the business. Then slowly I realized little tasks I had that if I had not completed them correctly will hurt the business greatly. Then soon enough I woke up happier and I was more interactive with my fellow employee’s. The idea is to use the “humanistic perspective.” We must change how we feel about ourselves and our jobs.

  • I have left a job for feeling under appreciated. Since then ambition drives my passion for any job that I take on. An internal position at my new job became open for a Mission Control Analyst. I fit the required skills and background to fill the new position so I expressed interest in the position to my supervisor. He signed the bid application for me and said “I wish you the best of luck and I don’t want to put you down but the hiring manager usually chooses people with managerial background.” I told him “that is okay, I am confident that I can have what I strive for.” Once again my skills are undervalued, possibly because I have simply a High School Diploma. 

  • As a young person in my teens I used to say that I did not want to work with people directly.  I used to say my job could be in an office in the corner with a phone and a desk and I would be fine.  People used to get on my nerve, so I said.  I did not realize that it had to do with my people skills.  As I grew up and continued to interact with people in life my attitude had to change.  I realized that I was being judgemental and not looking at my own self and ways.  What is amazing to me is the type of field I am in now.  I work in the non-profit field in a substance abuse program for women and children.  I was not looking for this job.  It is amazing because of the way I used to feel about working with people and I ended up in this field working with people who are usually considerd the worst and hardest to work with.  The ones that we say everyone has usually given up on.  I think it was God in all His infinite wisdom who got me in this field.  I have grown so much, and learned about myself and others.  My people skills have grown trememdously and I am continually reminded of myself.  I have to take a look at my behaviors and attitude constantly and I continue to grow.  I actually love the type of work I do, and the people I work with.  I could not have done better if I had actually planned to do this work.

  • This articule is very interesting and educating. I used to work in a doctors office where my boss who happens to be the doctors wife see me as more of a pet than a staff. She have no leadership or management skill and will not allow me to use my skill and experience in contributing to the practice. I provide feedback on what i do but she do not want any feedback and she failed to creat a sense of responsibility among the employees. At work the employees are sad when ever she is around. Finally i left the practice but i learned a lesson from her which is to never wast my time ,effort on a company that will not allow me an opportunity to grow and make a lasting remark

  • The quote “Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work” from this article stood out to me ass soon as i read it. I believe that those wholove their job, and are thrilled to be there add most value to their positions. In a previous job, working as a sales floor rep at a retail store in a mall, I used to hate my job. i constanlty found myself looking for excuses and ways to work as little hours as possible. I consider myself a “people person”, I am very friendly and love working in an eviroment where I can help my customers/patients. while working at the mall, i realized that I was not happy to be there, and my mood reflected in my work. Instead of being thrilled about helping the customers find exactly what they need, I was focused on the time, and when will i be able to leave. I then realized that i needed to find a job that was going to let me help as many people as I could with the greatest pleasure. I began working as a dental assistant, and ever since then i have been able to provide my patients with education for their oral hygiene and help prevent dental caries. I know that i have been making a difference in my patients because they never forget to tell me how much of a help I have been.

  • I have worked very little time for other companies and don’t have a lot of experince for working under someone, but if I did work I had not the greatest experience with company management. I felt that my skills were underestimated and my knowledge was not appreciated by employees and more importantly boss/owner. This is the reason I never like to work for someone and want to have my own business so I don’t have to deal with a boss or someone bossing me around. I have had my own child care business for more then 12 years and had teachers helping me in my business. I think as a manager or owner it is important to see others prospective as well as yours while operating in the daily operations. That same concept applies to any situation in life wether it is a family, or business relation, understand other point of view and being fair and treat others the way you want be treated.

  • I have been at my job for over 4 years now. Currently I am looking for another job due to things such as my salary and some other things. As I go through the processes of applying for jobs, I have to sometimes ask myself, “Am I thinking this clearly”? I apply to some of the jobs thinking that I am qualified to do what is asked and if not I am willing to go learn if needed, but with that said sometimes I am not what they are looking for. When that happens, I don’t think that it is the end of the world, I look at it as there is something better out there for me. When someone is looking for employment, the stakes are high because the job market is tough now.

  • 9. Be precise, Be specific, and be clear is a very valuable lesson to learn not only in life, but for the workplace as well. If you make yourself known, your intentions with the company, and express yourself clearly, I guarentee you that your bosses will admire and respect that fact about you and your job will be much more pleasant to work at.

  • “they don’t teach you how to work smart at school” that quote is very true. School is the foundation for a career but it does guarantee employment nor success once employed. Their are many lessons that school doesn’t teach you, thats why you live and you learn.

  • “they don’t teach you how to work smart at school” that quote is very true. School is the foundation for a career but it does guarantee employment nor success once employed. Their are many lessons that school doesn’t teach you, thats why you live and you learn.

  • “they don’t teach you how to work smart at school” that quote is very true. School is the foundation for a career but it does guarantee employment nor success once employed. Their are many lessons that school doesn’t teach you, thats why you live and you learn.

  • “They don’t teach you work smart in school” is a quote i agree with. In school they teach you the material but do not teach you how to carry yourself in the parameters of a job. School doesn’t guarantee anything in this world, it just shows you have the knowledge to be successful.

  • “take notes” I have learned that if I even right down the simplyist note on what needs to be done it will help me create a plan or action to get the job done right the first time and not have to do it over again.

  • “Come to work charged up and combat ready,” I totally agree for all the employee should practice. I’ve seen alot of people bring issue and drama from home or from somewhere else. They come to work weak and tired, not prepare. So, less effective, low efficient job have occured

  • The stakes are high! Each and every single day I have to work my hardest to ensure my personal success. Every class that you take is essentially a competition with those around you fighting for a high GPA. You have to be constantly focused and ready to dedicate yourself to any challenges that may come your way.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I work 50+ hours and maintain a high GPA, plus I have kids as well. I think of school as one of my biggest challenages with the greatest rewards. I believe if you treat it like that you will succeed in all things.

      • I have to agree with you also. I work over 40+ hours per week and maintain an high GPA in my Graduate school program. Besides God, my family, and my work  my next biggest priority is finishing my program to receive my master’s degree. It is very important to give all of life’s endeavors you 100% effort and it will pay off in the future and be rewarding.

      • I think of school as it is my biggest challenage. Its so hard for me, im a single parent and i have to work hard to provide for me and my family and it seems as so much wait on me, but I believe that i if work hard i will succeed in all things. In the end the rewards will be great. 

  • Working hard and gaining experience is the ultimate challenge. It can be hard and frusterating at times, but doing your very best everyday will pay off! Stick with your career choice, expecially if it’s what you truly want to do. You hard work and dedication will come back to reward you!

  • Be Careful who you take advice from. People will tell you to do the wrong thing, and watch you fall on your face. Use your common sense and your five senses.

  • The stakes are high: Not only do most jobs require a college degree but also with the economy making less jobs the stakes are very high. Choosing a field with many job opprotunities is key. Since the stakes are high, you have to put in your 100% effort to meet your goals and succeed.

  • Eighteen years of marriage has taught me many things. One thing is that I did not know as much as I thought I did. When I got married I thought I knew what it was to be in a relationship. Also I thought I knew what type of person I was. I have come to realize that I can be a very selfish person. Listening has been a challenge for me because I would find myself always wanting to get the last word or talk until I got my point across, regardless of his feelings or what he needed to say. Even on the rare occassion he got to say something, I would be thinking about what I was going to say next.
    However, through out the years, I began to see how this was affecting my husband, and it starting bothering me. So I began to read more about effective communication and about love languages, because I truly loved my husbands and wanted him to feel valued and appreciated. A lot of what I read, said the same things as this article so I know I am on the right track.

    Tammie Smith

  • “Stop whining and take ownership”  I refused to whine about my own mistakes.  I am working hard to earn my bachelors and if I locate the funds to complete my degree I am going to proudly do so.  In the past I have always choosen the easy way out an completed short-term programs trying to earn a living fast to provided for my family.  My actions and mistakes caused my to operate this way.  I had a family at an early age and this cause me to work hard on getting some skills to help me earn a living as soon as I could.  Taking advantage of short-term programs used alot of my financial aid and now I’m five classes from completion with not enough funds to complete.  I hold myself responsible for misusing my funds for programs that were not able to help me as I thought. At this point I must do what I have to do to find funds to complete the program of my choice in which is in very high demand in my area.

  • Post secondary Education is possible. I put off attending grad school because I thought, I was just too busy with ‘life’. I did not know there was so much support to help get me through a MBA program. Financial aid, career counselors and flexible class schedules help make it tangible – POSSIBLE!!

  • Everything happens for a reason. It is up to the individual to take the mistakes and learn from it. In order to see success you must first walk down that jagged road. Your mistakes is what will better you in many ways. It is never too hard for you to move forward all you need is the motivation and the dedication to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Reach for the stars and make your dreams become a reality.

    • I could not have agreed more. Things does happen for a reason. I have been unemployed for a year now and could never understand why it was so hard for me to obtain a job. I felt like a failure because I have four children and struggling. I was in school doing well and anticipating for the day I would graduate and put myself in a better position. I have graduated and started a new path but I am in the same position. What I have learned is that this crooked path I am on is going to make the outcome better once I reach the end of this path. I have kept faith and kept pressing forward to reach my goal with out any looking back on what was or should have been. Life is what you make of it and I chose to reach beyond my stars.

  • I live in Virginia with my family. Currently I am teaching students with behavior problem which is a challenging job. I have 29 years teaching experience in both general and special education settings. I am highly
    motivated individual, who by virtue of my work ethics always bring the best out of people around me. I have often been searching for better ways to do things. I am diligent, patient, and loving teacher who get along with all types of people. I display a sense of good leadership skills through the help of my colleagues. My professional goal is to become a professor in one of the renowned colleges in the world.

  • From my work experience most employers really just want a person that can do the job. Some jobs have told me I was over qualified.

  • accepting responsibility for your mistake, by doing that we learn from our mistakes and get better next time making sure the same mistake does not repeat it self.

  • The choice is yours!  You can choose to between not working at all, hardly working, working hard, or working smart!  I made the choice a long time ago to work smart.  With a formal education, you can put your best foot forward and actually be able to intelligently explain your actions and the methodologies behind them.

  • Working smart means knowing one’s job and what is expected.  Taking pride in one’s work means, that the person genuinely cares about what they do and they have the attitude that the quality of work  is a reflection of their personality.  I work with kids all day long in a high school.  Teenagers need someone who they can trust, who is there when they need a listening ear.  They also need stability and routine.  That is what I provide where I work.  This is also why I am choosing teaching as a profession because I am passionate about education and value the future these students have for themselves.

  • Working smart is knowing your job.  I believe knowing your job comes with a lot of commitment to learn about your job.  that is why I chose to go back to school to understand as much as there is to understand so that I can work smart.  I also believe that if you know your job then you can easily get a good job.  if you can not prove at the interview that you know your job, you may not be able to get the job.

  • “It’s not about becoming your boss’s pet.” I believe finding satisfaction in your work is extremely important. Amtching up what you do with who you are is the only way in my opinion to work throughout you life and actually enjoy your job. Every individual is different and your choice of what direction to take your life in is soley up to you. You are going to be working the rest of your life and I’d rather do a job im matched up with personally.

  • The author stated “Back at the bank when Michael reviewed my work he couldn’t tell if I had screwed up or not because my documentation was weak and unorganized.” What I have learned through my experience is that correct documentation is essential. In this world where most of our work is completed through a computer it is easy to track who has done what. It is important to take credit for what you have done and to correctly complete your work. It is also good to make sure you are effectively communicating your point.

  • accept responsibility for your actions. This is a true statement, I believe that you really learn and do better when you accept responsibility. It takes a big mature person to own up. Everyday we make mistakes, we should take responsibility.

  •  Ironically, your boss doesn’t want to take time to teach you what working smart means.When I got hired from my current employer I demonstrated readiness and the skills for what the position demanded. During my interview I mentioned that I felt confident and willing to take any challenge in order to fulfill the job. I knew that I had the experience and knowledge to take anything down. A few weeks in the job I realized that I had been pushed into the woods and had to learn an array of skills on my own. My boss til the day doesn’t take the time to show me how to do things and simply expects less from me since I have failed a few tasks and simply have to put up with his frustration even after I ask for instructions. 

  • Working smarter is key.  It makes for an efficient worker.  Develop a system that works for you which will give you the results your boss wants in a timely manner. 

  • As an owner of a small and new business it is very important for me to balance my life out between work, school, and day to day life.  Exercise is a very important factor for me and it helps me keep my cool from day to day.  As an owner or as an employee I still face the same dilemnas as any one else but with the added pressure of needing to perform in order to have a successful business. 

  • Stakes are High! Most of all jobs require a degree and if they do not, they will hire someone over you that has one. You truly never know if tomorrow could be your last day at work, so I work my hardest everyday, never treat everyday the same, and success and happiness will come at a much easier risk.

  • I’m a stay at home mom stopped working since 2006. My husband was out of work for three years and we was trying to find all kind of ways to make money for our children that God Blessed us with trying to open a cafe to better mine and my families life with God on our side.  But with all the mistakes that we did we have learned from it and we trying to reach to the top of that mountain and better it.  Now that I entered in Online Classes I know now that I will reach that mountain.  God will be on our side and make that victory come true for me and my family.

  • Know youreself and follow your bliss: I have had the same type of job since I was eighteen years old. I am now almost thirty years old. I have worked for many different companies in this time. I have finally decided that I love what I do for a living and could not possibly do anything else and still be happy. I protect and serve people every day. There is nothing more blissfull than that feeling of completion. Well, after some time I started feeling empty again. I decided it was time to enroll in college and further my education and possibly even gain advancement in my job industry. I am now a full time student, father of two, husband, and friend. I am happy!

  • The Stakes are high: Its not always about the money and what position you hold in your job, sometimes its about doing the job well and proving yourself. Being a female going into the criminal justice world its hard to always ahve to prove yourself and show the males you can do it too and just as good. Since the stakes are high you have to make sure you are at top of your game and that you know your job just as well as the next guy. Also make sure you not only talk the talk but you have to be able to walk the walk as well.

  • The stakes are high! An unexpected lay off and being unemployed for 18 plus months, trying to re-enter the work force with no degree was extremely hard. The problem I incurred was that I had many years of experience in my field, however, I did not have a degree to back me up. Now I am pressing towards the mark of obtaining a degree, working full time and raising a family. Once before all you needed was either or, now a combination of both is required.

  • I like the idea of surrounding yourself with people that are smarter and better than you. In today’s cutthroat market, it can backfire when subordinates try to usurp you, but in general, it is a good practice because it allows you to delegate and shine at your core competencies.

  • To be successful in all aspects
    of your life, one needs to know that learning is never over. Once you get a degree
    it is just the beginning on what will still be expected of you once you get
    into a career. The learning never stops and you have to take matters into your
    own hands to make sure that if the career you want is that important than one
    will do what it takes to be successful in that career even if doing things on one’s
    own time to learn all there is about the job.

  • I chose my major based on the likings of business, technology and computers. Never knew I would end up choosing it, as life has taken me into twists and turns, I have learned that its best I do something that provides happiness. Happiness for me is completing projects & challenges while being in a business setting, around computers and making a good pay. The money isn’t the joy, its just a bonus. The real joy comes from accomplishing the tasks of being a father, husband, student, business partner, musician,. caretaker, lover and friend. Yes with all that I have going on I am a very busy man, but determination allows me to succeed and not give up. Puts me in the driver seat of success, and tells me that the world is much bigger than a block in this small city. Sky’s the limit in my world. I have been through many struggles including an arrest that was meant for a person who is in jail now. Yes they let me go , because the guy who committed a terrible crime showed his ugly face again and was matched up to the system. Its an ugly world, but we can’t let life’s changes take us for a loop, we have to keep pushing it to the max until the wheels fall off. Love Life & Happiness, What’s life worth if your not happy, fight for it!! Ray E.

  • When I worked at KFC/Taco Bell they did look for one to work smart. I remeber when I first got there it seemed that my boss just wanted to pick one me, but he wanted to teach me lessons. I learned as time went by even though I made mistakes and was punished I learned how to improve my skills. I had a great boss and really enjoy the time we worked together.

  • I believe that it we as individuals determine how much we can achieve and how successful we will be.  I challenge myself to continue to get out of my comfort zone and have more opportunties therefore i chose to continue  my education which will help reward both myself and my family.

  • I have to agree with every one i work 40 plus hour weeks, im a single parent and still manage to keep over a 3.0 gpa. school is the best thing that has happend to me it keeps me level headed and the rewards will be great when i graduate.

  • This was a great article. I have learned to work smart in the past few years. Everything i do at my current job i analyze to learn how i can do it better. My boss has been my tutor for the past 4 years, teaching me almost everything she knows about accounting and this is why i decided to go to school to earn my degree in accounting, to also have the education as well as the knowledge. I agree very much with the comment Eric made in regards to the college you attend. I don’t believe you have to go to a well known fancy college to be good at your field. Experience and the type of focus and importance you put into your job is worth more than a name. These great article will help me continue bettering my work ethics. 

  • It is very important to take into consideration the source of career advice that you take to heart. Bad advice can have as much of an impact on your career as good advice. This is easier said than done. Like the article mentioned, everywhere you turn there is a so called ‘career expert’. Be aware and conscious of the advice this ‘experts’ provide. 

  • The article was very informative. Most of jobs I have worked as administrative asistant with many staffing agency. I understand more now why they are so detailed when looking for clients who would fit certain job positions. It is hard and you need the skills and knowledge to complete the requirements of the assignments in order to complete the job correctly. The economy is hard right now and getting feed back from your job or manager really matters so that you can possibly get at advance in a great company. I really enjoyed reading the information

  • Every bit of your post makes very good sense to me. Confidence is great but Ego can bring you down in the bosses eye. Remember that the bosses look for team players and not those only out for themselves too. 

    You have many good points that you have shared in your post I will use these helpful tips in the future guaranteed. Employers are not looking for weaker people to push around nor are they wanting to hire people that cannot perform their duties. Showing confidence and abilities are very important and the more confident you are in yourself the more confident the employer will be in you also.

  • Having a degree has helped me greatly in my current job, it’s nice when people come to you for help on things that I see as “no big deal”. My dream was to move to a bigger better company than where I’m currently at or even a higher position; sad thing is that, only a couple of months of graduating it seems like I’ll still be stuck in the same position. Being a single parent, working full time and taking care of a family I need all the stability that I can, and for the time being this company seems to be the only one that can pay enough to just cover expenses. 
    I smiled when you talked about how nice it would be to have enough money to just be able to leave your current company and start over somewhere else or even start a business, I have thought of that SO many times! Unfortunately, with the economy being like it is all I can do is keep on pushing forward, better myself, and look for new opportunities… well that or win the lottery (just kidding).
    Lately I’ve involved myself in Sales Seminars (I work in sales), and just motivational seminars that have proved to be helpful and have given me insight on my actions/reactions as well as the actions/reactions of others, it definitely  helps knowing how and why people react the way they do and even helps to find certain patterns in their reactions, this is extremely helpful when predicting what your boss wants/expects from you.
    The article was informative and very beneficial a “must save for future reference” definitely!

  • I completely sucked at my first job. I had no real world experience draw from, not even volunteer work. I had no idea what kind of behavior was expectedf rom me. I do not know if i needed to be seriously responsible or if they expected some mistakes becasue I was young and it was my first job. Either way I gues knowing would not have helped too much. I was young and care free. I wanted to work to establsih a sense of responsibilty, but only when i had no where fun to go! then it became an inconveninece. long story short i had to grow up and get some experience before i became a valuable employee.

  • Selecting a career path because you love it workin in that field makes a difference in how committed and determined you are in completing your tasks. If you made a career choice based on salary well you will be less driven and devoted to the job because it is just a check.

  • Every day becomes more difficult because the quality of competition and the minimal number of opportunities lessen.  The reality that sets in is that there are thousands of other individuals with similar qualifications.  Therefore, drive and determination meet the height of high stakes.

  • The most profound point in this article is the claim that “working smart is a step on the path to finding satisfaction in your work.” I have been challenged by many mentors to find a future career in which “You do not have to work a day in your life.” This comment suggests that if every person can align their talents, purpose or calling with the work they do everyday, the concept of “work” will lose its negative connotations. Along the same lines, individuals who find purpose in their work exemplify how “working smart” becomes second nature. When our passions and interests coincide with what we are doing throughout the day, we inevitably perform the best. So, my challenge would be that working smart boils down to discovering the true value to the work we do. It may seem empty or purposeless, but this is a result of our attitude towards work. Maybe the claim is also reversible: “finding satisfaction in work is a step on the path to working smart.” Either way, satisfaction and “working smart” appear to be inextricable. Every job will not match up perfectly with our life’s calling; but it benefits us to remember that each position is essential to getting us where we want to be. With this perspective as a driving factor behind our work, the only outcome will be “working smart.”

  • I can honestly say that i personally have experienced what this article talks about. I believee i have a great work ethic, strive to work smart and give my boss what they need…a teamplayer. Completing my masters program will aid me with those high stakes. Not just in the workforce, but directly within my current place of employment.

  • The stakes are high: One thing that I and my classmates have talked about was that now a days jobs sometimes choose a person with years of experience rather than with the person with the degree with no experience. Rather than having to take the training time and money to teach someone with no experience. They figure its better with someone with experience because you can just throw them in there and begin the work! So it kind of makes you wonder is it even worth it in this society?

  • Your boss does not want to teach you how to work smart: a few years ago I worked at a firm where I was given only a day and a half training. The work volume and expectations were high because everything revolved around deadlines. I had to learn very quickly how to work smart and efficiently.

  • I chose to do teacher leadership as my major because I wanted to further my knowledge in education as a leader in some capacity but not necessarily as an administrator.  This major will enable me to become more of a school leader through my various roles and activities in my school and district.  The major obstacles I have to face in graduating with this degree is to explain to my colleagues what it is and what it encompasses because it is fairly new.  Most educators extend their knowledge in a subject area or clarified position such as in special education, guidance counseling, or administration.  This degree is somewhat between teacher and administration in which I feel can equip me with the knowledge to become a department chair at my school or a program specialist in my district board of education.  I am a special education teacher but wanted to study outside those realms to identify how to make effective change in all school settings through research and analysis.  Other obstacle that I face are just to live as a working adult with a family while going to school in which I have to manage my time wisely to accomplish all goals both professionally and personally.  Going to school is a high achievement for me on a personal level since I have lost both parents at age 14 and had to carry on the high standards that my mother in particular had set for me through her example and encouragement.  I ultimately am trying to instill those same values of motivation in my students despite any challenges in life they may face.  I feel educating students on different levels of life such as curriculum and motivation can empower them to realize their own potential especially in high school as they transition to adulthood with so many uncertainties.

  • I am in school with the intentions of creating and owning my own business when I graduate. The reasons for this coincide with the third important note at the bottom of this article. Most of the jobs around the area I live in do not like to hire people that are smarter or better then them. They prefer to rely on who brown noses the most. This is an action that I am not very good at doing. Working smart is unheard of in many companies around here. That is why I am striving to to create better opportunities for this community and the many people that I care for that live in it.

    •  I have been thinking about doing the same thing when I graduate. But first I also want to get my masters I think in web design on top of business management and accounting degree. I find that doing this will help me get a good grasp on starting my own business with having all three of these degrees and make my life more manageable since I am a single mom. I already have 7 years of management from where I work now and it is making things easier for me the further my education is getting.

  • Communication skills are THE kKEY. as the story relates-don’t suck at email. This lesson extends to all interpersonal communication in the work environment. Learn how to effectively deliver “bad news” as well as good news. Always communicate with your supervisor efficiently. In other words don’t load him/her with problems that you can solve yourself and keep your communications simple and clear.

  • I feel that becoming successful in a job is demonstrating that you can stand on your own two feet without always having to depend on your boss for answers. When I first started my job as Camp Director/Extended Care Coordinator a few months ago the Principal told me when I got hired what she expects from my position. I was not guided in any way on how to go about my job as this position was just created for me, the Principal just shared her ideas on what she was expecting on my first day…after that I seemed to be on my own. So I took the initiative to write up all my plans and went into her office and told her “This is the plan that I have come with addressing all of your ideas”. Her response after reviewing all my plans was simply “Prefect”…nothing else was said. So I started implementing my plans. Upon my probationary review I was reviewed as an exceptional employee. I took the initiative to deliver the intentions of my position, I made solid decisions based on the needs of the school and the students, I ran the program smoothly that it did not require interventions from the Principal. My job was created to reduce less stress on the Principal, to take some responsibilities away from her so she would not have to worry about all the little details. Through my actions during my probation I gained the confidence of my boss that I was competent to be in the position that she had created for me. I keep her informed every so often about what my plans are and what’s been happening, I manage the programs successfully,  I can work independantly on program development, and I can manage a cohesive team to carry out the school’s mission. 

  • I believe that the main thing purpose of getting a degree is to become successful in life, as the article said, they don’t teach you to work smarter in school. It depends on the individual and how he/she arranges ideas to work smarter not harder. Communication Skills are basic to be successful but also to know what you need to do and how to do in in the most efficient and simple way to get the message through. I am a full time student and also work full time, if I don’t take one day of the week to think about all the things that are coming up the next week I would never be able to accomplish half of the things that are due for my classes or meet with my respective appointments. Organization is key to be successful, of course with time we get more and more experience and we start doing things different because we learn of the mistakes we made in the past.

  • This article was very useful to see how the expectations fo rmy first job will be. Now, I know that sometime we do not receive a lot of information what we supposse to do but we have to be with a clear mind understansing the environment we are in and the needs that are present. To be a team player and to complement each other in the weak points can be helpful too.
    As I learned oragnization skills, people skills and practical problem solving can be a great difference i your performance. 

  • You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton or Yale and still suck at your job: You can be book smart, but still lack common sense and be unable to follow directions. My husband works for a man who is very book smart. This man spent many years going to college and thinks he knows everything. We will call this man Mr. H. Mr. H’s father owns the hotel where my husband works. The father had told my husband that he loves his son and he is very book smart, but he lacks common sense. The father left the hotel and allowed his son to manage it. Mr. H thinking he knows all, has told a man that works there that has had 20 years experience in what he does, how to do his job and the advice he gave was completely wrong. A person who does finance should not tell a man who has done nothing but construction all his life how to fix something and it must be done that way or the man will lose his job for not following orders. Mr. H takes things from the job to give to his family, when as a boss he should know you should not do these things. There are times when experience is more beneficial than education. Lacking common sense can sometimes make you suck at your job! I know that this is not the first time that Mr. H has ran this hotel, his father left it in his care once before and he almost destroyed the company financially. The father took over for about two years until he thought Mr.H could do it again. Mr. H has been running the company now for about one year and he has whined to his employees how the company is not making any profit and cut hours of those that were needed the most. I don’t think Mr. H knows the first thing about running a company and I would say that even with all of his book smarts he still sucks at his job! 

  • This article was very helpful and now i can have a sense of what it will be like  when i get hired for my first job. this can help me get noticed in the real world, so that i wont be a mindless drone who becomes a “yes man” and can’t think for himself. One of the tips that really stood out to me was to say no to your boss. I believe this can come in handy because if I was a boss i wouldn’t want all my employees to just be saying yes all the time, i want to hear some input from them as well. These are tips we can use.

    One must not only be a genius and get a great education that will lead to great opportunities in the future, but one must also be a humble person with very high expectations and shoot for a bigger goal that will allow one to become a better professional and become a great leader for a family and be a good example for the future generation.

  • It is rather difficult to be both the honest and sincere person that boss’ look for, and that natural born leader with the intent of doing the greatest they can for a company. However, if one can put these two together, which I’m trying, you can only succeed from there on. As a student still in college I have a lot to learn and look forward to, and it’s good to know that you might just “suck” at things sometimes. Nothing should stop us from continuing towards our goals, though.

  • You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and still suck at your job: I’m only a sophomore at Georgetown, but I can definitely see how this would translate. Just looking around at fellow students in class, I can see a lot of kids who are completely brilliant but lack the skills described in this article. Georgetown strives to develop our minds and soul, but being in the business school I see a lot of students who couldn’t care less about being a good person who can actually do the work set in front of them. I’d like to think that bosses can see through the pomp and circumstance of a fancy degree and reward employees that truly “work smart.”

  • Be real in your job.  Exercise humility, resourcefulness, a learning attitude, and critical-thinking.  Know what you are doing and do your best.  Being successful does not matter to me.  I want to be effective; make a differnce in my realm of influence.  These few things have worked for me and allowed me to grow from the school receptionist to the business administrator.

  • I think it is important to make sure no matter what job you land that you take it serious and make the most of it. It will lead you to the next best things as far as a bettter jb and will help you learn and earn experience along the way. I have had a fewjobs in the past that i did not like at all and the way i got through it was putting in my best effort nd looking for a new job but i learned alot for each job to get me to where i am today.

  • People should stay themselves and always tell the truth in each and every situation.  Straight forward and assembly your thoughts in the more logical way according to time and priority.

  • There was once a time in my life that I was working as a single mother with two jobs. I was alone and depressed because I wanted so much more for my children. I woke up one day and just like that realized what I needed to do. Even though there where many people that doubted my ability to handle the stress, college was the anwser. 4 years later I have three classes left and am starting to get myself in a post for a good job. I know I have been a good example for my children who are also doing great in their studies. Life gives you lemons make lemonade.

  • I sucked at my first job, I was only a freshman in high school and got a job at a medical billing office. I was at a time in my life were I was just looking for a job to get money and wasn’t concerned with the context of my job. It wasn’t more than a week on the job when I realized I couldn’t sit in a cubicle filing paper. I would take regular breaks and find excitement in just walking around the office. It didn’t take long for my boss to catch on to this and I was fired within the first few months of getting the job…

  • I try to always find the “silver lining” at any job that I have worked at. One of the things that I’ve learned to be successful is to find your groove early in the day and it will make work more enjoyable. Being in a position that is “replaceable” made me work so that my boss felt that I wasn’t expendable. At my previous job, I felt that my company didn’t know which direction they were moving and every few weeks there were changes that I didn’t agree with, but being agile and accepting the changes really aided me when some of my co-workers were laid off. 

    • Gissle, I understand what you experienced with a company that wasn’t secure and wasn’t stable enough to know which direction they are in. Honestly, you have to love your job to live a happy life, because if you suffer day by day working at this company that doesn’t treat you right or just isn’t in your interest then you’ll be miserable because I recently just experienced that after 10 months of my parents telling me to leave the company, I finally listened.

  • Every day we learn things to prepare us for life.  Going back to school has been an opportunity for me to learn new skills to apply to my work experience.  Companies want the best and the brightest working for them and there are plenty of people with degrees.  It’s about finding a way to stand out in a positive way and to work hard.  

  • Working a a job and trying to maintain a 4.0 GPA is one of the harsdest obstacles a young person can face. However, I believe that with hard work and perseverance, you will be able to achieve all that you put your mind to. There are lots of people in the world that are willing to help. You just have to humble yourslef to ask for it.

  • “You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and still suck at your job.” I once heard someone say that if you have a degree that is all fine and dandy, but if you don’t know how to do your job, and complete simple tasks, the degree means nothing. I have learned that in order to succeed you need to love what you do, when you love what you do you will try your best to work smart, and soon it won’t be work anymore but a pass time. 

  • You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton,or Yale and still suck at your job- Just because you graduate from a top school does not necessarily mean you will be sucessful at your job when you start working after college. Many people automatically assume that just because they graduated from a top school or did good in college that they are going to be successful in life. If you do not have simple characteristics such as good communication skills, well mannered, being able to work with a group and independently, being punctual, and have a postive attitude you will not be successful in not only your job but in anything that you attempt no matter what college you graduated from.

  •   Working smart really is the best way to to succeed in a company and I truly wish that I have seen this blog before. I’ve learned from personal experience from my first job as an Internet site promoter that being a weak link can jeopardize the integrity of the company at which rate can render you out of a job.

      In my case, I was extremely inexperienced with the format of the company and started out slow. After a few scoldings from my boss I had picked up the pace but then stopped showing up for my shifts and ultimately got let off. The company I worked for was contracted by an even bigger company and I couldn’t help but blame myself for contributing to the climactic end of the company a week later after I had gotten fired. In the end, I pledged to smartly work for my proceeding jobs as I hope many of you may do.

  • Knowing what a hiring manager is looking for is one thing, but BEING that, is something else completely.

    Even though I have the stuff, (good education, good work ethic, diligence, etc.) I had to SHOW that I
    knew how to handle the job. Having a good attitude is a good start, but the boss wants to see sincerity from me, not just a face.

  • Working smart is not as easy as it sounds but trying hard will improve such skills. From my personal experience, everyday is a new day regardless of the mistakes made before and is never to late to become the best you can. Using these 20 ways to improve at your job or at least trying will benefit the company and the person who is working hard.

    I think that when you want to become something or be good at some things is possible as long as you try hard, put effort and be the best possible everyday.

  • I completely agree. I believe many people do not realize that what they do will stay with them for life. You need to take advantage of everyday, and make yourself one step better than your competitors. 

  • I am also a parent and student and it is tough.  I’ve managed to also work a couple of full-time co-ops and internships along the way because I also know the stakes are high.  Just like at school, excuses in a corporate environment is not the way to go.  I knew that no matter how tired I was, or what my responsibilities were at home, I still had to perform at my highest level.  I know that when my son reaches college age and I find myself looking for the right words to say to him to keep him motivated to do his best, I will not have to look far for the words to say.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

  • Working smart? Well I had a job about 6 months ago and it was pretty standard. I’m only 19 years old, so it’s nothing new that I happened to work at a fast food restaurant. My boss and I were really close actually, funny thing is he never really taught me what to do. I was forced to learn on my own through repeating the same job over and over again. I don’t consider that working smart.

  • “You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and still suck at your job.”  I think this is very true, but at the same time I think it takes passion, honesty, and determination to get ahead at work.

    I have worked in many different positions from customer service to serving at a restaurant, and I always seem to find that it is those that need the money and appreciate the opportunity to earn it that do the best and seem to work the hardest.

    As a college student that supports herself I feel that I go above and beyond at both of my jobs because I know that working is the only chance I have at completing college.


  • Working smart is a necessary worry of a “sucky job.” While the first job you take on may not be the ideal or dream job, it will be a starting point from which to spring off of. It will not only make things easier for you the worker but also for coworkers. I learned this working at a on campus catering service at Georgetown, as a part of the Students of Georgetown, Inc., the world’s largest entirely student run company. It had everything a college student would hate : a sporadic schedule changing every week, early morning hours that would seem ungodly after an all nighter in the library, weekend shifts, one person shifts and the worst part – RESPONSIBILITY (gasp). Yet, this job helped me to learn time management, how to evaluate the situation, problem solve and make necessary connections. It embodied “working smart.” Following this experience, I hope that I too hire someone that is smarter and works smarter than I do because should there be a choice, it should be to hire someone with a passion because they will be there in the miserable hours and put in effort rather than a person who lacks the passion and / or motivated by money who will more likely than not be satisfied with the bare minimum. As a Corp Caterer, I learned about Personalized Perfection and most importantly how to work smart. 

  • I think that working smart starts with being prepared.  The preparation may include conducting research on a subject or task you are not familiar with, asking questions from others who have experience in the field, or practicing the task.  The person who works smart is the person who prepares.  I obtained my Master Degree in Business in two years by getting up earlier and staying up later to ensure that I was prepared to present a high quality project.  I wanted to get it right the first time no matter how much time I had to put in to reach that goal.  The idea is to work smarter by working harder at preparing. 

  • The Stakes Are HIgh:  With only a high school diploma and working in few small minimum wage jobs I understand that in our world today it is tough to build on or even start a successful career.  With that in mind I have entered college pursuing a dream job of mine.  With a degree in my future I know I will be saving myself a spot working my dream job. 

  • i as well take my education seriously because yes now a days it is very difficult to get a go without a higher education. I want to show a good example to my children so when it is their turn in life they will hopefully fallow my steps in pursuing an education.

  • I agree with this article. To be honest, I never worked a day of my life. But looking at my mother (who works three jobs a day), she teaches me the value of education everyday. SHe always tell me “Without education, no one will be able to survive out here in the real world.” With record breaking unemployment rates in the United States, my mother’s statement can never be incorrect. I can definately use these pointers as motivation in my future.

  • We fall down constantly, that is apart of life but what makes us greater than others is the ability to get back up and climb higher then before.

  • I have had several jobs where I have worked smart and found myself having an easier time in dealing with my boss and the job in general. I had fellow employees at each of theses businesses whom did not work smart and either got fired or found themselves in hot water more often than not. This article really hits the nail on the head when pointing out the importance of working smart to excel in your job or career.

  • Your thoughts become actions. This statement is very true. The advice that you get and everything you take in from others will start to stick with you and you will begin to use this information when you are working. You must be mindful of the people you are taking advice from. Everyone should have a mentor in the field they are going into, someone that is looking out for their best interest and someone with a strong work ethic.

  • Know your weaknesses. And no, I don’t mean knowing how to answer the ever-present interview question “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”- though recognizing what you need to work on while at a job will help you answer that in the future.

    Going into my first job, I had no idea what my workplace weaknesses were. Once I started to realize them, I realized how I could work smarter. One of my major workplace strengths is my focus- I get stuff DONE. This ties into my major workplace weakness- if I’m focusing too intently on one task, I lose sight of other tasks, and sometimes forget new tasks that have been added to my to-dos. I realized these a few months into my first office job, and began keeping organized lists. They were organized by day, priority level, and project, and made a marked change in my workplace efficiency- which my boss recognized, and thanked me for.

  • It always pays to come to work charged up and combat ready. In the medical field the day can quickly go from being hum drum normal to super charged with the unexpected.

  • Your thoughts become actions- The way that you think is the way that most of the time you are going to act, If you have a very strong and positive way of thinking , your act are going to reflect this. If you really want to do something, your actions are going to show this. The Important think is to be mindful at the time of taking an advice from others, not always advice is good. 

  • The last point mentioned in the above article (about having a degree from a fancy school and still being bad at your job) really hit home for me. I’ve always set my standards and goals pretty high; in fact, on my current education path I will have a doctorate in education by the time I am 23 years old.

    When I was considering schools to begin my college education right out of high school I was accepted to a private school in Billings, Montana claiming to be the top private school this side of the Mississippi River and offering me scholarship upon scholarship to attend. I seriously considered it, and even began registering for fall semester classes when I realized that staying at home for a couple of years and attending a community college would be much more affordable, and practical. I learned that no matter what school you attend, your first two years will be general studies for any degree. So, where you go to school doesn’t really matter to any business as long as you’re good at what you do in the long run.

    A few weeks ago I also had a discussion with a parent of a student that I tutor about how in his business they call anyone with a doctorate “unemployed”. Hearing this kind of surprised me because I was always led to believe that more is better than less, especially in education. However, the way that this man explained it to me really made sense. He said that when a person holds a doctorate they often have too narrow of a skill set to be useful to an employer.

    It really doesn’t matter where a person goes to school, or what kind of degree they hold when they’re done if they are not good at the twenty things listed in this article that a good boss or company generally look for. As long as you follow the rules and are honest about your abilities and strengths most employers will take that over a fancy degree from a fancy school any day of the week.

  • The stakes are high and in this world it’s so hard to get a job. You must have a higher education than just high school  and know someone in the business. So while in college you must take everything serious and give it your all work hard and but as much time as you can into studying. Getting a degree is great but jobs want more than that, they now look at your GPA and extracurricular activities. They want to make sure they are getting the whole package and not just half of it. So all you have to do is treat your college as if it was full-time job. Meaning you should arrive to classes on time, do all your work hard to satisfy your professor and also study.  

  • I agree with the fact that maybe we could be graduating from a great school but not knowing how to actually work our knowledge will put us on the spot to get fired rapidly. That is why we need to understand how to manage our skills in order to succeed in any job opportunity that we might get. 

  • I definitively agree when you say stakes are high. I’m still in high school, at ITESM Campus Chihuahua in Mexico, and I consider myself an excellent student at least from middle school and up. But now, less than 3 months from graduating,
    the students who seemed that didn’t care about school in middle high or the ones who did good but not excellent are becoming outstanding.

    When I finished middle school and was about to enter high school, it was easy for me to obtain a high scholarship since we were not a big number of outstanding students who could apply.

    Now, 3 years later the competition became tougher and, even though I’m still one of the top students, I know many others are looking for the same opportunities I’m looking for.

    This is the situation right now and in 4 or 5 years when I finish my bachelor’s degree I’m pretty sure it will get tougher. This is the reason I have always “worked smart” in school, because as you have said you need to know what your boss wants, in this case you need to know what the professor wants and expects from you. Someone who knows how to achieve and do this find himself one step up from the others.

  • Working smart is a concept that sounds like basic, common sense. No worker with great amibition will ever say they don’t want to do their job well in the most efficient way possible. Yet its something that is certainly not taught in school, and I understand why many would say its something you’re born with or not. Some people do pick up on it faster. But I wouldn’t think it to be so heavily weighed with genetics as much as it is a way of training your mind. I see it as similar to learning a language. You learn how to make new connections and develop different frameworks for doing the same things you have been doing a particular way all your life. It’s something I will work on the rest of my life, because fluency is something constantly practiced. 

  • The Stakes are High

    Now and days you have to be one step ahead of your fellow employees. This is how management expects everyone to act. this increases productivity with in the company. When management see’s that you are the one slowing the progress of the company, you end up getting the boot.

    I have been working for a country club since i was thirteen, now currently nineteen, and my boss has always expected me to work my hardest. Working harder did not necessarily mean work harder or faster, it meant work smarter. My boss wanted me to be as efficient as possible because he did not want to pay me for inefficiency. If I failed to work efficiently I failed him and we would both have to pay for it. Six years later I’m still working for him during the summer when I come home from school. I am now the assistant chef for the new club they just opened. Now more than ever he will need me to be as efficient as I can be, because with over a million dollars invested in that new club house, if myself and my fellow employees cant keep up then our boss and ourselves lose money.

  • I definitely agree that knowing what your boss wants is extremely important to career success. Sometimes what they say does not align with what they actually want and expect from his or her employees. Accountability is another huge concern in the office. If you make a decision and it turns out to be incorrect it looks much better to just admit that you have made a mistake and learn from it rather than risk being caught in a lie just to attempt to save face. Life is a learning experience and some of those learning opportunities come out of mistakes that are made. 

  • I had a similar situation with one of my first full-time positions. I wasn’t used to working in a group and had to learn to work smart and as a team player. It wasn’t easy dealing with multiple personalities but I am grateful for the experience.

  • The stakes ARE high. Individuals have to distinguish themselves, whether it is in school or work from their peers. Beginning in college, you have to work to be the best student you can possibly be, which means being diligent with your work, and realizing that every task or assignment asked of you is a significant part of your training before entering the work force. Preparing yourself as a good student will also prepare you for a successful career that is pleasing not only to yourself, but to your boss and co-workers as well. 

  • It is important to be honest and open with employers and potential employers rather than trying to make yourself look better than you really are. Also, being successful in the business world is not synonymous with being successful in school. You are still expected to perform at a level that your employers expect, not just what your professors expected. This is a great summary of the myths and typical expectations of recent graduates. 

  • I can really relate to many of the issues addressed in this article. Mainly, I relate to the concept of working smarter and not harder. I have been in the same profession for 25 plus years and I learned from my first supervisor that taught me something very important as a boss. She said, “Always training someone to do your job, never fear being replaced because you have to be ready for promotion. What you leave behind and your departments ability to survive a transition is a direct reflection of how well you do your job!” I have found this to be a fact! I was in my early 20’s and I have repeated those words to many people since hearing those words for the first time. Yet, what I find is that people are scared to do their best because they may lose their job! Well my attitude is that I was not looking for a job when I found this one, they came to me! Knowing that I have mastered and still stive to learn more really enhance my ability to be willing to take risks and advocate for change.

  • Working smart is a good idea, and in this economy having a job and retaining it is ideal.  There are ways to learn within ourselves how to deal or cope, things you can do to make the job easier by thinking smarter.  Good article!

  • I have not experience my first full time jobs yet, but I have experience a part time job it was not nothing big. I have learned though that people would try to blame things on another person because they are all unorganize.

  • My first job in the legal field was very important to
    me. I wanted to do it so perfectly that I screwed up. My boss asked me to
    translate a legal document under the pressure of foreigner clients waiting in a
    conference room to read it and make a decision. After two hours of work light
    went off, I did not save the document in the computer, and I lost it. I was
    fired, and I felt devastated and incompetent. I learned a lesson, when this
    thinks happen is not the end of the world. If you work under pressure work smart: relax,
    take a breath, and do your best. After all you would know that things like this
    happen to others as well. You will succeed!

  • I really liked this section because it provided a lot of insight to me as a student getting ready to graduate in the next year. I liked the section about working smarter especially when it discusses how you don’t need to be your boss’ pet in order to be a good worker. Knowing what your boss expects of you is important, obviously. I also really liked the last paragraph because as someone coming from a less “prestigious” school than Harvard or Yale, it is good to know that simple tools like the ones discussed by this article can help you be successful at a job even without the Ivy League school degree.

  • The stakes are high: It seems like today in every environment people are always competing to be the best or better than others. I believe that while people are exerting them selves and their time to out do everyone else they could be using their time more efficiently to be better at what they are doing. As long as you have your p’s and q’s in line there is no limit in what you can become or accomplish. There will always be someone better than you at something but as long as you try your hardest and put your heart in it than you will be the best you can be.

  • My first job i sucked at. It took me a long time to get the concept of having to say hello and how may i help. I was very shy for a while until i got to use to my surroundings. After i got use to my surroundings my job was great and i had a great time everytime i worked. Now i love working and at times its hard to stop working helped become a better student because im more open to do and try new things.

  • Becoming focus will help people everyday in their field. Obtaining the high gpa will help people in understanding the information in their field. Patience and understanding of the material will help take people a long way.

  • The section titled “It’s not about becoming your boss’ pet,” really stood out to me. My first job that I held all through high school I was eager to work hard and please my managers. At first I did everything that was asked of me, trying to impress them at every opportunity I was given. However, only after I learned truly what I was doing and how to do it in the most efficient way possible did I have success. I was just beginning to become discouraged. I felt that despite my effort, no one was noticing.
    As soon as I began to think about work in a different light, things began to change. I finally got a great grasp of what I was doing at work and I began to enjoy being there and getting things done. Only then I stopped making being my boss’ pet my priority, did I get a better understanding of how to work smart.

  • I can relate to some of these issues here when I got my first government job it was hard at first until I learned the system and knew what my boss expected. My boss always said your going to make mistakes just learn from them and dont make the same mistakes.

  • I am currently working at my first job and my bass has never finished my training.  The crazy part is he expects me to know eveything when the district manager decides to show up. I am now realizing that not everyone will understand or care about my well being.

    Reading the section “your thoughts become actions” jumped out at me.  I know that all advise is not good advise but the way you handle it is what really matters. 

  • Respecting people is the most important aspect in a working field. People need to respect other employees in a working enviroment to make sure people are working toward a common goal. Working toward the common together will help make the job easier. Everyone needs to be respected in a working enviroment to make sure the moral is high and people accomplish the goal.  

  • Obtaining experiance will help in the knowlege of the field, but people need to work well with other emplyoees to maintain a sufficent working experiance. Using the work experiance and showing respect to everyone will help in gaining accomplishing the goal. Success in not in experiance but in the working eviroment in helping others achieve success.

  • My first job was in the restaraunt business.

    I’m a natural leader because i played varsity basketball all 4 years of my highschool career and was captain my senior year. After working four months there I was promoted.

    Naturally my co-workers were very upset with the managers decision so they all hated me…

    My first job experience isn’t all that bad. But it’s my first job experience.

  • I worked fast food back in my high school years and boy let me tell you it sucked. Not only did it sucked, but it actually made me a better person. In the end, you realized that if you can’t even serve, clean, or communicate between customers or coworkers, then you don’t have the necessities to work anywhere else. During my fast food experience, I learned that working hard and smart was the best things to do to finish the job. Even though I hated cleaning the main lobby floors close to midnight and especially at times when a dirty football team walks in right before I lock the doors, I knew the only way to get things done, not only for me, but for my boss and fellow coworkers, was to work my ass off and clean that floor. Anyways, working hard and smart throughout my work experience has definitely given me the upper hand when it comes to working in any kind of situation. 

  • As an engineering student, you learn a few things very quickly about how the world works, in academia and beyond.

    1. The human race in general is bad at communication. You can spend two and a half hours trying to figure out what your boss/professor meant in their unclear instructions, or you can take two minutes and ask them. 80% of the time they won’t react as badly as you thought they might (unless your confusion stemmed from the fact that you weren’t paying attention), and if you do it often enough you’ll probably end up developing a positive relationship, which can only end well.

    2. Apathy is a progressive disease. “I’ll do it when I finish checking my email” quickly becomes “I’ll do it tomorrow,” which if left unchecked can devolve into “It doesn’t really need to be done, does it?” Giving procrastination any sort of foothold can be dangerous to your output, which in turn can be deadly to your career.

    3. If you enjoy your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. Strip away all the perks of your job, any coworkers you may be friends with, and ask yourself: do I enjoy what I’m being paid to do? If all jobs paid exactly the same, had no perks to speak of, and you could have any one you wanted, would you still want this one? If not, you may wish to consider looking elsewhere.

  • On my first job I learned that it’s okay to be wrong.. Just don’t be stupid. Honest mistakes and blatant ones can make a difference if you need to explain yourself.

  • Time is money. That should be recorded in our brains. Your boss wants you to be fast at understanding problems and have a deliverable. 

  • this is really helpful to me because I am looking for my first internship as a mechanical engineer. this has taught me how to be professional and how to make a good impression. know because of this article i know what not to do in my first job. that way i can be successful for the rest of my career. 

  • I would have to say that I agree with the advice that even if you go to a top ranked school does not mean you will be a great employee. I believe that you need to learn how to interact with people and think on your feet in a veriety of situations. In my student internship on campus I not only learn how to be a prefessional but I take away a lot of growing opportunities. Understanding my strengths and tapping into them will help me become a better employee and student. I don’t think I would of learned half the skills I have if I didn’t get involved outside the classroom through on campus jobs and organizations. Experience is a lot of times worth more then a piece of paper alone.

  • While I feel rather successful at my current occuation of short-order cooking, this article has awakened me to my potential for improvement.  I have considered this job as a form of support during my educational pursuits, and not as a long-term occupation.  As of present, or as a result of this article, I feel I may be overlooking the potential for greater performance at this job to lead to future benefits through development of key job skills. 

  • Just the other day, someone asked me if I knew what it meant to work “smarter” not “harder.” I told them I did and just continued with my day not really thinking about the concept. Unknowingly, I applied the concept the next day and have been trying to follow it since. I definitely thank this article for helping me learn more about the topic, but I thank my grandfather even more for introducing it to me. 

  • It’s really taken me being this close to graduating to find my career and personality strengths and weaknesses. I am more realistic about what I want and need for my future now that I’ve taken the time to see what’s important to me. I definitely recommend everyone to take the time necessary to do some “soul searching” if you will to find what your dream is and exactly what you need to achieve in order to make it happen.

  • I have always wanted to have a great job in the medical but I also love to be outside. As a college student, I concentrate more on school during the year and during the summer I am a lifeguard at a waterpark. It was my first job and it sounded like a great job and I took many science and first aid classes during the year so I assumed that the lifeguard job would not be too terribly hard. I was wrong… My boss didnt care how many classes I had taken. I still had to get up every morning for training and I had to take training classes that I had already taken in college. In training I learned that lifeguarding is a great job but can also put a lot of pressure on you while you are on stand. After the very fast paced training classes, my boss expected everyone to know all of the medical policies and know the answers to all of the “If this happens, then I should….” I was feeling confident about knowing everything but nervous about my first day.

    My first day as an official lifeguard, it was very crowded and their was a lot of lifeguards that did not want to be on stand. I was assigned to be on stand and the “big boss” was watching the new guards. Many guards thought that it was a good idea to suck up to the “big bosses” but they didn’t like when the new lifeguards did that. I knew that I would just have to be smart and not try to suck up but make sure I do my job right and pay a lot of attention to the visitors in case anything happens. I worked smart at work rather than trying hard to suck up to the boss and towards the end of the season, I got a raise because I was a smart worker and that I worked hard but not harder then smarter.

  • I completely agree with not having an Ivy League degree and still being able to be an outsatnding worker. I am currently a teacher’s aide at a preschool in Massachusetts, working with nursery, toddler and preschool aged children. This means that I work alongside a “teacher” that has previosly graduated from college. Last week, my boss had a conversation with me and noted that although I am only a teacher’s aide, she feels confident in giving me tasks and responsibilities that go with the teacher’s employment description. Although I will be graduating this May, I am able to compete with other coworkers that have a higher level of prestige because of the quality of work that I deliver.

  • Libby Vilner

    I am a criminal Justice major, and only a sophmore, yet I too can relate to numerous factors mentioned in the article. First off, I completley agree with the statement “until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work.” This is so true! And that is why working your way up the ladder and not carrying a big ego is huge, whether through an unpayed internship, or through networking, always have a positive vibe and be helpfull, not a burden. Secondly, the statement made about rules, being made to be broken yet only okay to brake after you have already mastered them. This is very true as well, if you are an underdog, you should never feel as if it is okay for you to change something up that was asked of you from a higher authority. This is not okay, always wait until you are granted permission of flexability with a certain task. I gained this flexability through my internship which began with only shadowing a lawer during his work day, then gained his trust to interview his new clients yet still follow a certain interview sheet. Only after that, did I get the statement ; “Dont be scared to ask more question’s than what the sheet tells you to ask”. This was the approval for breaking the rules and knowledge that I have mastered it too. 
      All in all, do well at what you are asked to do, be consistant, reliable, trustworthy, and have patience, because if you are doing this all and doing it right, permission will be earned and respect will be granted. 

  • Working ‘Smart’:

    Observe your work environment. Find out what is expected of you and what needs to be done. 

    Strategize how you can do your work in the most time effective way without sacrificing quality. 

    In general try to get along with your boss and coworkers without being a suck up. 

    Do not stress yourself out, work to the best of your ability and take a breath when things get too stressful. 

    Always try to improve. Stay on top of the new upcoming techniques, technology etc. Whatever is relevant for your job. 

    Working ‘smart’ is not only doing your job efficiently, but it is also working to take the next step in that job, whether that means a promotion or moving on to better things, and it is also getting along with the people. 

  • Making mistakes is a human nature, this is why being wrong is not bad as long as you do not 

    make the mistake twice. Experience occurs over time and from there we can learn to be better
    every day. Also the most important in working smart is the communication, learn from others and that others learn from you.

  • Working with people is not an easy job. Especially if you are not keen at picking up on good communication skills and LISTENING skills. Listening is probably the most important part of communicating. It can improve your relationship with your boss and co-workers to know how to properly express your ideas and opinions.

  • You do not have to have a Ivy League degree in order to be successful.  I was able to prove that in the business world and made tons of money doing it and could have continued without it but I decided to change careers.  Remember that you are worth the money they spend on your paycheck and never let anyone be little your capabilities, I set a standard when I worked in almost all male industries and demanded respect and I was resepcted for it while having lots of fun.  I said to one owner, “I will be spending more time with you than my family and my family is everything to me so we have to work well with one another.”  I meant what I said I wanted him to know I will be a great asset if the environment was a goodn one and it was.  I worked for him for nearyly seven years after that.

  • The stakes are high at this point in life for me. Having a good GPA is necessary to be competitive in the job market, but it’s hard to get a really good GPA especially as a math/science major. It’s tough, but that’s the way it is…

  •  I can relate to working smart. I work at a carwash where it is easy to get fiered and alot of the people dont like each other. One of my supervisors is now in training to become an assistant manager, she has an attitude that if you mess up she will get you fired and if you try to challenge her possition she will do anything to get rid of you. In many’s eyes she is not manager material simply because she has an attitude and she can not handle customers the appropriate way.

  • This article made a very important point about people who have degrees from Ivy league schools and those who do not.  My boss always told me he was surprised at how most people that he interviewed that had degrees and certifications really disappointed him at the interview sessions.  They were either too confident, not “people persons”, or they really didn’t portray in person what they had on their resumes. I believe the lesson here is that it doesn’t matter if you have a degree from Harvard or Princeton if you don’t know how to talk or interact with people. 

  • It’s simple, if you happen to love what you do, and not complain about how terrible your job is; the less stress you will have to enjoy doing what you do. The one’s that complain about their jobs are likely to be fired or quit. Even when a person is complaining, they have a difficult time to gain a job with their behavior being distracting towards the workflow.

  • Yes, you can learn how to work smarter and more efficiently. This is something that lifes little quirks will teach you along the way. As a truly single parent, I was thankful I was well educated and had a great career. There is one think I was always taught work hard, do your best and everything will be o.k. Though it is a good sentiment, this is not true. Along my journey I learned to work smarter, not harder. I had too! My son was little I had to learn how to juggle extra activities, balance my budget, pay for everything, keep work in line and focus on myself. The end of most days I was exhausted. One day I started looking at my workload, and realized, I needed to start diving out my responsibilities and focusing on what I did best.  When I started to this, office production increased and everyone’s stress levels decreased. So working smarter let this single mom have a more relaxing life.

  • I believe that work smart is an important tool for employees.  It is so important to obtain your education and work experience because there are so many competitors who are going after the same employment as you. The stakes are high and its highly recommended to achieve success in all possible ways. I believe that people should enjoy their job. I am starting Grad School in August to obtain my Masters in Social Work. I believe that I have a calling for helping children and adults and I know this job will be very fulfulling and rewarding.

  • When I received my first job, I was working under a pretty big crowd of people. They were far beyond more knowledgable and experienced to where I stood. It felt like I was an outsider to this new job, but I held my head up and made it the best as possible. At first people looked down at me simply because I didn’t know what was expected of me and how I had to perform for my managers. I didn’t let them get to me, when they just told me that I wasn’t going to make it after the first 60 days. I didn’t give up and I learned from them as much as possible but I did so in a way that they didn’t notice me, fetching as much information as possible. 

    After my first 60 days my boss came up to me and just like everyone else he took them to the office to either give them the bad news or the good news that the person would get to keep the job. Everyone pretty much looked down at me and said “nice meeting ya” and other things of the sort. When I walked out of the office with a giant smile on my face they were shocked because they never expected me to keep the job. 

    At first my numbers were not that great, but I didn’t let it get to me instead I pushed my self to perform and meet my bosses goals and expectations. Later on that year I was given an award for best performance for four consecutive months. From that day on everyone started looking at me as an equal and someone to ask for help or improve some skills. I’ve been there for two years now and I’ve learned a lot, my people skills have improved tremendously via the way I work around a team and how we manage our time. Our performance as a team has had a huge improvement from where we stood two years ago. 

  • Every tip here could not be more true.  At my first job I was hired to a different position than the one I ended up at.  Luckily, they liked how friendly I was  and even though I was no good at what they had hired me for I was transferred to another department and was quickly promoted and respected.  Letting people know that they are right and you’re learning (whether they’re the customer or your superior) and actually learning from every experience, whether good or bad, will get you where you need to go.

  • We can all apply this rules to make us smarter employees but in the end what truly matters is that you actually like what you do. For some time I worked as a elementary school tutor and although the students liked me my boss did not like that the students saw me more as a friend than a teacher. 

    I guess that maybe I should have paid more attention to what my boss wanted from me than being within my comfort zone 

  • I really like articles that are posted here. Six years ago when i came from Africa, i got my first job at Burger King at age 19. It was not easy at first because no one could seem to understand what i was saying because of my accent. Added to that i was trying so hard to make a good impression that i always ended up failing. This caused me to be very stressed and depressed. My boss was not please at my performance at all and was contemplating letting me go. Realizing the situation i do not know what came over me but, one day i just walked up to him and explained my situation. Amazingly he was very understanding and even offered me with solutions on how to solve my problems. From that day i learned how we can make situations at work less stressful by just talking. Six months later i became an assistant manager, by simply communicating with my boss twice the rate compared to my other co-workers.

  • Most of these scenes do relate to a couple of real life situations I’ve been in such as the “What I Learned” scene because I remember a couple of years ago when I began to work I didn’t know much how careers and employment worked so I had an unexperienced thought process of how employers and boss’ treat each other. I wondered that If the the boss likes you for whatever reason you would be the one to mostly likely get a raise or promotion. However, now being a full-time college student I look back at those events and experiences and reflect that boss’ don’t just give you special raises or promotions because they “like” you but because they like the way work smart which leads them to like you and no matter how rich or poor you are or if you’re black or white it all comes down to the level of how much success and drive will you put into your job that will make the boss like you.

  •  I’m an international student at UTSA and have found the information in your website to be very valuable, as a matter of fact I believe I have failed to follow some of the recommendations presented in your article and had learned about working smart – the hard way – and in the process have missed promotion opportunities at work. Hope your wisdom reach many students and professionals who are stuck in behaviors that are counterproductive.  

  • What I took from this article is that hard work and good work ethic contributes to you working smart and will take you far in your career. I can relate to what is talked about in this article in many ways. I have had a few jobs over summers in high school and during the school year. I have also had some of these experiences in my education.

    Since I am only a Freshman in college I have had limited work experience. I’ve worked at a grocery store a mulch company and a shipping company, one thing that all of these places had in common is what they valued. The three companies I worked for valued hard work and honesty over everything else. I can remember one example during Christmas when I was working at a grocery store and we were completely slammed. My boss was stressed and I could tell it was going to be a pretty busy shift. I saw that my coworkers looked like they were dragging there feet so I took some initiative. I worked harder and faster that day than I ever had at that job and inspired my coworkers to move faster. I don’t know if other people have ever experienced this but it seems like if one person is working hard it motivates others to do so and it people are slacking off it has the inverse, negative effect. I made it a priority that day to work hard and smart to get things moving along and help keep the store running smoothly. This example in my life may seem insignificant working at a local grocery store doesn’t mean much in the big picture of my life. However, that job taught me how to work hard and smart. Ever since I left it to come attend college I have applied what I have learned there to everything I do from my academics to my campus lab job. 

    Overall working smart has not yet had a major affect on my life, but as I move deeper into my studies and start a career I will need these skills to obtain a good job and live a satisfactory, sustainable life.

  • As a psychology student I learned there is no easy path to success. You must do the work and take notes along the way. You cannot rely on others to do the work for you. What is needed is for people to take the lead and teach by example.  There is nothing worse than people with excuses for not putting in the effort to get the job done. Another thing I learned is that it takes the team to make something happen. Nobody can run a business on their own. If you wish for success then you must pull the team up to the level you wish to succeed. I also learned while in the military that the people who step on others to get ahead will not stay on top long. You have to think about what is best to the group and forget about self.

  • Put 110% into your work effort & get things done. Be smart about it, maintain focus on the job in front and ahead. There will always be pot holes along the journey, but if your prepared, that flat tire will be nothing to you.

  • The article seemed unrelated to me at first as i am still a college student without any job, but soon realized this idea could be applied to every area with human interaction.
    My complaints as a Burger King employee, conflicts with my parents, and with my teachers all seem to have their reasons. I worked hard and did my best on my standard, and i believed i was doing perfectly fine. I was not. It was more important to do what others want, instead of what i think they want. i merely had the idea of my mistake, and this article clarified it for me!

  • As a social worker student you learn that things are  really hard to get and that you need to work hard to get them. Especially this days

  • I am currently working in retail while I am finishing up my education. Even though, I have not reached my professional career that I want, the article still applies to everyone.

    I may not be the manager of the store, but I am a customer service coordinator that is given managerial duties. My managers are always looking to see that we can have the store under control without needing much help.  They want us to think on our own and step up to be a leader. Being a coordinator has given me the opportunity to be a leader and having others come to me when they do not understand something.

    This should motivate people to work hard and smart. If some people prefer to do the minimal work then that is what the employer is willing to give back at them. If the employer sees how much work and effort we do to get the job done, then that is what is going to make us stand out and get that opportunity for a promotion.

  • One of my major dilemmas is deciding what an employer really wants from me as an employee and what his/her expectations are. Like stated in the earlier article you are never really sure what you have to be to your employer so you have to figure it out as you go, and know what the limits are to the job. A college student like me perhaps never really understands the full concept until he/she has experienced it fully.

  • The ability to working hard lies in the dedication that one puts towards the goal they want to attain. In my years of post secondary education, i’ve learned that working hard always yields great success in the long run. Long term goals always begin with short term bumps in the roads or obstacles. The way one triumphs over an obstacle will instill a value in them greater than any worldly luxuries. My decision to get my Bachelors through Phoenix sprouted from becoming a father almost four years ago because now that I have a responsibility that requires all my attention, getting an education and moving forward in my career will give me the ability to manage my time and be financially responsible to attend to my child’s needs. Working as a pharmacy technician for almost four years have instilled in me a value that i would cherish for a long time. I found that positive reinforcement amongst your co workers enables a department to execute all the tasks at hand and effective communication opens up rooms for discussion and also have an enivronment whereby all individuals have respect for one another.

  • As a full time operations manager and part time physics teacher, I can assure you that working smart is the only way to work. I learned this on the go, without anyone actually telling me focus on this or focus on that. Even having read this article would have greatly helped me in my path. I now always carry a small notebook where I take notes, jot down ideas and summarize conversations this was out of need not because it was a great idea of mine. Performing so many tasks during the day, to keep track of small details and key variables is extremely important. Being completely honest, and giving the truth as it is straight forward and always keep asking , whether is is feedback, any doubts always ask never just assume anything. Always going directly to the point without going around in circles, everybody will appreciate this.

    Prioritize maybe the most important skill to learn. Do whats important do it right and do it right the first time. Also take responsibility for your actions and non-actions, not doing anything is also you should be responsible for.  Know your strenghts and weaknesses.

    Most importantly share your knowledge, this is key to thrive. Do not keep what you know to yourself as in a way to keep your job or be the only one who can do this or that. The best way to move forward and keep the flow of knowledge going is to share it and be open about it.

  • I have worked constantly since I was 15 years old so I have dealt with many bosses and coworkers.  When I first started working I didn’t know how to act or what to expect. With no experience I decided to just be myself, work hard, do what I was told, and learn as much as I could.  From my perspective I was doing my job and didn’t particularly stand out from the 50 other teen employees.  Two months into my position my supervisor promoted me to an Assistant Manager.  I was so excited and completely shocked.  When he promoted me he asked me if I knew why he chose me out of everyone.  I quickly answered, “…because I work hard?” I really had no idea.  He told me that from the very first week all of my managers were impressed with my sincerity, maturity, and determination.  I hadn’t made an effort to be overly nice to our managers, like some of my coworkers.  Somehow I stood out.  Within another 7 months I was awarded employee of the month and promoted to a Manager position and then to a Supervisor.  I never planned to achieve a management position at this company, I simply wanted the experience of  a first job.  After 3 years at this company I graduated and moved out of state moving on to other experiences.  I learned a lot from this experience and this knowledge has affected my interactions in all of the companies I have worked for since.  I learned to be sincere and to be myself.  I also learned that doing my best at every task gave me a reputation of being someone who was dependable and thorough.  Presenting myself in a mature manner at a young age gave me a huge upper hand by ensuring I could handle responsibility.  Lastly, I learned to always keep my options open and look forward. 

  • I could really relate to this article when it talked about not knowing exactly what a boss wants from their employees. My first job was as a hostess at a family oriented restaurant. I was always friendly and came to work ready to do my job, but no matter how hospitable and friendly i was to the customers, and helpful to the servers  my supervisor was always unhappy with me and what I was doing. According to her, I always needed to smile more, or clean more (even after I had cleaned the whole dining area), or stand differently. She was super nit-picky and never seemed happy. However, the restaurant owner thought that I was doing my job perfectly. She even pulled me aside one day and told me that I was the best hostess that she ever had. I was happy to receive this compliment, but I was still baffled as to why my supervisor was always criticizing me. I never figured out why my supervisor felt this way about my work, but I realized that I had to continue doing my best work and still be open to constructive criticism, while ignoring negative, counter-productive criticism. I was glad to see that I’m not alone in being confused of exactly what every boss wants. 

  • I took my first job as a teenager in a pool company three
    summers ago. I can still remember the nervous feeling I felt going into it. I
    didn’t know anything about maintaining pools or the chemicals associated with
    doing so. I did not know how to help a customer’s pool turn into a crystal
    clear blue, nor did I know how to inform them of how to keep it like that.
    After being taught and dealing with customers I quickly caught on, but never
    felt completely confident with each consultation I would give. I knew there was
    more I needed to learn more because I didn’t felt like other employees thought
    I wasn’t knowledgeable. As time went on I gained great customer relationships
    and was astonished about how much I knew about pools including all the
    chemicals involved, equipment and maintenance. However, I still felt unsure of
    my skills because I knew other employees in the store knew more than me. They
    had been there longer and developed their skills over time. It wasn’t until I
    went back the next summer that I actually realized how much knowledge I had of
    pools and that I should of never doubted myself. I learned so much the previous
    summer and still had room to learn more. With all this said, this article is
    extremely relatable in more ways than one. I learned that with any job I can’t
    expect to know everything or be the best at the job. It takes time and not only
    did I have to show what I know to myself but also to my co-workers, manager and
    customers. I am so grateful that I was able to work consistently in the same job
    for three summers because I felt proud of all that I learned and was able to
    prove myself wrong after that first summer. It is definitely uncomfortable
    being in a new environment, but like with everything…it takes time.

  • This article really spoke to me because even though I’m only in college, I feel that these rules are still applicable to my part time job and to school.  Teachers and bosses alike want to see you succeed and in order to be successful, a mastery of these tools is a must. I’m lucky I was able to read this article because I know it’ll b very helpful in the near future

  • **Know yourself and follow your bliss** I really think this applies to many things.  First, it applies to everyday life.  In order to find balance and happiness, you have to seek out what makes you happy.  Secondly, it applies to school.  In order to really get through school, you have to be doing something that you love.  Everyday doing something that you do not love is a waste of time, and a struggle.  Lastly, understanding what makes you happy in your job will allow you to enjoy what you do.  An example of this would be my current position.  I help other students get back in to college.  The first thing that I ask them is why they want to go to school, and why they want that particular degree.  There should be some type of response that shows it is something that will make their life better.  I take my job seriously, and it is very intense because I assist people a life-changing experience.  I have to remember why I do what I do, and look for the bliss that I can find in that.  I find passion in seeing someone graduate with their degree on move on to what they feel is their bliss.  To me, that is my bliss and their achievements are in some way mine as well.  Earning my degree will mean that I can spend more time doing what I love (Adult Education), on a greater scale, and in a more direct way. 

  • This is a great lesson you have here! Although I am still in college and yet to have started my official career I feel that I can apply these lessons later on in my professional career.

  • This is a great lesson you have here! Although I am still in college and yet to have started my official career I feel that I can apply these lessons later on in my professional career. I beleive that what you have provided is the difference between settling and advancing throughout the professional ladder. I have gained insight that I can apply even to my current job now (retail). I will have new strategies to work smarter and please my managers without having to kiss up or break my back. Although I am still in college now, I am starting to see that you do not need a college degree to be successful in this life. All you need is the know how and the right interpersonal skills.

  • These tips are so true! I wish this advice was given to people already in the workforce. This will help me in all types of interactions with authority and society. I feel it us to us, the students, to carry these words onto the workforce.

  • I was always tought “Don’t regret anything you didn’t learn from” from then on I realized every situation is a learning experience.  I have had to put this into almost every aspect of my working career.  There have been quite a few times at work when I majorly screwed things up, I had to stop, take a breath and think smart.  I had to think about where I screwed up, and where I could, or should have done things differently.  I guess basically what I am saying is everytime you srew up you just keep moving forward and turn the negitive into a positive by learning something, because after all, life is all about learning new things. 🙂

  • The part that I agree with most is when the post talks about how high the stakes are for job seekers these days.  There is so much more competition and expectations that it pushes and pushes individuals to be better than the best.  Applying simple principles as working smart are the things that people forget about.  People often focus on what they feel will advance them the most and lead to their success, but they are often nothing more than misconceptions.  The article touches on this when it talks about not “becoming your bosses pet.”  People think that if you sell yourself out to somebody who is above you, you will eventually get promoted, but it is exactly the opposite.  The people that standout for themselves are the ones who will get the opportunities for advancement, not those who simply follow the boss around day and night.  

  • Work ethnic is not a genetic trait most are born with. Even if most are able to complete task does not necessarily mean that the task will be completed at superior quality. Communication is a great example of the process of a task that can be executed but lack fundamental elements to create a dynamic statement. Learning communication is a skill that can constantly increase everyone’s knowledge. No matter what you do in life without communication skills advancement in life will be limited. 

    Communication will allow someone to convey the personality behind the paper. Even though skills are listed on a resume as an employer a decision will be based on the ability to show those skills. This is nonverbal communication, this shows rather than tell the employers that you are worthy of your position. 
    “Working smart” is actually something my boss says almost every shift I work. As mentor by day bartender at night I am able to time manage and switch my mentality to match my work requirements. As a bartender I mentally prioritize what task I will be completing. This means when I go from table to table to take orders then enter the orders in the computer, rather than going one table at a time. 
    I have been working since 14 years old. My communication skills and work ethic have develop who I am and my opinions. I need to stand out, everyone these days in college is fighting to stay on top and employers are not only looking for completion of education with a high G.P.A they want to see what have you done to become who you are today. You are what you make yourself. 

  • Love the 20 things  your boss wants from you the information was helpful guidance towards a obtaining a career job & keeping it

  • In my latest job the hourly wage was not the best, but it was because I found a way to be myself and do what I love most (working with animals). This was a lucky situation mainly do to where I work. But it was through this unique situation that I found the joy of completing tasks, and joining a functioning team that achieved goals it set. Since my post secondary education started the value of efficiency and benefit of constant challenges. The act of being stagnant has become something I snarl at. Working smart hits home with me because of this. Working smart while being in a constant challenge forces one to adapt and utilize effective and efficient methods of working which is simply a good behavior to adopt since life is a constant challenge; it would serve to be prepared to act wisely in the face of adversity. Working smart is more than just a professional concept. Applying this practice to daily life begins to improve daily living, and increases quality of life. If all begin to act accordingly then it was increase public quality of life.

  • I believe that working smart is like the 20/80 rule. What the 20/80 rule is, is simply doing 20% of the right work reaps 80% of the benefits. If you ask the right questions to your boss and simply get the right work that answers exactly what your job is you will see that you worked smarter not harder. This rule can be applied to college work and life in many different aspects. Also, it becomes a lot easier to become a smart worker when you are passionate about a specific issue or a certain job because you want to learn and excel so you research and ask a lot of the right questions on the subject. Knowing how to get the right information requires good communication skills which falls into many of the categories above. I can personally relate to the article because I have experience in research, working with a hydrologist in the National Forest and working as a university employee fulfilling many different jobs. Good communication and showing passion and dedication reaps many benefits.

  • I have to admit I chuckled while I was reading this.  As a “long-term” employee in my current job I remember being brand new and kissing the behinds of every supervisor and boss that walked through the office door!  I mean, first impressions mean the most right?  While first impressions, well, impress people, it’s not always the first one that keeps them coming back for more.  It’s a combination of good personality, easy going, but also jumping in and doing your job without a lot of questions.  My bosses are very busy and don’t have time to train me, so I learned by trial and error.  After 2 years of employment with this company I advanced to an administrative position and became a supervisor to support staff.  Prior to this job I had no experience in this field…. I learned it all on my own by watching others, learning short-cuts that by passed asking the dreaded question of “how do I do this?” and by a lot of dedication and hard work.  After twelve years of employment I like to say I am still good at what I do, and I also look to hire employees that are better than me and can possibly teach me a thing or two!!

  • There are several things that should be further emphazised depending on what type of career one is going into.

    For example being an Engineering Major there is a major emphasis on having proper and detailed documentation as the process and procedure are every bit as improtant as the results. It is one thing to create the desired results and outcome and its another for your peers and possible constumers to reproduce those results.

    The major points for any sort of success whether it is academic or professional should follow a few simple steps.

    1 – Be effective and effecient when communicating. Most people have a hard time portraying their ideas and suggestions and they waste their talents in that way. As the guide said “Don’t suck at email/IM” etc etc. Communication and the relaying of information is key whether in school or the professional environment.

    2 – Take responsibility. Many times it is hard to accept that the ways you conduct yourself or go about a issue is incorrect. In any professional environment being responsible for ones actions are very important. Accepting mistakes and taking responsibility are a great way to respresent one’s true character.

    3 – Being able to listen. Being able to listen is differnet from being able to communicate. A person can share their ideas in ways that are easy to understand and everything is great but when that same person cannot understand and gather information through listening they close many doors and opportunites to solve problems in the business professional environment.

  • The main theme from this I have gathered is that simply
    having a college degree does not mean you will be successful in your career;
    you also need the right communication and people skills. That being said, I do
    agree that due to competition, there are highs stakes for jobseekers. You do
    want to differentiate yourself from the crowd, but do so in a positive way,
    else it will only harm you. I will keep this in mind as I pursue my career after

    • I can’t say it any better. I agree with you completely. I don’t know I have heard of this speech at least a billion times from professors, colleagues, family member, and parents’ friends. You need networking to be successful in any field in the real world life. With just a degree will not get you anywhere. Networking is key.

  • This was really insightful it demonstrated how you have to work hard to get your place in the world, you have to take what you can get in an entry-level job and you have to work hard. 

    No one can step right out of college into a good job.

    Just because you work hard ans succeed in college doesn’t mean you are promised a successful career.

  • A college degree is merely the first step towards being successful in your career. It is a stepping stone towards achieving your dreams and goals that must be backed up by excellent people skills. Most people fail to understand or disregard the fact that we have to communicate, work, and be interact with coworkers and thus, knowing how to cope, be a good team-worker, but at the same time competitive, are essential towards achieving success in your career. This situation reminds me of IQ versus EQ: while a college degree endows you with great intellectual skills (IQ), social, communication, speaking, empathy, people skills (EQ) are needed to enable and blend with the intellectual skills for a successful career.

    • I
      absolutely agree with this statement. There may be many people that have to
      same degree as you do, but it is your responsibility to set yourself apart from
      the other applicants. Networking and communicational skills are essential in
      all types of professions. To me, obtaining the degree would be considered the
      bare minimum. Joining clubs, participating in seminars, and attending informational
      meeting would be going the extra mile, and sets you a part from the crowd.

  • After reading the various lessons about working smart, one in particular that I feel may cover all the bases is that of understanding that you can graduate from Yale, Harvard or Princeton and still suck at your job. Everyone young and old should try to understand that the degree does not make the person, but rather the person makes the degree. I’ve grown to understand that although it is always great to have a college degree of some sort, it is not absolutely necessary in order to succeed.
    Most people may assume that just because your degree is stamped with Yale or Harvard, they will go far in life without having to try very hard. That is definitely incorrect thinking. In addition to a prestigious college degree you have to possess the will and drive to facilitate your future and not solely rely on a piece of paper. It is possible to succeed in your life without prior college education.
    As I do understand that succession in your career means that you must acquire a degree, I have chosen the path of educating myself as much as I can. Any and all of the degrees that I may receive will only add to my well-rounded attitude and motivation within me to be the best at anything I choose to pursue. I will continue to aspire to give my degrees meaning, rather than relying heavily on my degrees to define the person that I am and the career goals that I have.   

  • If your in a job search: Having training and past experience in the career field will most likely land you the job. I currently don’t have a job but plan on taking several courses that allows the reflection of the training experience. I learned this the hard way within past experiences. I had the degree but not the experience, I never got the job I end up getting a job in a totally different field.

  • after you earn your degree does not mean you will get the perfect job. there are several people with high dergees and low paying jobs. the best thing to do is work hard in school and harder at work.

  • This guide really helped me a lot. When I get a new part-time job (even if it’s at a fast food restaurant), I always try to have a great relationship with my boss. I always greet them whenever I see them, regardless if I’m working or not, make small talk and try to go above and beyond in the task that they assign me. As a reward, my bosses have offered me a permanent job whenever I come back home from college break and I get more hours than most of the people that work there full-time.

  • I agree with this article.   The key is to know exactly what is expected of you in your career.  Prioritizing and organization are very important in any career, expecially nursing. 

  • I thought that the section about not becoming your boss’s pet was important.  Many people think that sucking up to someone who has a higher position…will in fact get them that position or better.  In reality, this type of behavior reaps just the opposite reaction. People like strong and smart indivudals that are willing to work! Dont kiss no ones butt! What you put in is what you get out!   

  • I think this is very good information.  I would just like to add:  it is very competitive out there and you have to be creative in the way you market yourself, learn the culture, establish and maintain a variety of contacts and networks, get to know all kinds of people, be a team player, always welcome chage, do’nt be too ignorant to accept criticizim, never get comfortable where you are at, always strive to push forward and move on to bigger and better things, and stay abreast and aware of new concepts and ideas.

  • Communication isn’t about being a good speaker, it’s basically the relationship you establish with people who share a common goal with you. I am a certified student leader in my university and one of the skills you need to succeed in any job is to be able to create a good conversational ground with your employees/colleagues

  • “I feel in Life Education is Power and The Knowledge you acquire and the more diverse skills you obtain can only make you the most deadliest asset in a very competitive world!”


  • I also sucked at my first job. My first job was as a paperboy . I messed a lot of customers storm doors by throwing the paper against it.

  • I also sucked at my first job as a paperboy. I used to damage the customers storm doors and sometimes the paper would end of on the roof.

  • Working hard has its’ own rewards. I have worked for bosses
    who did not set the example on how to be your best in the work place.  I have worked with a few jobs that did
    fulfill their commitments to their employees. I have basically seen the good in
    the bad in the field of Customer Service. The greatest lessons that I learned
    from those experiences are to be yourself and always treat people they way you
    desire to be treated; it makes a world of a difference. We are ultimately in
    charge of our destinies and we if ever find ourselves unhappy in the work
    place, find solutions to those contributing factors or simply find a new path.
    Life is about choices and work is one of them. Whatever you decided to do, do
    it well and give it 100%, one-hundred percent of the time.

  • As this article suggested, I agree
    that you have to work smart, get along with people, and impress your bosses to
    be successful in business.

    I worked as a business consultant
    for several years, and my work was based on projects. I was engaged in several
    projects, and in every project I had new bosses and teammates. My role and the
    employers’ expectations of me were different each time.

    One example was
    that when I asked to go to the job training, one boss was angered stating
    that going to training during the project was irresponsible because work would
    be left behind. Conversely, another boss was impressed that I took initiative
    to enhance my skills even while I was in a project. I received totally
    different evaluations from them. You really need to recognize which type your
    boss is and work smart around them.

    It may sound obvious, but to be
    successful at work, you have to receive a great evaluation from your boss. I
    saw several coworkers who had same skill sets as others but gained their
    employers’ favor and were placed in exciting projects, assigned challenging
    roles, and were promoted quickly. They worked smart, and they knew how to
    navigate themselves to climb the corporate ladder. This smartness is different
    from getting good grades at school. It took me a while to realize that
    distinction and learn this skill.

  • I took a marketing class this semester and it was about “personal branding” and how important it is. After reading this article it makes sense that integrity and being a smart worker are much more important.

    Focusing on being a reliable and good worker in the end will lead to more success. This will result in creating a better name for yourself.

  • Your work situation is what you make it.  It starts with how you search and apply for the job.  Then once you get into a job, it’s what you make of it.  If you do your best, it will be eventually recognized and you will be rewarded based on your professionalism and determination to be good at every aspect of your job.  If you recognize you are not good at something, it’s important to get better at it.  For example, I tend to be a poor speller.  This is not good for email, memos, or other types of correspondence.  So, enabling spell-check and trying to memorize the words I consistently get wrong has helped me improve on this problem.  

  • Oddly enough I’ve experienced first had accounts of getting
    hired as a part-time employee and having to learn mostly everything on my own initiative
    and constantly asking questions.  My
    employer in my last job assigned to me some minor tasks and left me alone until
    the end of my shift. However I learned to speak up, speak with respect, take
    ownership of my tasks, and most important show up on time ready to work. These common sense (sense not being so
    common these days) steps helped my boss see the potential and quality of my work and
    extended my employment as a full-time employee.  

    So as I read, “The complete career guide to working smart –
    how to succeed at a great company” I realized I had unconsciously made a similar
    check list of success. Though I learned that things may not change from small
    term job employers to large successful companies, I can use my experience and
    my talents to be one step ahead of my coworkers.

  • Working for a corporation or even a small business requires the same skills. You may have the best degree possible or have attended a really great school but without other skills (For example, communication and organization skills, etc) you will be at a disadvantage. Sure, your boss or future employer wants someone qualified for the job but they also want to look at you as a person. Someone who works honestly and efficiently. Once you prove and provide to be a good worker, the screw ups won’t seem as big because they know you not only as a qualified worker, but as a person they trust with the job position.

    • Business requires skills rather you the employer or employee. Without communication skills you are at a disadvantage, these skills can make you are break you. I believe that communication is important then to be organized and efficient these skills count. You have to be honest with yourself are you qualified? If you are a good worker if will show and then the benefits will come.

  • It’s not about becoming your boss’s pet.I have held work-study positions for most of my undergraduate career, and they were not the job I wanted at all. I just cared about being able to eat every day, so I made sure to work hard. When I got hired for Herpetology research, I created a database to record all 3000 specimens in my boss’s lab. I also organized all the tissue samples in the ultra-cold storage and made a list of missing vials. I was able to do all of that thanks to my clerical experience. But I took on those tasks automatically to make my job easier, not to please my mentor/boss. Even though I did those tasks without him asking me, he still had an eye on me until I brought him valuable results. He didn’t notice the lab was perfectly organized until he started asking for tissue samples and scale counts from a certain specimen. I could pull that info out right away. After that, he will not hesitate to write me a recommendation letter for any opportunity I’d want to take. The point is, one must have a good attitude and be willing to learn in any kind of work environment, because the skills gathered at those jobs could be useful later on. I didn’t become my mentor’s pet by complimenting him about his work or giving him chocolates. It took almost two years to earn his trust, and even then I am still not his best student. However, I know I will have his full support when it is time to apply for Veterinary School. It’s not about becoming your boss’s pet; it is about earning support AND skills by working smart.

  • Being successful at a great company goes well beyond merely
    showing up and trying to be nice to your boss. It goes well beyond showing you’re
    an organized person and you know how to talk to people. I do think that the key
    element to being successful at a great company is putting yourself in the
    owner’s shoes. When we look everything in the company through the lenses of the
    company, that is, we see its goals, its adversities, its strengths, and
    its weaknesses, we will soar above all others around us because we will be
    a perfect match with the company. 

    Very few people demonstrate connection with the companies
    they work for. No wonder so many employers are tired of many employees and many
    employees are tired of their jobs. The result? It becomes boring to work and
    you’re much likely to be in a position of being laid off when the first sign of
    recession hits. That’s why it’s imperative that we, the employees, don’t be
    concerned about ourselves first. We ought to be concerned with the matters and
    interests of the company first and foremost, always trying to see through the
    lenses of the company’s objectives. That way we will find ourselves useful in
    any organization and we will find pleasure for working in a place where we make
    a difference.

  • I learned that working smart is not just appearing and doing what is asked of you in the simplest manner, but rather applying everything that you can to ensure the job is done properly, effectively, and efficiently. Working smart to me means utilizing everything you have to optimize performance not only to promote your capabilities, not only to increase productivity, but because this action empowers you to grow quicker, smarter, stronger. Working smart can be considered living smart, by applying this concept in life in general then you no longer just work smart but you optimize your life into living smart.  

  • Years ago I learned that knowing what your boss wants is more important than being a “pet” or favorite. There were several people that Always “sucked” up to the boss and vied for his attention. I was not so interested in that, and preferred to just get the job done in the way that I was trained. One day my car broke down and I had to call in because my car simply would not start. My boss was very understanding but he doubted the information I gave him because many of my coworkers called in a lot. So I guess to test my integrity, he offered to pick me up and drop me off after work was over. I accepted the offer and from that day on he trusted me at my word. Of course rumors spread that I was the new “favorite” proving that you don’t always have to “suck up” to be considered by coworkers as a “pet”.

  • After reading the whole article I, as an undergraduate student, have come to realize that every little detailed and your own self is needed to “work smart” . One thing that I think I agree the most with is about the work relationships, not surpassing them ending like the bosses’s pet, but for example have good relationships with your other coworkers and of course your boss.Trying to be authentic and really responsible. With my little experience working, I have tried to remain authentic and thanks to it I have received the trust of my coworkers and superiors which made my work more enjoyable and easy.

    Also the tips at the end really make you aim higher into the career or dream job you are aiming for, well that is my point of view. All this tips, very well done.

  • Having an Associate of Arts degree at the age of 17, I was entirely convinced that I was off to the best start someone could ever wish for. However, I managed to rapidly learn that school did not teach you how to be work smart.
    Then I learned how you could become whatever you wanted with whatever degree or level of education as all you need is a complete determination and passion.
    As it became real to me that work is a place where I will find myself for a long period of my life, I decided to not do what others wanted or expected for me to do but what I passion and love.

  • I believe that we all know jbs arent just giving to us. Its up to us to apply our selves then make moves in the direction we wish to go in. We have to explore our selves and push ourselevs to our limits. Do we no how to talk communicate? Do not let your feelings control the whole conversation.

  • I can relate to this article in many ways. Being a college student and working has really been hard on me; I’m constantly exhausted either from work or school. I have learned that at work you are basically on your own. Your managers may teach you the basics but the rest is all up to you. Working at a fast food restaurant was hard for me at first, especially keeping up with people but with time everything got easier. 

  • I probably landed the best job right out of highschool, they were even going to help me financially with College and I blew it. My emotions took over my brain and I gave my 2 weeks thinking they would fight to keep me. If I would have just maintained and thought twice .. even slept on it I probably would be doing what I wanted to do  with the same company now that I have always wanted to do. Never talk with emotions… never think your too valuable to not be let go…

  • During my first job out of college, I had the problem that I felt I was being not being taken seriously and that my performance was not up to par. I addressed my boss informally and he gave very similar feedback. One of my problems was that I never told him when I had enough in my plate until I was completely saturated. Maintaining frequent and informal conversations about your workload, work performance, and progress is fundamental to your success. I found my job a lot more manageable and appreciated whenever my boss was on the same page as me.

  • As a recent college graduate and a new hire I learned a few things as I transitioned from college to the work force. First, I learned to not be too aggressive when voicing my opinions. Some people seem to perceive it as arrogance when it comes from the ‘new guy’. Learn the landscape, the resources that are available to you, and how to leverage them. Finally, offer to help your coworkers. That will make the integration process smoother and help you cultivate meaningful relationships.

  • What I gathered from this sucking up to the big boss can backfire. Growing up, my parents taught me that I have to work hard and strive to be the best in whatever I do. Being a suck up wasn’t it. I went into work did my my job and was not once a suck up and later got promoted. I agree that smart thinking can be learned.

  • I t is actually very important to get to know your boss and understanding what he/she wants, and what their expectations are both in the job place, and at a personal level (they want you to be smarter than them, etc). I have been working for 2 years at my current job, and in the beginning things were not as “easy going” as they are now. I was constantly being watched, asked tricky questions to see if I failed at anything or if I was not paying attention and forgot things. My job, before my actual job, became knowing my boss, understanding what he wanted and needed, and what things were important for him (what things not). The way you prove to be in the beginning determines the rest of your treatment and outcomes thereof. 

  • I’ve found that it’s just really important to do your job well. That’s all your boss wants from you.

  • You need to be self motivated and not afraid to speak up for yourself. Never blame someone else for your mistakes. Learn the computer and learn it well.

  • Right
    after high school I applied for a job with my favorite retail store. During my
    first few days of working I focused more on the customers than I did with
    organizing the store. And after a while I began to notice that keeping the
    store organized was my main priority. My boss’s highest priority is engaging
    with the customer and leaving the tasks for later, but at the end of the day
    she would complain about the store being a mess.

    This is where working smarter can help me. In between talking to customers I can
    fold and organize clothes to the boss’s expectations while still meeting her
    demand of customer engagement.

    I was recently trained to be main cashier and there are many different menus,
    promotions, coupons, and promotion codes to remember. Taking notes when being “chatted
    in” at the beginning of a shift will definitely increase efficiency and
    decrease my constant questions over the headset. This article has helped me
    understand the need for working smarter and not harder. With the advice given I
    know I can succeed with my job.

  • As a high school student I tried to find a well paying job. I tried to obtain a job as a seceratary. As I read the qualifications for the jobs I was applying for, I noticed many of them required some college experience. I was a dual enrolled student so I thought that I had a leg up. As I continued reading, though, I noticed that I would need more than a college degree. The qualifications section went on to also include years in secretarial experience. I did not have any secertarial experience so this, I felt, held me back.
    Although I had the higher education, it seemed like the most important qualification was experience. When working for a job, sometimes education does not help at all. Sure in college you gain some valuable work ethic and critical thinking skills, but can you carry our what you learned? As the article mentioned, you can still go to Yale or Harvard and suck at your job. It is about having the skills to adapt and work the best you can under any enivronment. College does not give you this skill, you teach it to yourself. So, if you don’t have a fancy degree, don’t worry. It’s not about your credentials, it is about your hard work.

  • The stakes are high and every thing is changing quickly. Soon there will be no money for college or it will be so expensive only the well off classes will be able to afford it. There is a new six year limit on grants which makes it hard to change majors or occupations if the one you choose is not working. I feel sorry for the younger generations, they will not have the opportunities at education we once had. After working most of my life and going to a few trade schools I decided to get a degree. As an adult student with a teen kid it was difficult but I kept a high gpa and graduated in exactly two years. With another year under my belt I am now transferring to a university this Fall but I am afraid all of my grant resources are tapped out. Without an education or specialized training the odds for obtaining a good decent paying job are slim. It is/going to be a rat race for living wage jobs and because of our credential society, many will be rejected.

  • No matter how fancy the degree, the person needs to have the
    ability to apply that knowledge they have invested in and channel it into a way
    that allows for that person to greatly succeed in their career. Unfortunately,
    that is where the problem arises, for many think that if they pay for the best
    school and work through it, they will have a successful career, but it take
    much more. One needs to have people skills and the ability to communicate their
    ideas forward in a non-aggressive manner, as well as the knowledge to work in a
    way that is smart and concise allowing the person’s boss to save time and
    money. Just having a fancy degree will not get someone through life, one need
    these abilities as well to be successful.

  • When I first entered the job force, I thought to be considered good at my job, I had to suck up to the boss. As my time at each job increased, my ego swelled. When I first went to work in a “grown-up” job instead of hostessing and waitressing, I still had not learned the valuable lessons of figuring out what your boss wants and always cover your self with paper trails and witnesses. After having two instances at two seperate jobs where I lost my job due to not crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s, I finally learned a valuable lesson about CYA, even with your boss. I got smart, worked harder, and took very careful documentation.

  • The reason that I would like this scholarships, I have some medicial issues that left me with a raspy voice.  I wanted to quit before I received my Associate’s Degree but I did not quit.  A quiter will get no where in live.

  •  Basically, it doesn’t matter where you got your degree, your job is only as secure as you make it. Figuratively speaking, you can make a piece of dog poop look like a cupcake if you put it in the right wrapper.

  • Everybody thinks if you go to college and go for that degree that will so called make you a lot of money, well sorry that’s not the case at all. Doesn’t matter how good your degree is, you’re still going to struggle on finding a job and might be working at a fast food restaurant with a Bachelors degree. I can really relate to this article because I had some of the best jobs when I was in high school and now that I’m in college, a lot has change. Still looking for a job and wish that I didn’t screw the jobs that I did have, that could be still be with me as of right now. Pretty soon we will have to work much hard to pay off our debts and classes for college because college tutions all over the nation is increasing more, grants having a six year deal and loans that might not exist, its up to us to figure how we are going to pay all of this and without a job or any back up plan, good luck to you. So think about what you really want to do with that degree that can so called make you millions, cause you will get a suprising reality from the job you thought you was going to get.

  • To be successful you have to work at it.  You can’t just expect everything to be given to you just because you have a piece of paper that says you have a degree.  You have to put the knowledge into the work instead of just sitting around waiting for things to be done.  Be a hard worker, a positive work, and a reliable worker…then you can be successful in your career!

  • I’m still a college student, and so I work in the Summers when I’m on vacation from school.
    The only way I’m continuing my college education is with loans and whatever scholarships or grants I receive. So when I am working, I make sure to do the best I can because I need the money to buy school books and things for school.

    I’m a journalism major hoping to do entertainment news, and I hope I can get a job after college
    to pay off all my loans, and to support myself.

  • You need to have good interpersonal skills to be
    successful in your career. Also, you need to be able to stand out from everyone
    else by taking notes, checking your work, and confirm your job performance with
    your boss when you are working. This advice is useful in getting a job and
    keeping your job.

  • I comprehended that with any job you must effectively and efficiently perform your work skills.  Your attitude, and ego must be appropriate at all times.  Your credentials are irrelevant if you are unable to prove yourself as a hardworking employee.  

  • You have to make a name for yourself at your job, wether you succeed or not depends solely on how you perform. Your performance at work will reflect on the amount your boss likes you.

  • I remember when I found this out I was at an internship that I was doing with my church and the lady that I was interning under wanted  me to do everything she asked but not only that she wanted me to make sure that if there were any problems that I couldn’t handle that I come to her about them.  I was supposed to do what I could and do it pretty perfectly with a few mishaps here and there only because I was new to the field and didn’t know everything.  It made me understand that your boss is there to help you succeed and I took every lesson I learned from her and ran with it.

  • What I got from this is that many can go to nice expensive colleges and still not have a clue in the outside world. College doesn’t prepare you for coming out and working. You have to be the one to ready yourself. Don’t be lazy. You should always love what you’re doing or there isn’t a point in going through with it.

  • education is to help an individual in life, through this i learned that education does not matter where you got your degree but it is how you use it. education helps an individual becomes successful only if that person is willing to work at it. being well educated gives you very good communication and people skills which are key in the work profession.

  • I learned through reading this that life is what we make it. education help guides us through life, it gives us skills to deal with people socially, and to be able to communicate intelligently. after i get that education i have the power to make it worth, education alone is not worth anything but how i apply that education is how life will turn out.

  • This article provides points that would be usefull to anyone in the job field, with or without a degree. Its important to know that education will not make the career, you have to do it. Dont get sucked into the corporate stereo type and use skills that will be valuable to your boss in the real world.

  • I graduated an RN program and gathered that it’s very important to know who your patient is, have a great knowledge of their pathophysiology, and execute a plan and intervention that will help them return and perform basic life skills (walking, breathing, washing self, eating, and so forth). 

  • Taking initiative and work to gain knowledge will help you grow in any job you take. Always try to do your best and show that you are willing to take on new task and duties, would be my motto.

  • This article has some very interesting points about working smart and I agree with a lot of them. I remember when I was working for a company and my performance was good in comparison to the other employees so my boss will always appreciate my work. Then I was transferred to another store where I was given a different manager who really pushd for the best in me. I learned that I had to figure out way to do three times  as much as I did at the other store with lesser hours. I was reminded that there were plenty of people looking for jobs so I should work like I wanted to keep mine.

  • During my first year at Iowa State University, I encountered a professor much like the boss described in this article.  He was a successful architect, having produced work around the country.  However, he had a very difficult time communicating exactly what it was he wanted from us as students.  Often, when we asked him specific question regarding a project, he would shrug his shoulders and respond, “Just do it.”  

    So I did.  I went on instincts; whenever I was unsure how to process in a work I chose what felt right and proceeded, my version of “working smart.”  As a result, my “Machine” project will be displayed on the National Mall in Washington DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Exhibition.  

    As it turns out, rather than becoming the “boss’s (or professor’s) pet,” by being myself and working smart, I experienced what I hope to be the first of many successes in the field of architecture.

  • I have found that it is true that the boss expects things out of you that you have to learn yourself because they do not take the time to train. Sometimes you do your best and you might even surprise yourself. 

  • Where you got your degree doesn’t matter the point is that you worked hard to get it and be where you are. There is going to be competition everywhere in every job but as long as you continue to work hard your job will be yours. You don’t have to be boss’s pet or anything like that just show them you know what you are doing and your good at it.

  • I have found with many of my past jobs that doing the job the “right” way the way you are told/asked is best, once you have that down as in the article above you can start to change the “right” way to the way that works best for you while still keeping the integrity of the job and the things that are needed to be kept. just because its MY way doesn’t make it the BEST way!

  • When I first got the job that I’m working now, I just decided to work as hard as I could for as long as I could. I’d be the first to show up and the last to leave. Even now, they see me as a hard worker. I think first impressions are extremely important, and they can especially help you move ahead! Working smarter is definitely a plus. It’s aggravating to pay one person to do something that can take you half the amount of time- so finding ways to do the same thing better and faster is always the best choice. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from- what you put in is what you will get out of your job and out of life.

  • It sounds like the old basics still work. Work hard, get a good education/educate yourself, and put your best effort into everything you do. Also don’t expect things to be handed to you on a platter. All of the advice in this article is solid; especially since it helps explain how to behave in the workplace. Personally, that’s what I am most worried about moving into the workplace after almost 20 years in school…thanks for the guidelines.

  • Sani
    I had an experience with a manager, which relates to working smart. When I was first hired, my manager had only been in her role for six months. I was not hired in a managerial role at this company but I had nine years of former managerial experience along with a take charge personality.
    I soon realized that my willingness to take charge of projects was irritating my boss. The reason I took charge was because it became obvious, to our staff, that the manager did not know what she was doing or where to begin at times. None-the-less, my actions irritated her. Soon after realizing this, I decided to work smart and take a step back and allow her to take charge or at least think she was.
    Therefore, by working smart through changing my approach with my boss, she began to nominate me to take charge of many projects. At this point, she knew that I was highly capable and would rather have someone that knew what she was doing take over. Most importantly, by allowing her the opportunity to delegate, she felt she was in charge as the Alpha leader. The moral of this story is there are many ways in which working smart can improve your working relationship with your boss and propel you further.

  • This lesson compares very similar to my real life and the difficulties it has for students. I thought that going to school and getting good grades was the key to a job. It is much more than that, you need to be active in the community, get to know companies and who you want to work for, and build the relationship between you and your boss. It takes experience and time to achieve what you want, not just what you think you can do

  • Some people think that as soons as you graduate and get a job everything will be perfectly fine. Once a company hires you, being successful in your work become the most important goal to accomplish. the first month every employee give their best effort. Once they feel relax and comfortable will their work they tend to be lazy or simply not doing their best.

    This article is excellent for any entry-level person. We all should know the basic duties that every boss want us to do. By accomplishing this goals we will be a sucessful employee no matter from what university we graduated.


  • I agree with Jang001. I think that finding a job nowadays is all about having good written and oral communication skills as well as being personable and able to interact with a variety of personalities. This article is an amazing tool for recent college graduates. It tells you in no-nonsense terms how to do well in your career. It basically practices what it preaches. Being precise and specific and getting straight to the point without alienating people. I am definitely going to use this!

  • I agree the job market is tougher today and being great at your job is the only way to go if you want to keep your job.  You may have your degree from a Ivy League school but a person who may have went to a state school or community college can still work harder or just as hard as you.  For example, my mother did not graduate college but works with many people who graduated from great, expensive universities but she got to the same place as them by working hard and learning from her mistakes.  

  • Everyone is different; including bosses and what their expectations for their employees might be. What may be a desirable characteristic to one boss, might not be for another. “Working smart” means being flexible enough to change your work habits to suit your bosses expectations. It is a skill that could be learned, but a person must become more open-minded to be able to reach an understanding of others’ needs.

  • What I have taken away from  this article is that the key of success is not to work harder but to work smarter. Not only look at success as being the “best” at your job but by also helping people acheive there maximum potential as well. 

  • Many managers are willing to teach employees what they know if they are aware the employee is dedicated and hardworking.

    To move up in the company, employees must constantly prove they are not easily discouraged and will not let others stand in their way of succeeding. Individuals who set goals and establish effective plans to achieve their goals will earn the respect of their bosses and employers and will get where they want to be.

  • I agree and relate to this article, particularly the “It’s not about becoming your boss’s pet” segment. For most of my working career, I’ve taken jobs merely to pay the bills, and not out of any genuine interest. With that, since returning to college, my passion has become history, and I look to teach the subject upon completing my degree. And now that I’ve matched-up what I plan to do with who I am as a person, I look forward to a satisfactory career based upon my interest.

  • No one in their right mind would argue against being smart. However, to “work smart”, it is not enough to simply follow instructions and do as your boss tells you to do. Mastering an existing process is an important step, but if the existing process is inefficient, then you have only mastered an ineffective technique. Always look for ways to improve or refine existing processes to “irreducible simplicity”. Not only will this allow you to work smarter, it can free up more of your time to tackle new projects. Most promotions involve taking on additional responsibilities. In turn, if your boss is able to delegate additional tasks to you, it makes them look like an effective leader, and they too will be able to focus on improving the business.

    While working as an administrative assistant for an accounting firm, I was faced with the cyclical demand of the tax seasons. Historically, their business had bottlenecks in their output capacity. Usually this occurred in two places: reviewing tax returns for errors, or packaging the information in a user-friendly way prior to delivery of the finished product. Whereas they had a team of certified accounts able to review tax returns, I was the only one involved with processing and packaging the returns.

    A few months after I was hired, I had mastered the existing process, but was suddenly faced with over 2,000 tax returns in just two months. On average, it took about 10 minutes to package each return. So I had 20,000 minutes of work to do with only 19,200 minutes to do it (8 hours per day * 60 [convert to minutes] * 5 days a week * 4 weeks a month * 2 months). That’s assuming that I work at 100% capacity, which is impossible for any human to do. This also ignores the fact that this was not my only responsibility… I also had to cover the reception desk at times, organize continuing education classes for the accountants, and much more. Overtime was practically mandatory.

    As you can imagine, the first year was rough. There was a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. I worked hard, but the bottleneck was evident in the sharp peaks and valleys of the workflow. While I was considered to be competent and a good employee, it was business as usual. However, by the second year, they were saying that “it was the best tax season we’ve ever had” and that I played a crucial role. What changed? It wasn’t a massive overhaul of the entire system and they didn’t hire additional staff members to take the overflow. On my end, I implemented several small changes that make a big difference.

    For example, when packaging a tax return for a client, one of the last steps is to either mail it out or have them pick it up. The old process suggested that the name and address of the client be handwritten. This usually took up to two minutes per return to look up and write out. However, I quickly created a small template that pulled client information from an existing database, and had it print to a standardized label. While it took a few hours to set up this initial process, it meant that this step only took about 15 seconds instead of 120. Doesn’t seem like much at first, but during the tax season, it saved an estimated 3,500 minutes (about 60 hours of work). Working smarter and refining existing processes proved to be instrumental during my time there. I received glowing recommendations and was offered several promotions.

    To work smart, DO NOT just follow instructions… IMPROVE them.

    • the main thing is just because you went to school . Dose not mean you will get the best job out there. you have to work hard to move up. like my dad would tell me you can not work like homer simson and keep a job. you have to have goal and work hard on them every day any relook at them from time to time too.

  • Especially because I have just started searching for a job recently, this showed me many great tips regarding work ethic and the basic step of getting hired. What I took from this was that if you want to stand out, don’t brand yourself but build yourself up. If your job application isn’t very good then you must not be either.

  • When working at a job you find the balance of being your own person who is willing to learn and teach.  You have to understand that you work for someone so doing things that you don’t want to do or doing things that others tell you to do is important so one has to have patience and tolerance. You also have to have a good attitude and have a goal to become better each day.

  • From both being in school and working I find that everyone has different personalities and some personalities do not work together so I have to work or tolerate others as well as others having to tolerate me.  When one complains, or decides not to do what they are told because they feel like they do not have to does not solve anything. 
    As a Christian I have learn to serve others and humble myself when i have to face challenging were I have to have people bossing me around who are not my boss, or having my boss sort of run me over because he or she has the higher hand.
    I applied for one job and my boss and coworkers made me do ther work they did not want to do because I was new.  I became stronger as a person because it test me as a person, as a worker, and as a Christian.

    • The best advice I have heard is that before you can lead, you need to know how to follow. It can be very difficult and frustrating when there is tension at work or disagreements. Just remember you cant control others, only yourself. If you stay calm and do what is asked of you without becoming emotional or complaining, people will naturally come to see you as a calm collected person who uses good judgement. Potentially this can lead to promotions as your superiors will view you with a positive attitude and possibly a leader.

  • I have worked in different work environments, from fast paced to pretty quiet and slow.  No matter where I was I always tried to put in 100% and my bosses noticed.  There was a time that a customer yelled at me for something that I didn’t even do but because of how I handled the situation (remaining professional), my boss respected me even more.  It isn’t about kissing up or throwing others under the bus, but more just growing and adapting.  I am very thankful for my experiences and know that I am always growing and changing, which works in today’s career world.

  • Walking into a new job is always stressful, you need to meet new people become a responsible individual with good work ethic and learn what is needed for the job. Most of the time you don’t know what is expected and you feel bad asking every single minute. Yet, asking is the main key to show interested in doing well on the job. You need to ask and act upon what was taught. Employers will love to brag about their brand new hired employee who is doing the job with more character and energy than the older workers. A work place always needs diligent workers who are willing to provide good costumer care. That’s the way to rise in a job. 

  • I’ve found that most employers want is an employee that in on time, is reliable, has a flexible schedule, and is teachable. I’ve only had part time jobs, and i’ve only gotten fired once for schedule conflicts. A chain of events occurred (i was ill and my car broke down) that i had no control over, but resulted in me becoming jobless. I’ve learned now that if your sick, go to work anyway, let the employer determine weather your sick enough to go home, and if your car breaks down, find a ride, because its a lot better to feel a little sick or owe someone a favor then to lose your job. If you show the effort that you want to be there, then you’ll excel in any job you obtain.

  • Im my experience working different part time jobs, i’ve found that employers want an employee that will simply be there for work. Starting out, i didn’t know this simple fact. This resulted in me being fired by one of those part time jobs. I would be sick, or my car would break down, so instead of trying to go to work i would call in, stay home and watch tv all day. not the most responsible thing to do. After that experience i’ve learned that if your sick you better be able to get a doctors note. So if its a stuffy nose or a cough, go anyway, and let your employer determine if your sick or not. If your car breaks down, find another ride or even get a taxi, because its a lot better to endure one day being sick, or one day in a taxi, than to lose your job forever. 

  • In my experience working different part time jobs, i’ve found that employers want an employee that will simply be there for work. Starting out, i didn’t know this, and it resulted in me being fired by one of those part time jobs. I would be sick, or my car would break down, so instead of trying to go to work i would call in, stay home and watch tv all day. Not the most responsible thing to do. After that experience i’ve learned that if your sick you better be able to get a doctors note. So if its a stuffy nose or a cough, go anyway, and let your employer determine if your sick or not. If your car breaks down, find another ride or even get a taxi, because its a lot better to endure one day being sick, or one day in a taxi, than to lose your job forever. 

  • It is completely obvious that every person has a different personality and that since we all live together we have to learn how to deal with those different that us. We always have to learn from others how to deal with things in different situations of our lives. My boss today is the most wonderful person. He is very quite but very nice to other and he is able to be calm at al time. I have learned to manage my anger to other with him and to tolerate other people no matter what. It is a very important lesson for all of us to learn in order to survive in our society and communities

  • At my job, people wouldn’t tell me what to do, unless I did something wrong.  Just because I was new, I felt like I was being put on the sidelines all the time and I all I wanted to do was play.  But whenever I tried to get in the game, my teammates would put me back on the bench because I did something when I was just trying to help.  It was so frustrating having to learn everything by being reprimanded.
    Hopefully after I graduate from college I will land a great job with awesome people who are willing to help me get started.  I will have to rely on God to give me the strength to get through a tough job and I’ll have to follow His plan for my life.

  • Being a graduate student from college does not assure you to have a job. The opportunity of being in college is for us to learn and know how to apply it into the real life. 

  • What I have learned is both from the article and from my personal experience is that being successful in the workplace isn’t just about showing and “working.”  Being successful involves interacting with coworkers and people in authority above you in a way that clearly communicates your message.  Not only is communication important but so are the actions you take at work.  If your boss gives you something to do, don’t say, “That’s not my job.” Make yourself a valuable asset and complete the task assigned. If you don’t know how to do it, learn it.  Crosstraining will make you more valuable to the company and people in authority over you will see your value to the company.

  • Something interesting is the new for more markets. Recently I read Blue Ocean strategy, that address this issue in depth. I found the book very interesting and found this website entries interesting as well. What I have learned that in order to sustain in the market that an individual must be willing to change and be open to new ideas and digit innovation.

  • I have worked in mainly steady to fast paced work environments. Some jobs took me step by step through my duties and others basically “threw me to the dogs”. I realized that I had to prove to my boss that even though I did not thoroughly know my duties that I could learn quickly and adapt. Seeing this my boss appeared impressed.

    My first job was hard the other employees where in a standoff. Trying to get us to chose side but I just wanted my job not any fights. The managers would just sit there and watch or pick witch side they like best it was horrible. I was only there seasonal because I didn’t pick a side. This has though me that at some jobs even though many have gotten older there attitudes have not changed. Now I found a new job and I’m completely happy I have learned it takes years of experienced to handle certain situations.

  • Something very important needed to succeed in a job is clear communication pathways between you, your boss, and your fellow employees. It is very hard to be reading each others’ mind and in my job I learned that is was of great importance to ask what was expected of me instead of guess what I was supposed to do. 

  • I completely agree with the “branding yourself”.  This is something that was told to me when I just recently got a promotion in a corporate job.  I also very much believe in effective work being the best possible solution to moving up with a company.  By always following through on what I say I am going to do, and also offering an honest opinion on occasion, I have developed a good name and “brand” in the company I work in. 
    Hopefully, one day, I can start up my own business and if my current bosses were to be my clients I would be a happy business owner!

  • Having read through most of the useful advice presented here and on the links, I get the impression that most of the ‘Do’s’ when job searching or actually in a job are all manifestations of the Can Do attitude. This doesn’t overly surprise me: when I changed the motto by which I live my life what I got out of life drastically improved. Just 3 simple words: Tomorrow Starts Today!

  • It’s interesting to me how much work environments can differ. One thing I’ve struggled with is when to know whether I’m being too pushy asking for things to do if they just don’t have anything for me at the moment. I feel as though I’m wasting company time when I end up doing other productive things at work while I’m on the clock, but when I go to ask for something to do, what else am I supposed to do?

    • If you’ve asked for additional work and have not received a sufficient amount, maybe there are miscellaneous things you can do that would benefit your team or your work environment on the whole. It depends on what your role is and what kind of setting you work in. Can you create or prepare something of value (whether it’s cutting standard lengths for future use in a manufacturing process or compiling an easy-to-read list of contacts all in one place) or can you find ways to improve any of the processes that you are involved with? Can you take any on-the-job training? Keep in mind that there is no such thing as downtime when you’re on the clock. If there is work to be done, you can do it; otherwise, if there is no work to do, your employer may look at reducing your hours to fit the role.

  • In regards to asking about performance, that’s one thing most professionals don’t expect but they do appreciate. Last summer as an intern at a publishing company in Des Moines, I would periodically ask my supervisors if there was anything I could do differently and anything else I could work on. I think they appreciated my proactivity in both of those areas. I actually received a job offer from them last January, but had to decline as I’m finishing graduate school. That was one of the harder decisions I’ve had to make.

  • This article is a great motivational piece to help not only new employees, but also the seniors that have been in the career world for a while redefine their work ethics. Knowing that this article was written by an actual boss gives it credentials and insight to get a better idea of what a boss expects from you. There is a lot of helpful advice throughout this article, if the reader attains only one small part of it, it will be beneficial to them and their career.

  •  This article is a motivational piece that is beneficial to not only entry-level new employees, but also to the seniors who have been in the working world for a while. It has very helpful advice throughout the whole article, and if a reader attains only one part it will be beneficial to their career. The part that caught my eye that best relates to me is “your thoughts become actions”. I could not agree more with this statement. How you interact and work can be rooted back to your mood that day. I always try to stay positive even in the worst situations at work, because it effects everyone and everything around you. Think before you act, think before you speak, because a mood will go away, if not, then the paycheck will.

  • Dedication, and motivation are the keys for success. College not only prepares you for the bumpy road of the real world, but it also makes you use critical thinking skills for situations that do not go your way. Choose what career you want that makes you happy, not the career that pays well. 

  • I feel the best way I have enter any workplace has been by asking someone, even if it’s an employer, how is your day going. When it is in casual circumstance and it is not forced, can be a great way to be remembered and also to form a good connection with the employer so you better understand what he/she wants out of your role.

  • I learned the “work smarter” lesson form my previous job. I worked at the university as an
    engineering ambassador. My job entailed data collection, creating biweekly reports, and teaching elementry, middle, and high school students about engineering. My boss didnt give instructions on
    how to complete assignments, and there was no procedure manual for it. He wanted us to use our creative minds and get the assignments done on time. At first this was very difficult and I sucked at my job, considering I wasin my second semester in college. I learned how to type professional emails by many seeing examples and on occasions being told what not to do by my boss. I learned to always CC my boss and to keep excellent notes in order to cover my back.

    With practice, I was able to “work smarter” and worked there for two years before I got hired to conduct research. Now I am being entrusted to send emails to customers and handel big projects and it is only my 3rd week on the job.  I learned to never give up, even if you suck at your job. Do the best you can in any position and once find a career that you love to do, it will be a walk in the park to complete assignments. 

  • Of all the lessons I’ve learned the most profound has been that knowing the right thing doesn’t matter unless your doing it and you do the right thing not because your afraid of who’s watching or that you might get caught in the wrong, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. Having common sense and common courtesy go miles because unfortunately, as of late they’re not very common.

    Working hard AND smart, showing you have honesty, integrity, and strong core moral values can set you leagues above your colleagues. A mistake is only a problem if you dont take these three steps. When you make a mistake, you own it, take responsibility for your actions. Then learn from it, if your not learning your not growing. Finally, let it go don’t dwell on it and harbor the negativity of it or it can destroy you.

  • Working at dead end jobs has helped me see how much more I am capable of and what I can contribute to this world.

  • If there is something I’ve taken with me from my job experiences and this article it’s that in order to be successful both as an individual and as a company there is a balance needed between all involved, and you must learn when it’s time to put your effort and skills in one place over another maintain that balance. 

    When Eric Shannon talks about “working smart” he mentions the need for honestly and sincerity. There is hopefully a professional relationship that develops between you and your boss, but it’s not always about pleasing your boss, which you’ll learn if you’re honest and sincere. Success came when I figured out how and when to balance when what I was doing was for me, for my boss, and for the company. It’s never, well, should never be about one singular person. 

    Once you join a company you are a part of a multi-person team aiming for a common goal, while there is still desire among everyone for individual achievement. Working as a teacher with AmeriCorps challenged me many times to figure out when what I was doing was for myself and my experiential gain, the children, my principal, or the school as a whole. It’s the self sacrifice that it sometimes take for personal gain that has advanced my career along the way.

  • Working smart seems to have gone a long way for my throughout my college career so far. As a junior, I have had the same job since freshman year working in my schools athletic department. I have no choice but to work because my loans aren’t getting paid off themselves, but it is such a hard task managing time to work our sporting events which have specific times that cannot be maneuvered along with my 6 course weekly schedule.  

    My job includes everything from working in the office updating our athletics website to making sporting event player cards to clipping out newspaper articles that involves information about our school’s athletics. On the field and court, I am the person who does the official statistics. Outside of work, I am a hardworking student who needs to find the time to get homework done, study, and have some free time. Working smart for me is to know how to balance my hectic schedule in order to pass my classes and work to support myself and give back to the school community by showing school spirit and being there when they need me. I have such a passion for sports so sometime I find myself saying I can work a double header baseball game instead of getting my homework done which leads to me pulling all-nighters at the library that all college students have at least once in a while. Working smart and realizing going that extra step to get everything done is so worth it.

  • Last summer I worked two retail jobs.  Through the experience of these two jobs I am able to relate the concept of ‘working smart’ to how I handled myself in those jobs and kept them balanced and under control.

    I was new to retail and did not know some of the lingo and terms often used at first.  It was difficult and I felt almost out of place, but eventually I was able to catch on.  The skills mentioned in this article are similar to the skills I picked up on throughout my job experience, in order to feel more comfortable and gain more respect. 

    I learned that being precise and to the point was very important in this type of work.  When a particular task needed to be done out on the sales floor it was communicated in a direct fashion.  I realized I needed to be communicating with my co-workers and boss in the same way. I also learned that if I made a mistake it was important to own up to the error and learn from that mistake.  These are two skills mentioned above that fall under the category of “20 things your boss wants from you.”

    These skills that I picked up on throughout my summer of work really helped turn around my whole experience.  At first, I was overwhelmed and felt as if I did nothing right, leading me to believe that I was not very liked.  But, as time went on and I began to change the way I approached certain scenarios, I began to feel more competent.  This changed my overall attitude and I became a lot more positive.  I was also able to learn that being honest and wholehearted allowed for a lot more success. Using the skills mentioned above can be very beneficial to your overall success at work. 

    I do believe that “working smart” skills can be learned.  I feel that if someone has an open mind and is willing to try out new skills in order to preform better at work and even in their daily lives, success won’t be far.

    • The ability to achieve comes from within, so the ability to learn or adapt comes from the same thing. I am a middle aged woman with a full time job, a son and grandson and a mother that has huge back issues that I see about on a daily basis but none of that will stop me from achieving the goal of getting my masters.

  • I know that when I graduated from my Bachelor’s, a job should have almost been guaranteed. It wasn’t. I had to work hard and prove my ability to be a strong candidate for the position. I suceeded, but only after 6 weeeks for determination and character building.

  • The majority of my college career, I have worked outside of school either as a wait-person, or a bartender. I believe that the same work ethic, and job skills, that have made these jobs successful and lucrative for me can apply to every job, including my future career in theology. I try to make sure that I genuinely listen to the needs of other people, whether it is my boss, or a customer. It’s good to try to anticipate some one’s needs, but when your first goal is to impress, rather than to understand and meet needs, it is easy to lose sight of other persons; if it weren’t for the needs of other people there would be no jobs to work. I believe the best way to accomplish this is to work to genuinely CARE about persons for whom you work; working smart for me is keeping a balance of consideration for your boss, your clients, and yourself in your drive to succeed. 

  • Though I haven’t been employed in the work field after high school, competition is growing at a fast and critical rate.

    It’s a life known lesson that playing the game by your own rules is only possible to those who learn the original rules in the first place.

    I have to say I enjoyed reading the article. The cold hard truth is what gets the message across and really makes the changes you need in life as well as in work.

  • The one thing they don’t teach you in school is how to handle hard situations in a work place. There are people out there who turn each other in, to get ahead. There are others who will make you miserable and there are bosses out there we will love, hate and love to hate. No one teaches you how to deal with the stress of having a job that is hard, working with people who make it hard, and having to work through all the issues that come up. Life does not come with instructions, and while they can teach us how to do our job they cannot teach how to deal with the bumps that come along the way!

  • Being a mother, employee and student takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Most of all it takes more mind over matter. With that being said, sometimes in the work place you will have to overlook many people due to their negative and rude attitude. I work in the medical field and it is already hard to deal with patients that get under your skin constanly for their whining behavior. Then you must deal with the coworkers that are insecure in their position where they feel they must kiss up to stay ahead. I believe I must always be honest with and to myself in all things I do. If I cannot be rewarded for my job performance and sincerity I do not need the promotion or position.
    Many people make the mistake of trying to be the boss pet by telling everything their coworkers do, thinking it will keep them ahead. No one likes a person that tells everything, it makes you look nosey and a trouble maker. Everyone break the rules every once and a while. If you say you have never stole supplies from your employer, that makes you a liar and not trustworthy. The employer do not want to hear answers you think they want, they want to know how can you be an assest to the company and will you be forth coming no matter what. When your employer give you feedback on your evaluation use it as positive feedback and grow from it. Do not feel they are picking on you and do not want you to advance in your career. That will show strength and maturity.

  • If you take the time to do anything at work, take the time to master the system that makes the business or company successful and efficient. A trustworthy employee that will go above and beyond to follow the rules and make a distinctive effort to better themselves for the sake of improving a company, is the employee I want to keep. If you have ideas to improve the function of your job, let them be known. The issue in society and the work force today is that most people are reactive instead of active. Do not wait for opportunities. Take initiative, and see the imperfections that are in front of your face every day. Once you can see the imperfections, you are ready to create solutions. People will always try to be noticed and you might be in the way. So expect a set back ever now and then, either from your own mistakes or the actions of others. Learn a valuable lesson and move on. I have learned without my college education that if you want to be successful at any company you need to be active. Contribute successfully and work well with others.

  • Working smarter includes surrounding yourself with the right people. I always believe that working hard meant something and this was what it took to move up the corporate ladder. I finally realize that it is not what you know that is important but having the right attitude and networking with the right people is just as important.

  • In my years of experience in the Electrical industry i’ve come to learn that working with out thinking its just not good protocol. Even in my days in the military my supervisor always said work smart not hard. I did not understand at first but once i was given my own workcenter I realized what he meant. In my industry our biggest concern is safety and for as much we want to work fast and productively, safety allways comes first. With that said I see people with higher education degrees that do not understand this concept. Working smart should take in account safety procedure plus operational procedures and on top of all that the abilities of the people performing the work.

  • I’ve always done pretty well at work. I have found the key to being successful is to find out what your boss expects of you, make sure you make that happen to the best of your ability while staying focused, organized, and prepared.

    Once I have been with a company for a while I try to think of new ways to streamline, declutter, or help the business run more effectively. I’ve done this being a cashier, receptionist, field office manager, and bookkeeper. This has always resulted in promotions or bonuses.

  • This sums up working for my current company. In my current position, no one at my company had the knowledge to be able to train me for the role. It was something I had to learn on my own. As I learned the role, I learned how things could be done more effectively and started a way to make the chains. This was something my boss loved and to this days helps me be stronger, organized, and moving forward and rewarded at my company. It isn’t as stated being the boss’ pet, but knowing how to shine and work harder at the role you are do for a job. O

  • I think we all can say that we can do better at work. I think we have good intentions to be a great worker, but everyday stress and life get in the way. I think if you know your most effective way of working and able to try to decrease your amount of stress, you will work smarter.

  • I agree that one can have all the credentials in the world, but if you lack common sense it is worthless. One must know how to use the education in the proper manner in order for it to be effective. As l learn more from school, I realize there were better ways I could have handled work-related issues in the past.

  • I had a boss that was a tyrant, so to speak, and I could never seem to make him happy. To save myself, and my boss the continued frustration, I emailed him asking for a very general outline of the type of work he preferred,preferred method of communication,ways he measured a successful outcome,etc. Simple things, but ones that vary greatly from person to person. Once he replied, I printed out the email and referenced it when he (or I) had confusion about something, and we had substantially less problems from then on.

  • I currently work for a company that is very forward moving in the physical therapy industry. In order to keep up with the demands of the constant activity that is flowing through the company with the aquiring of new companies, honesty and being straight forward on your thoughts and true work load capacity are essential. Your advice is really right on the money in regards to what I see my own boss looking for in his employees.

  • Working in an educational environment it is important to work as a team. Teamwork leads to leadership and the ability to accomplish all goals and tasks. Principals at schools want teachers who can work together, care about their students and who are competent in their subject areas. In my experience, working in a professional community of teachers where sharing and teamwork occurs, everyone is happy and successful.

  • I learned a hard lesson from the first (and only) job I ever got fired from. First of all you are not always the best fit for a job. You can do everything you think is right, play by the rules and try to read your bosses mind. In the end it’s the bosses decision…hence the reason he or she is the boss. But the lesson was that this one “failure” does not define me and I have to be true to who I am in any job I do.

  • From reading this whole guide, the best advice that I could take from this and run with is to work smart. Before landing my first position in management at the mere age of 19, I learned that not only do you need to work hard, you work smart. Building a good relationship with not just your boss but also with everyone you work with will help you in the long run. You do not do much good in many companies if you can not work with others so being a team player is always the way to go.

  • I feel that there are a lot of good tips here on ways to succeed in the workplace and many of these I often use at the workplace and throughout my daily life. I feel that there is a number of ways to make a lasting impression with your workplace.

  • I have realized that common sense plays a key role in production along with following rules and regulations. A lot of people will think they are following the procedure, even if they have not read it all the way through. What they end up coming across is errors and confusion because things were not followed thoroughly. Working without constant complaining can also make the job a lot easier. The more one complaiins about how others are doing something, the less they catch their own mistakes.

  • I have never been good with bosses. They tend to get irritated when I point out their mistakes in front of their peers. They don’t seem to understand that the only way to avoid that is for them to not make mistakes in the first place. I forgive them for their stupidity of course. Mortals are mortals. They have those things,…I think they are called egos.
    But I digress.
    I disagree with the notion that if you are your own boss, the people you are catering your business to are in charge of you. That may be true of some industries, but not in clinical research. Most wealthy people would give anything to live for ever. And when you can offer them a glimpse of immortality with cancer treatments that actually work, with organ replacements grown right from their cells or with DNA therapy that can literally stop time, you have nothing to worry about. After getting a Doctorate degree in Genetic Engineering I shall pursue those goals. I will answer to no one. Always have, always will.
    Otherwise these tips seem perfect for someone who settles for a 9-5. I am in no position to judge people who do, in fact I suggest they follow these tips and I wish them luck. For others like me, I hope they have the strength and will to remain as such. It is hard not to turn into a corporate zombie when you are clearly outnumbered. Good luck, my friends!

  • I was fortunate to find a temp job leading to full time employment with a large corporation. The corporation hired within leading me to slowly move up. Eventually, I became a pharmacy technician within the company and continued to grow. I found that attendance, staying on task, and accepting feedback from others was important within my position. Respecting other employees and myself was essential also. I am now in school to become an elementary school teacher and I am excited! New challenges ahead but I am ready because I feel confident in myself as an employee and know I will be asset to the school where I teach! I will make sure that I use all of the important tools I have learned working for a corporation over the years!

  • I have worked at many jobs that require you to work smart. I have been a certified nursing assistant for over 10 years and this job requires you to think on your feet. You are constantly thinking about the course of action you need to take in order to get everything done efficiently and effectively. You have to all this and at the same time please the boss. This is a hard task to do because you always trying to please everyone. So you constantly have to work smart to please your boss, the residents, yourself, other coworkers, and the state surveyors.

  • I am just trying to make my life more better as being a single parent of four children. I enrolled in school to better myself as well as my children. I have really gotten to a point where I am just tired of struggling. I want to be able to save my finances without spending all of my hard working money on just bills. I am determine that I will win and accomplished every goal that I have set in my life.

  • The best advice I have is honesty goes along way in your employment. By telling the truth will help the boss understand why you had made a mistake or sucked at your job. It is not demeaning when your honest and do not understand or know how to master a task. Noone is able to fix a mistake or move ahead without admitting they need help or extra training.

  • I have had great success in the jobs that I have held. I have held a very high level management position and always felt that it was necessary to grow others on your team in order for you to grow yourself as a manager. The key factor is to never stop learning. It helps to have a “child like wonder” approach to all things. This type of thinking allows for us to remove the adult insecurities and conditions placed on us in order to think of things in a new way.

  • I excel in the workplace. I have been promoted or offered full time positions at everywhere I have worked. I think this is due to my excellent interpersonal skills and my work ethics. I strive to do the best I can at everything I do. I am hoping a degree will enhance my technology and financial skills, so I have more to offer prospective employers.

  • I have a current boss that has taught me a lot of lessons both good and bad. When I took this job 3 years ago but the belief that I would take over as manager in a few years once my manager retires. I took the job because of the great opportunity, the money was better than I ever had plus the benefits were not bad either but I quickly learn that you life is a trade off and very seldomly do we come across the perfect job where every thing is actually perfect. I did my job well and excelled at it but the feedback that I got was not what I expected. My evaluation was excellent in all areas but stated that I failed to work well with others because I complained about the work of one of my coworkers simply because the things she failed to do always ended up on my desk to handle.I was told by my manager that she has been here a lot longer than I had and she would probably be here when I am gone.. That comment showed me a lot about people and how the real job world works. I was devasted but learned to express myself in other ways. I no longer went to my boss but rather the coworker. I learned to work smarter and find more positive and direct ways to handle matters without always including my boss. She seemed more satisfied with the outcome and has never said anything else about it.

  • i started off as a cashier at wendy’s. I worked hard and i was promoted to assistant manager within six month. Once i became the assistant manager, my boss complained about everything i did. It made me feel worthless sometimes. The thing is , i was still a hard worker, but my boss felt like if she she continued to make me look bad it would make her look great. eventually they transferred her because they wanted to see how my performance would be without her around. our sells went up and we got better scores on inspections. Finally, they realized how good of a worker a was. I just needed a little guidance and motivation.

  • Working with a very successful and refutable company has taught me the things to look for in people and how to conduct business successfully with others. I have worked for companies really struggling in the market followed by a really successful company and can easily talk about what these struggling companies were doing wrong to where I do not make the same mistake when I start my own business. I have suffered a severe health matter at the moment that has incapacitated me from the ability to work, however, I strive to continue school, network in all possible ways, and prepare for my future by taking what I learned from my previous employer whom I worked for and learned the greatest lessons in life and success.

  • Work. Work. Work. To do work, to have work, and to be out of work; all things that are determined by our perseverance. I had to start working my sophomore year of high school as a secretary. I had two days of training and my boss told me I was ready, the problem was that I had competition. One of us was going to stay, and the other was going to go. I could have been a “kiss up”, a know-it-all, but instead I decided to show my boss that I would take the time to learn and not just assume. The other guy, on the other hand, decided he would dive in head first. I thought that would work, but he made numerous mistakes that could have given the company a bad name. Although I took more time than he did in getting things done, I did them correctly. I decided not to oversell myself and really portray the fact that I’m only human. Two years later, I’m the one still working in the office while “the other guy” is stuffing bags at the grocery store.

  • My current boss has taught me several life lessons as well as how to be a good supervisor. She always has a smile on her face even when she is not having a good day. Her motto is that if you think positive then positive things will come back to you and a bad attitude will just bring you down. This has helped me in my professional life, my personal life and my academic life. There were times both at work and in school that things got tough and I wanted to give up but then I thought of what my boss as said to me over the years, all the advice and encouragement she gave me and that kept me motivated to finish this journey. I am an “older” student who started college late in life but this is a goal that I intend to reach so that I am able to seek out my “dream” job of working with special needs children and at risk teens who need mentoring.

  • I have a boss that is a wonderful person, but very hard to work for. She felt threatened by me, but has been on the job for 30+ years. She would constantly nag and worry about whether or not the job is done when she does not help and is supposed to. For 4 years straight the work was always done, but the nagging was out of control. I talked with the director of my department and ask him exactly what he wanted from me. He also explained both responsibilities to me and informed her as well. She still worries about the performance of the department, but not as much and our relationship has gotten better. I in turn started to love my job again. I am a very good independent worker, but being micro-managed every second and I mean every second can be stressful.

  • My very first job I did not know what I was doing. I must say that the company trained us very well to do our daily duties. After training we were released into the project where we were on our own. The team I worked with was great until it came down to assisting with the deliverables per the client request. It seemed as if the older staff only cared about the people that they had worked with for years and years, providing little to no guidance to the newer staff. The mentorship sucked! I attemptedto explain to my boss that I did not fully know what he expected from me because he would tell me to do something and I would do it, then once I completed the task it was not what he wanted. I was beginning to feel as if he had an early case of memory lapse. Despite the difficulties I was beginning to have with the project staff, I could never get to understand my boss. At this point I realized that there was no leadership and I would have to work extra hard to do the job. I would take notes right then of what was required of me and have him sign off on the assignments per his comments, he refused. So I had to have another method to keep me from being the source of rework. Three years later my working relationship only got more confusing so I decide to leave the company for lack of leadership in management positions.

  • I remember the first job that I got right after graduating high school. I got hired to work on a tugboat as a deckhand. I had no prior experience working on a boat and was going to college to earn a degree in business.I remember one day I was carrying heavy chains up and down the pier, from the boat on the dock to the warehouse. I recall quite vividly, my boss stopping me and telling me, “Daniel, work smarter not harder”. He told me to go back to the warehouse, grab the truck and use that to transfer the chains with that. I knew that using the truck was a viable option but I was a new employee and I did not want to ask if I could use the truck to do my work. I did not want show others that I had a problem with working hard. I will never forget what my boss told me that day, “work smarter, not harder”. I have been doing that since.

  • I truly believe a boss will make or break you. I have been in the working environment since I was 14 years old. During this time I have really only had 5 bosses, not bad for 20 years working! I have learned that relationships in the work environment are the key to any success. Burn your bridges at work and you might as well plan on being a stale mate the rest of your carreer. If you find yourself in a stale mate it is up to YOU to make the change. Find another job, maybe even with the same company, or do something to make yourself stand out. Most people email or instant message their peers, but it is amazing what a phone call or stop by a desk can do.

  • My previous manage taught me a lot of lessons. The one that sticks with me is he always said “slow down” quality not quanity. When I start a project that is the first thing that comes to mind. Slow down get it right the first time.

  • I have learned a great deal from previous employers and experiences. Not all of those experiences and employers have been positive, from the negative experiences I learned what not to do and from the positive ones I took away skills and information that I will be able to use in many different situations.

  • Sometime ago I was involved in a project to replace hundreds
    of older computer with new updated equipment. The technology refresh involved a
    team of 20 technicians that were to backup each user’s personal data and
    settings, replace the computer, restore data and settings, and document the
    serial numbers for both the old and new equipment exchange. Although I had
    managed numerous technology refreshes in the past, for this project I was
    simply a technician. The first couple days of the project were dreadful. The
    project manager was unorganized, had no documentation, and was demeaning and
    intimidating to the team. I took the initiative to create documentation for all
    processes that would need to be done at each station, and offered my personal
    cell phone number to all of the team members in case they had a question or
    needed assistance. About a week later the original project manager was demoted
    and assigned another task, and I was promoted to project manager for the duration
    of the project. You could feel the difference it made for our team; with no
    angst or intimidation the work environment became fun. As a result our team
    really excelled and the project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule.

  • I have a current situation in which I have quickly realized that my boss has more on her plate to deal with than I had realized. Just going through the schooling I am currently attending has made me realize the other aspects of her job. That has also made me realize that sometimes the problems I have at work are very minute and should be handled by me alone. For instance, we have a lot of workers who do not uphold their end of the bargains. Instead, I am usually the one to pick up the slack. With that said, instead of going to my boss about how so and so have not done their parts for the day, I have realize to take it in strides and do it myself and then confront so and so about how I did their work and that next time it would be appreciated if they did their work. Even if they don’t complete their work, it only proves to my boss that I am willing to do what is needed to get done without complaint so that is one less item for her to worry about and her job can run smoothly which means our entire team can run more smoothly.

  • Work. The fuel that keeps the engines of our lives going. Humans have always had to work to get what they wanted and needed, to succeed. I had to start working the summer of my sophomore year of high school and the only job that was open in my small town was a job as a secretary at my local church. I was intimidated, but I couldn’t show it at all. I didn’t want my boss to think that I was just a “wimp”. I had competition from my first day. My new boss told me that only one of us two would stay, and with only two days of training I was terrified. He was confident and acted like he knew everything about the job, but I decided to take my time with learning how to do things in the office. This was my first job, and I wanted to make sure my boss knew that I could take the time to learn, and not assume as the other guy did. A few weeks in, I noticed that the other guys was making a lot of mistakes because he wouldn’t stop to ask any questions. I made a few mistakes as well, but not to the amount that he did. The other guy was let go because of his cockiness and unwillingness to learn. I ended up keeping the job, and with pride I say that slow and steady wins the race.

  • I think that the experience one accumulates in the work area is profitable and fun. I remember that with my first job, I had orientation for about 30 minutes, and thought that I was expected to know everything. However, I learned that you make mistakes as you go, however, you must cater to your boss. Being a good employee is not always enough, because pay is not great at starting levels. I did everything that my boss desired of me to do, and even more. I made sure that, no matter what i did, the customer felt that he/she was getting the best quality service, which was even better than what they got from others at my job. I think that putting oneself into the job pays off, because the promotion offer finally came. (^o^)

  • I appreciate where it says that you can graduate from a school like Harvard or Yale and still suck at your job. The opposite is also true, I got my current job during and Intro to Accounting class at Heald with barely any college education. Five years later I am in charge of everything financial. They gave me the chance to grow in my job which was awesome!

  • I have had great jobs in good companies. But the managers that I have worked for have not all been the most helpful. In these jobs and in my career, I have always wanted to advance but I have never been met with the help from my managers. I have always felt as thou they wanted me to do my job, which is right, but that’s all. I felt that they did not want me to grow, learn, and succeed.I have never had a manager that wanted to teach me outside of what was my job.

    Once I would master my job description,that was all. I never got anything else from them. I would think to myself, I want to be a manager, but I want to be a different type of manager. The kind that wants her employees to grow, to move up, to learn, and brainstorm for new ideas. I don’t want to help create machines. I want to give good service and have my staff give the best of themselves.

    This is why I decided to go to school.I felt that having that degree in my hands will not only help me and prepare me for the experience my jobs will give me, but it will also help me teach others what I was taught.

  • My current boss is an amazing management figure. The thing that makes him great is that he knows people and how to talk to them. I have literally watched him fire a co-worker, and at the end of the conversation my co-worker actually thanked him for letting him go.

    It’s skills like this that make you a great supervisor, being able to speak and manipulate people into doing what you want, when you want, and making them feel good about it and as if it was their idea.

  • I adored my last job; however, one of the supervisors did not adore me. I did everything that was possible to please her. I come to work early and sometimes left a few minutes late. I also assiting my co-worker with tasks as well as did my own tasks. However, she still find areas to complain about.Although, I no longer worked for that company. I learned a lession that sometimes a person has to deal with issues that he or she may not be able to control.

  • Over the summer of 2011, I
    worked at my local athletic shoe store. My job was to help the shopper with all
    of my knowledge on the inventory to assist them in finding the perfect shoe for
    their athletic type. It was tough learning about all of the types of shoes and
    getting into the rhythm of everything. One day in the store, a woman came in
    and did not know very much English, but she wanted to get a pair of running
    shoes. The pressure of my insufficient confidence in my knowledge of the shoes
    and wanting to give the customer the best product was almost over bearing. Through
    asking questions from my managers and the knowledge I already possessed, I helped
    her find her perfect shoe. Sometimes people seem to think a problem is bigger
    than it is and don’t believe in themselves enough; sometimes when we think we
    suck, we really don’t. We are our biggest critic.

  • I have always done well at any jobs that I’ve worked. Every supervisor/manager that I have had has been the best people to work with. I have never worked for someone that was not a bit laid back. One thing I can say though is that they were about getting the work done. I have not had any complainants on the job just highly praised for being one of the best workers.

  • I can compare to this article with my job. I worked for months without any sort of promotion, but became frustrated because I was working very hard. My boss pointed out some flaws and I corrected those also. I still wasn’t getting the promotion I wanted, so I asked around with my fellow employees, and they gave me good advice on how to work smarter, and a few weeks later I was promoted.

  • I have always had problems in the traditional job arena which is why I left and pursued entrepreneurship several years ago. The information that was shared in this article was quite eye opening. Many of the negative examples mirrored the ways I used to handle situations.

    Thank you for providing this lesson.

  • Working smarter entails doing everything you can to make sure that you are really qualified for that job even if it means you spend time going back to school and getting a degree or taking a second language. One of the helpful tips I got from the temporary services was that taking a second language really helps and that I was at a disadvantage by not doing so. Today’s world you almost have to have that where as 20-30 years ago it wasn’t even a factor.

  • Over the years I have worked in many places with many different types of people. Some of the people were demanding while others were laid back and easy to work with. Over the years I have learned that the best solution to working smarter …is not necessarily to work harder. I have learned to spend my time educating myself. I research all situations that arise while at work. I then compile and organize my research. Doing research has better helped me to know what to expect. Very few situations arise that I have not seen before. I know how those situations have been handled both successfully and unsuccessfully in the past. This helps me make a well educated decision.

  • My job now is amazing. However, my first job was an absolute nightmare. My boss absolutely hated me and I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, I did mess up occasionally but, like I said, this was my first job and I was only 16. I’m not entirely sure how the tactics would have helped me out in the grocery store I once worked in but, I can make sure I use them now and in the future when I have a job as a teacher. I am glad I had the first job experience though where my boss had zero respect for me because it has helped me appreciate healthy work environments that much more!

  • I learned the philosphy of ‘Work Smart, No Hard’ working at the Department of Children & Families. It as allowed me to increase work efficiency and time management to maintain my workload and workstation like a well-oiled machine.

  • I think this is great information. I personally have found a few tricks of my own to work smart. It’s old school really, never be late, plan things ahead, schedule things on your off time, take care of yourself and get plenty of sleep, do your job more ( depending on the likes of your boss), and most important, come to work.

  • I have problems with employers not recognized a good a employee. They tell you in your interview there is always room for a higher position in our company and you are next, but every time I look around someone who is not qualified always gets the position. I left my company looking for something better.

  • The part which really caught my attention was no matter where you attend school, a person may still not be great at thier job. I was never aware that you boss does not want you to suck at writing emails, I was unaware that a person could be terrible at writing something as simple like an email

  • It is true about how it doesn’t matter where you graduated college from or if you have a degree at all when it comes to working smart. The most highly educated people may not have the “people” skills it takes to get buy in the working world, and the most uneducated people can work their way up the ladder without a higher education. It all just depends on how you go about the job at hand
    I enjoyed this article very much, thank you

  • I think that almost every boss I have ever had should read and study the above information. I try to keep a positive attitude no matter what life throws at me, however its not that easy. Sometimes its even a struggle. I try to abide by the golden rule by doing onto others as I would have others do onto me. I treat others with respect as this will keep my mind clear to handle any task at hand with a clear conscience.

  • I have always had a job that someone did not like that i was not learning faster then the others. But i have something else that is new for them. I will be attending college to get a degree so that if my boss wants to walk by me and give me attitudes because she do not like my work expereance the she can because i will know what i need to do to become someone in life.

  • I just have to say I have been on both sides of the coin and am a firm believer that someone should not “oversell” themselves to get a job. I have run into issues where applicants have included misleading information on resumes which led to them being hired and inadequate for the job. This causes turnover and wasted resources. The points on working smart are very true and I took a lot from this!

  • This site is very helpful and i wish I seen it when I started working years ago. I never knew good ways to conduct an interview. I have learned through the years that a smile and eye contact goes a very long way. I used to be shy and avoid looking at the employer but that was showing them I was not interested. I had to learn to be confident and look them in the eyes at all times.

  • I have to say that working smart is very important in the working world. Knowing what your boss expects of you as well as knowing yourself can be the tools needed to help in obtaining a promotion. I worked very hard in the field that I am in for several years. Even though the agency changed company’s several times, my name was always brought up as an exceptional staff which led to several promotions down the road. Working hard, knowing your limits, and exceeding the expectations of your boss will definitely pay off in the long run.

  • This read , I’m sure will come in very handy to me in the future. I have never been in a situation where I wouldv’e had to “oversell” myself. Nor have I been in the situation where I would have to be in a working enviroment to do so. In my future tho, I see me being in a professional field where people would oversell themselves. I believe this information will be like a bible to me. I will definately book mark it.

  • The most important thing I believe an employer can do (since I’ve chosen to work for myself) is to know what and why their employees do the things they do. For example, as listed above Tame Your Ego. I personally want someone working for me that believes they know what they’re talking about, however has the sense to ask if they are unsure. I think knowing that they believe they should submit rather than stand out, I would be able to assure them to make their presence known.
    I also think that showing up for battle is the best advice that can be given in any career situation. Know your job, know your roll, be kind and for the love of God, let someone speak! You may actually learn something.
    All in all this has been fantastic advice, now I am ready and prepared to break the rules.
    Thank you,

    Brenda Reynolds

  • I like the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” I am currently employed at a local casino where I perform accounting duties as well as work in the cashier cage. Every day I am faced with new situations and grilling questions from my superiors. My goal in this position is to provide them with the knowledge I possess from my ten years of experience but to also make sure they know that my dedication is to their company.

    I have learned to not write as I speak and maintain a high level of professionalism when speaking on the telephone. I believe that working smart requires you to be knowledgeable in your position but not boast about your qualifications. Provide answers when asked and occasionally give your input when appropriate. Being what your boss wants does not include the employee acting as a doormat. The points in this article are effective and I plan to share this at my place of employment!

  • I agree about going to a highly respected school doesnt mean your work would be good. You may be great in the class and have to tools like money and other sorts to graduate from a top notch school but once in the real world and actually being in the workplace is different. Maintaining a job isnt about only having the skill but the will to do your job and do it right.

  • I think people should be themselves. Always show respect for others be a leader not a follower. Stay away from the arguments and issues in the office. You can work smart and be sucessesful others will see your potential and promote you to the next level.

  • I believe that even if you think that your boss doesnt appreciate your work or he doesnt seem to have the time to help you. We as employees should look foward to find the answers, to do a better job, and to learn how to relate to our boss. It is true that when we are employed we should be working smart. However it is important, that before we even get a job, we should choose our career wisely. Then, after we graduate it is time to look for a job , so we can get ready to work smart! Be smart and chose a job where you know you can do it , and your boss wants to help you.

  • This is great information. I think that it is very important to work smart and do the best at whatever type of work you are a part of. I like the information provided about working smart and getting along with your boss, because it goes along with the same thought of not burning your bridges.

  • Tame your ego, words to live by in the workplace. No one wants to work with someone whose ego is bigger than life. Come to work with the right attitude, willingness to work as a team, and always remember that you are not better than the next guy.

  • I remember participating in a work study program in my high school. We ran a morning coffee shop. The students were split into departments just like a real corporation, which I guess it was considering we did make a profit and had to file paperwork, order supplies, and handle customer satisfaction issues.

    I started out in the advertising department because of the creativity level I prorated in my interview. A fellow classmate and I showed more of a clerical side to the advertising department while the other two in our group handled more of the actual decorating of the shop and display window.

    I quickly became more of a marketing research team with two other members. We ordered samples of new flavors and held a taste test for our “company”. Our associated organization, DECA, was in a sponsorship deal with Ottis Spunkmeyer cookies. Side note, they are delicious. My team and I also brought the sale of their products to a vote and preformed a similar test with that merchandise.

    In short, I saw strengths grow and become exploited through that process. I recall exercising a few of he skills mentioned above including emailing the companies for restocking and new item purchse

  • I worked for one of the top retail stores in the country for 10 years. I saw alot of changes and alot of people that are good people fired for no reason of there own( mainly because the store manager or aassistant manager did not like something about them). I was an assistant manager for 6 of those 10 years and I was always aware of if someone needed to be fired or not. I had to battle quite a few times for my associates. If was very hard for me to fire someone when I knew they never did anything wrong. I never had an issue with proforming my job until I let my manager know that I was pregnant, all in the sudden I was being wrote up for every little thing.
    I eventually moved to another store. When my mom passed away I was told by the store manager ” I don’t care who has died I have a business to run and you need to make sure your job is done” I had asked for extra time off and was denied. Well needless to say I ended up quitting.
    That is when I decided to go back to school and get a degree. I am so excited I did that. I now realize that I was being descriminated against and that this giant retail company has gone down hill in a short time. But it was also an eye opener to how cruel and ignorant managers can be.

    • I worked for a company just like this. People got fired because the assistant manager and manager did not care for them

  • It is important to understand we all need to work smarter not harder. Learning the ins and outs of the things is one of the best ways to gain respect and complete the job or task that is handed out in a timely manner.

  • Great Advice! I really liked the last part about Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. It is true! In general, people think if you graduate from those colleges you are going to be awesome, but that is not always the case. I believe it doesn’t really matter what college you graduate from as long as you use the knowledge and experience from college, common sense, hard work, life lessons, and are able to work smart you can be just as awesome.

  • I find working smart is really valuable, however, without implementing wisdom in working smart, the good and best decisions will be difficult to make on a professional or personal level. Smart decisions will not surmount to much if wisdom does not play a role in my decision-making. Smart is defined by knowing facts, figures, and academic knowledge, but wisdom is the experience of life and living it and knowing what will destroy or improve it.

  • I like the part about asking what your boss wants from you. It’s important to ask lots of questions and even more important to put the constructive criticism to work!

  • I am lucky enough to be an individual that has a great boss. My direct boss is a really fun guy, his boss, and the head boss are all the same. They enjoy a good laugh, but they all get the job done at the same time.

  • I really enjoyed this article “work smart” is something that can be attained. Even if someone isnt just fund of there job. It’s all about making the best of it and not afraid of change; do what it takes to find sucess on the job in turn you will achieve happiness with your self and on the job.

  • A pleasant article. Go above and beyond go the extra mile. Work place is supposed to be team oriented. No boss likes to hear, “not in my job profile i wont help my fellow coworker.” pay me more for your title and i just might help you!”

  • I work in the pharmacy of a large chain. I have been with the company for 19 plus years. I have learned to not sweat the small things. Employers appreciate someone who can roll with the punches. I have never met a manager that I could not get along with. Find out what your boss likes and do it that way. Now that there are layoffs looming in the horizon I was told my job is safe because I know how to go to work and do my job.

  • Although I’ve never had to compete for a job in the cut-throat corporate world, I have word at the same business for more than two years and have seen many employees come and go. What I find to be most important to be successful in any job is to be self-motivated. As stated above, you are replaceable. If a job is important to you, you have to show your employer. Working hard, using common sense, and asking questions if you are unsure are all keys to success. In my opinion it is better to ask a question before if you have one than attempt to complete a task and not be able to do it. You will save time of your coworkers and managers and appear eager to please.

    I have kept my job for 2+ years at my company and have even earned a promotion when the opportunity came. Being friendly, having common sense, and showing my value as an employee have all gotten me where I am now.

  • I think the article provides useful tips and provides real life examples of how one needs to be prepared for an interview.
    I have been working for my current employer for about 7 years now, since I was 18, and I must say that from what I thought knew then, to what I have learned over the years, my perspective has changed.
    I think that it is very important that you prepare yourself wisely, not only for the actual interview, but for possible rejection. It is a competitive world out there, and not everyone will share the same work ethics or ideas as one might personally have. Needless to say, most jobs will expect you to be a fast learner, and in most cases, your ‘boss’ will want to take as little time as possible to teach you. Just like Eric said above, it’s about being effective.

  • I work in retail and have been struggling with doing something else. I am a 34 year old mother of 3 who is determined to let my children know that there is more to life than taking orders from someone else. I feel that most times we handicap ourselves by thinking that that is the best that we can do. We should always leave our options open for change as well as growth. I am currently finishing my BS in CJ and plan to continue my education so that I am able to recieve my Masters in Business. I hope to no I will one day own my own firm as well as a few other lucretive businesses that will place me in a very comfortable living arreangement. My motto is stay focused on yourself and you will not be mislead.

  • I sucked at my first job as well. I was working at Subway and although making subs seems easy that is the only thing that is . I dealt with a lot of attitudes from many people. The restaurant industry is where you meet a ton of diffrent faces and personalities. Sometimes you meet people that are just rude. The main point of working is to please the customer or guest and make them happy. They want to be happy when they see you and when they leave plus they want satisfactory service and nothing less. I have seen a lot of employees get fired from many places because they are in a customer friendly environment and they are not. I have never experienced the feel of getting fired and would not want to. I give my boss as well as customers my 100 percent participation and enjoy doing so as long as it puts a smile on the customers faces and allows them to leave happily knowing that you gave them great service.

  • I worked at a Child Development Center for two years, and in that time period, I witnessed a variety of circumstances that I will remember forever. Whenever an incident occurred involving a child, sometimes the person held responsible was let go and they did not deserve to be. On the other hand, some people deserved to be fired and instead, they were given the option to resign on their own or the center would conduct an investigation and they could possibly be fired. In the cases that the person was guilty of child abuse, why should they even be given the option to resign with a clean background, and be able to apply at another child care job?

    There was one instance where a worker picked up a toddler by the back of her shirt, lifted her off the ground, then placed her on her mat during naptime. When the child refused to go to sleep, she pushed and threw the child to the ground then threw her mat, sheet, and blanket at her. The child was only two years old and obviously frightened and confused. I immediately ran to comfort the child. One of my other co-workers asked the director to look on the cameras in the classroom to see if the act was caught on camera, but the director did not see anything. Then when I went into the director’s office and asked her to rewind the cameras five minutes behind, the director got a clear view of what had happened. I went back to my classroom to watch the children, and I left the directors to decide what to do. Usually we would call the parents of the child and the military police, but for some reason they did not do so. They told the worker who had threw the child that she could resign or they would start an investigation against her. She chose to resign and stated her reason as “medical problems.” I felt it was only right for us to inform the child’s parents of what had happened. However, the director did not let me inform the child’s parents, stating that the child was in no imminent danger and she is fine now. They also had yet to call the military police on the worker. One of the directors even told me that if we informed the child’s parents now, they might try to place the blame on us. If no one else did anything wrong, what did we have to worry about? However, I assumed because the directors did not call the military police right when the incident occurred, they felt they would be blamed for that. I felt that was morally and ethically unjust. As a parent, I definitely would have wanted to know that my child had been treated as such.

    After the worker had resigned, it felt like my other co-workers who were friends with the faulty co-worker blamed us for getting their friend into “trouble.” If they had only been there, or viewed the camera, they might have have thought otherwise. I also was displeased at how management handled the situation. I felt that had everyone been up front, honest, and done the right thing, justice could have been served.

    This incident has taught me to always do the right thing, even if it means losing a friend or causing more conflict. When it comes to children, they are our future.

  • I have worked in my current job for 11 years; with a 20 year programming and customer service background prior to this job. The last three years have been difficult and reading this article made me see some of the reasons. My boss wants me to be a ‘big thinker’ and as this article states, my boss feels you either are or aren’t. Trying to pin down specifics is like pining jello to a wall and that is no fault of my bosses. It is more a miscommunication. As mentioned in this article, I need to focus on what I do well and be honest with what I cannot do well. I am too empathetic to make a good manager, but I am great at coming up with solutions to problems. Problems like the best way to get information from a system and knowing my audience. Working on my strengths and being honest with my boss on my abilities ; plus getting my degree; will hopefully make me a more valued employee

  • This was a really good article. Working smart saves time and allows room for learning and perfecting other areas of work. I have been in a situation where someone tried to pin something on me. It did not work because I believe in covering myself because I work smart and am very detailed in my work.

  • “Work Smarter, Not harder,” is what my trainer Brian would always say when I started working at the post office 17 years ago. Those words have stuck with me ever since. Working smarter to me means listening carefully, taking good notes, ASKING QUESTIONS, and making good use of your time. Those words have served me well over the years and at my previous job as a Letter Carrier and now throughout my career as a public servant. By working smarter I don’t get to the point of hating my job because I work on managing my time and my work appropriately. I get my assignments done on time or ahead of schedule; and I have a good relationship with my boss. Working smarter makes all the difference.

  • I want to someday soon own a coffee shop/ game center. I have always wanted to every since high school and I have worked in a few but now I am tired of the dead end job cycle that I have created in my life without an education, so, at 50+ years old, I am about to graduate in December of this year! It’s about time for me and I am so very glad that I have this opportunity to do so. This is almost the end of the journey for me with school and need a little help financially so I decided to give this scholarship a try.

  • This article gave great insight. I like that it is best to know the importance of being effective and flexible. Each person that does this can eventually advance and know their worth within a company. I also agree that some people that work should build an image. You are a brand and that image should be something positive. Companies look at people who stand out and want to succeed. These are the people that will help a company suceed in some way.

  • I felt that this article was very helpful, as well as entertaining. I recently started a job working at a home for mentally disabled individuals, and am nervous about everything that my boss wants me to do.

    I don’t know if I’m doing my tasks correctly sometimes, but reading this article shows me how to become more cognoscente of my responsibilities. Also, I have a habit of cutting people of when they speak (not intentionally) and the steps that mentioned about avoidance of that were great!

    Wonderful article!

  • i remember when i was working for a home health agency and i wanted to learn more about the business. Even though my job offered classes and work shops that was available for all employees they was not letting certain employees take the classes that was offer.

    I learned that some of our schedulers was jealous of the fact that we wanted to learn more and we wanted to take a our jobs more seriously and to hopefully earn more money. I was determined to get in those classes and learn what i wanted to know about the business. my boss eventually saw that i was an eager and hard working employee and she promoted me to the position of the people wasn’t letting me take the classes.

  • I have worked in retail for a little over seven years now. I have learned a lot over these years about how one needs to adapt to change in able to be sucessful in the job field. In order for one to be sucessful in retail they must relieze the the customer is basically their boss. In retail if their are no customers then you have no job. The main importance in working in retail is making the customer happy. I am currently a Customer Service Manger where i work and i always put the customers satisfaction first. If the customer is not satisfied then you lose that customer and this can really hurt the retail business. I understand that one can not always satisfiy everyone. I learned that showing respect to people who you work with is also very important. If the people you work with do not feel respected they will not show you the same respect back.

  • Working with a team has led to some of my most rewarding experiences. Teams tend to assimilate into strong assets once members determine roles and responsibilities according to individuals strengths.
    Social media has increased the effectiveness of teamwork. Proper use of emails and social networking can provide effective communication channels for team members.

  • A great article for individuals who have issues with their boss and the boss who has issues with their employees. I think the tips here can truly help an indivdual gain a better understanding of what is going on. Supervisors do tend to get bottled down in teaching and wish the employees would know what to do and how to do it without being prompted.

  • During the past few years as I have been attending high school and college I have had various part time jobs and what I’ve come to realize is that there are a lot of people out there who are just not willing to learn. Some people believe that they know everything about what they do and do not have to work at it. Like this article says, and from my own experience, I feel that in order to be great at your job you have to know how to balance your indepence and identy with that of which what your boss and clientele expects from you as well. You may have the same job but change locations and you have to readjust yourself to the people that surround you. This article helped me put into perspective ideas that are important to my future and I as I begin my search for a salary job.

  • I have yet to apply to a formal job. However, I do work on my dad’s jumping balloon and party supply business. I have helped him since I was 13 but my role in the business has evolved since then. I started out doing simple tasks such as carrying things and cleaning the inflatables. As I grew older and more mature, I became in charge of actually speaking to customers and managing the number of supplies rented in order to avoid any shortcomings in supplies. I was definitely seen as a big thinker. There were times in which miscommunication between my father and uncle led to issues that affected customers. However, as I took over the role of my uncle, communication improved, as well as the management of supplies. Organizing routes for delivery was also very important.
    As a result of working almost 8 years in my dad’s party supply business, I learned the importance of interpersonal skills and organizational skills. Communication among co-workers is just as important as communication with clients. Therefore, it prevents many issues and resolves many others. It may seem simple, but small tasks open the door for new bigger tasks and allow for growth.

  • I applied and got my first job when I was 15 years old. I hated it, I hated being in a room full of smelly children, parents acting like imbeciles in front of other people, and instructors who wholeheartedly believe that their way was the best and there was no other way to be. I was 15 rebellious and thought I knew everything there was to know about everything.
    How wrong I was. I was in a martial arts class that I did not want to be in, but I had to be put into something because I was incredibly antisocial. I didn’t have an issue with not having friends but the idea of me doing anything outside of school with those friends was null and void. I had school work to do,l didn’t have time for mundane he said she said drama, let alone any time at all to deal with boy crap. I reveled in my lonesomeness and I wanted to stay that way. However, my grandmother who I had the utmost respect for asked me in her sweet old lady voice to give it a try, and begrudgingly I did.
    Turns out I was a pretty good martial artist! The instructors saw my talent and wanted me to enroll in a assistant instructors class so I could assist them in teaching. I love those classes here I was 15 years old becoming a teacher to other children, amazing! I earned a certificate of teaching and was allowed to teach my first class.
    The day came for me to stand up and teach, I was so nervous! These were my peers, children and adults that I had looked up to and admired. And here I was teaching them! I was dazzled by all of it and intimidated. And soon enough I came to a realization that I just was not cut out for it.
    My first few classes went well, my peers respected me and my opinions. They let me guide them with my amazing teaching skills I learned over the past 6 weeks. I was moving right along, until the day came for me to teach children. Ages 3-11 hellraisers, demons, crazy parents and then it hit me of course they wanted me to be an assistant for them to pawn off all these crazy kids on. Now I understood.
    I started the lesson with some stretches to warm us up and it seemed in the beginning that the children were focused and ready to go. Until when I decided to move them into pairs (under my strict supervision) to help each other learn a grappling technique. The day was shot to hell, children were screaming, kicking, running around in a disorderly fashion. Parents were yelling at their children, at me, at anyone who would listen. I whistled which got all the kids attention and said in a Henry Winkler Fonzie type voice COOL IT! They stopped and sat down, I couldn’t handle it I was a kid myself, I called in my instructor to take over the class and told her maybe when I got older but not now. Definitely not now. She shook her head as if she was ashamed of me, but I didn’t care. I stood up for myself found out what I could handle and shook off the negativity. I never went back to teaching, and I did receive my black belt which was after all the main goal of me joining.

  • I worked for an organization in which a VP altered my time sheet to remove the overtime I had worked. Being an individual who always strives to do the right thing, be respectful, humble, and non-confrontational I let it go. Unfortunately it happened again and again.

    The lesson I learned is to stand up for yourself. An individuals title or position in the company should not make a difference when breaking the law. Since that time, I have stood up for myself as well as for the integrity of my work and have been more successful in organizations, have received more responsibility and felt more respected by superiors.

  • I am working toward a degree in Education. School boards are no different than big business, so I am ready to learn anything that will help me once I graduate. Going from being the “Lunch Lady” to a teacher will be hard enough, but will be easier if I can understand more. Thank you for this information

  • I have worked in my field for a very long time and the healthcare field is changing faster than technology on some days. Reading the article reminded me to tap into various techniques that are tried and true such as emotional intelligence. Listening even when I am not listening. My boss is a leader with eloquence and grace, she has taught me in the last few months to weigh the words that coming out of mouth and remember we are present as guests of the client they can ask us to leave any time they chose. her thoughts are to hire above her as well that can feed my ego or improve my self confidence. I am grateful for articles with tips on what not to do such as this one it allows me to further my career choices and speak eloquently when motivating my staff.

  • I feel that this article is very truthful about branding or selling ourselves. An image is created and sometimes you cannot live to its expectations. Therefore it is better to be honest in your work and let the real you show through, strive to improve and realize that you can never stop learning and this will help keep you current with the changing job market too.

  • I think it’s very important for people to understand that it doesn’t matter where you start, but its about how you end. The part about how the school you attend does not matter is something a lot of people do not really get. Just like clothes, the brand name doesn’t matter if it doesn’t last.

  • During my time as a shift leader for a franchised Quizno’s Subs, I had to learn the hard way about working smart. There were many times when I would be left to fend for myself throughout the entire day. I would call and ask questions and receive vague responses. Customers or former employees would be irate and I would handle them with patience and calm responses, yet still be blamed for any repercussions. One specific day, my afternoon coworker did a “no call/no show” and I had to handle a $300, 2 hour lunch rush by myself. My store manager wouldn’t even drop what he was doing to help. My boss (the store owner) didn’t even raise any sort of concern for me. I had to learn on my own that working smart didn’t pay off for me with that company, but that is the way I have always worked. Working smart isn’t a skill that is taught, or even sometime appreciated, but it is a combination of common sense and instinct.

  • I am currently a stay-at-home-mom and a student at the Univesity of Phoenix. I worked 10 years in construction accounting and decided to further my education in the field I love. I am working on a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in accounting. My goal is to become a forensic accountant and possibly work for the IRS someday.
    I have enjoyed learning from others and have had some great bosses and some not so great too. The one important part I had a realization about by reading “20 Things Your Boss Wants From You” was that I interrupt conversations all the time….and I had no idea that it could have such an effect in the workplace. I would hate to think that others felt like they had to interrupt me to get a word in but sometimes I just get so excited about an idea. I don’t think I realized at the time that I may be doing a bad thing by interrupting.
    One thing I know is that I don’t want to just be a manager, I want to be a leader and leaders are great listeners. Sometimes we just need a subtle reminder that we need to take the time to listen and talk and certainly not interrupt…..great information and thanks for sharing!

  • Article provides many useful tips. Talking with recent undergraduates that are now in the industry its important to realize arcticle emphasis on “you will suck at your job” is correct. Get a feel for the industry and learn from your co-workers this experience and networking will help you manage your time better and become more efficient.

  • I can not get over the value of teamwork in today’s business place! Following rules in important on many levels for individuals, but without support and obedience from individuals working alongside makes them almost irrelevant. A key element of working smart is following rules and direction without constant supervision or correction.

    I used to work in a factory with strict safety guidelines. None of the rules were outlandish; each played a role in preventing accidents and injury. A group of younger workers often played on the lift machines or walked through restricted areas to save time. I was not a supervisor, but I did tell them on a number of occasions to stop acting carelessly on company property and time. Well, as expected, one day a young man walked through the restricted area just as a machine made its revolution. His injury was severe, his arm was almost completely removed. His friends told management that the machine had malfunctioned. This led to the immediate shutdown of the large automaton, and repair work orders begin being processed.
    Against the advisement of the involved workers, I told management that the machine had indeed NOT malfunctioned, the young man was not following safety instructions. Although I did not make friends within that circle of employees, I had saved the company thousands of dollars on halt-of-production costs as well as the cost of repairmen hunting a nonexistent issue.

    By doing the right thing, I made enemies at work. Would I do it again? Certainly. I envision myself as the company owner, and I think that I would desire honest employees on staff, especially in instances that will ultimately save me money.

  • It is so true that there is so much competition out in the job market now. When I was younger to the best candidate for a government one had to have finished high school, now Masters degrees are needed. They are needed to make the kind of money to survive. Now that I am trying to get a masters I have to looking forward to finding a PhD program next to keep up.

  • This was was a really great article with a lot of valuable information. I won’t say I suck at my current job, but I think that I can do better. I am right now working in a call center and being subjected to all types of abuse from customers.

    I recently asked for and received additional training on how to de-escalate situations, and how to “not” respond when customers push my “hot buttons”. A part of the reason is that this is certainly not my dream job, and it isn’t really what I want to be doing, but I understand that I should still do this job to the best of my ability.

    I will finish my bachelors degree in April and I hope that I will be able to find work in my field. I know that I am gaining experience right now that will help on any job, so I am grateful for each and error, accomplishment, and recognition that I get.

  • In today’s work field you have to earn respect, your positions and most importantly your value. Your in a relationship with your job and your boss. You need to chose your battles wisely and present yourself as you want to be seen and in a way that is best for the business. I currently work in the medical field with forever changing rules, guidelines and policies. One part of my job that is very important is paperwork. If you do not document it did not happen and there for you do not get paid for the skills you are performing. Its like giving away your services for free, or if you did not document, it did not happen, and if someone gets hurt its your butt on the line. With this high demand for documentation the boss is continuously implementing new strategies to help us with the demands. I could gripe about the changes and remark that if it works for me then why do i need to change my ways. I could also refuse the change and continue doing it my way. But that does not demonstrate commitment to the team and the quality of work you want to perform. It also brings in to play that you are representing yourself as a difficult employee with resistance to change. This is not something they will look for in a leader, or someone that deserves the promotion or pay raise.

    You earn you value. When you fill out a resume you usually have the question about salary. Well, this is important. Your skills from school are not reason alone to give you what you are asking for in salary. You need to earn your pay. you need to demonstrate good work ethic and prove to the boss that you have what it takes to deserve what you are asking for. This is true to me because with new hire it is based on the knowledge i have for my position the continued education in my career field and i have to prove what i can offer to a team of 18 or more therapists. I need to have a good work experience and good reference too to support me with my statements about what i can bring to a team.

    Earn the respect you deserve from the boss, respect is more important in the work place compared to a friendship. You may be lucky enough to be able to golf with your boss on the weekends but that does not mean he/she respects you as an employee. It is important to know the status of your boss relationship. Its important to do your job as well as your boss would and to know what you are doing. its ok to ask questions but you need to be able to learn independently as well. Your boss is your leader and someone to learn from but he is not your personal tutor. Ask what is necessary and learn on your own too, build that respect by knowing what you are to do and doing it the best you can.

    My first job was a typical fast food job, my people skills were not the best and most of the co-workers did not really like me to well. (eventually they all loved me and it was hard and sad to leave). I never realized till later on that my work ethic, flexibility, availability, and dedication to do my personal best, kept me from being fired. I strived to do my job the best i could and to follow the rules the best i could. I had good time management and would always cover and try to help others out on my shift. I had the respect of my boss from the beginning but i had to work harder to get the respect from my co-workers. Eventually i learned my problem areas with my personality that made it difficult for people to get to know me and like me as a person and an employee. I learned how to present myself to others as i wanted them to see me, as the friendly outgoing person i am, and i also learned how to communicate and be more acceptable to feedback. Eventually after learning the rules i learned which ones i could break to more efficient at my job and which ones had to be enforced no questioned asked. After the 3 years i spent with my first job i had to part ways but i took everything i learned with me. I left with high recommendations and an open position should i need or want to return.

  • After reading this insert and looking back at my past jobs, ive noticed a pattern. It hasnt dawn on me that boss’ in entry level position classify and treat all employees the same as they would as a managerial position. All the expectations for all are the same and leave little room for slacking off in between. From what I read, its nice to know your stuff and be able to handle every situation that comes your way as your manager or boss would. Alot of entry level positions have job descriptions and they always say they need a person whom can work with little to no supervision. What this means they need a person who can work with no supervision and who can do their job and act as a stand in manger if the time calls for it. You cant expect your boss to be there for you ever second of the day, and they expect you to carry yourself in a professional manner and handle situations in a professional manner as well.

  • I was 16 when i got my first job, Burger King. It wasn’t anything to shake a stick at, but i was in school, making money, and having a great time. I was so excited for what the future held, i knew that eventually i would be in college and i would have responsibilities, but for now i just had to work and have fun. I learned a lot from this job, which would help me later in life and ultimately push me to better myself.

    About 1 year later i was in a life changing accident, i lost everything or so i thought. I couldn’t walk for 6 months and i still managed to graduate high school. The next few years were horrible i didn’t go to school and i had no direction in my life. I bounced around from job to job and couldn’t really get past my injuries, though i tried.

    One day i had given up, and i had a flashback to just after my surgery. I had totally forgotten, but something made me remember. My boss from Burger King walked into my hospital room, he looked very shaken and almost like he wanted to cry seeing me like that. He told me you were always a great employee, i know you will get through this, and someday be something great.

    I started to remember the things he had taught me about leading a team of employees, like never ask your employees to do something that you would never do yourself. I remembered the way he motivated me when things got a little rough at work when we would get busy. Today i am in school working on proving that man right. I learned that a job is more than a place you go for the day to make money, its also a second home. It may have just been Burger King then, but today its one of the reasons i am trying to hard to better my life.

  • When I started working I felt inadequate that I only had an associates degree because I planned to obtain my bachelors. However I started to notice that, my educational exprience wasn’t all that defined me since I was being trusted with important tasks. I realized that my performance mattered and was appreciated.

  • In today’s economy an individual needs to go back to school for secondary education in order to move up in to a salary that will help support their family today.

  • Unfortunately we are seeing more of this poor job analysis that is impacting employees severely. I have had many of my friends go through this and I finally had my fair share. I was working for Continental Airlines for 3 years and was the one that always had the graveyard shift, or even work overtime because other employees did not want to. I had a goal that I wanted to meet which was to produce and give the company 100%. I worked very close with my director and she always wanted me to learn more so I could grow in the company. I was the only bilingual person in my department which was a great benefit for them. When the time for appraisals came, I was evaluated by my supervisor which was great however I was also evaluated by her supervisor and was given a bad evaluation which affected my possibilities of getting a promotion. I was so upset because I never worked with her supervisor, so how could she even evaluate me? I felt like I was deprived from a promotion and much more as a human being I felt humiliated. I sacrificed so many years of making the same minimum $7.00 an hour for no respect nor appreciation. I eventually resigned from the company and close that chapter.

  • No matter what job industry one is in the respect of ones peers has to be earned. Having a profesional relationship with your boss is where it should begin and end. Change is the one thing in life that is constantly changing and so long as the person can keep up there shouldn’t be any issues. If one doesn’t know what he or she should do in any situation within the workplace that is why he or she should go to his or her supervisor and ask questions.
    There are some basic but important questions that everyone should ask when applying for a job.The last question a person should ask about is the salary. Asking about salary first is one of those things that will turn an interview sour quickly.

  • Rules are sometimes meant to be broken. This is definitely a silent lesson that I have learned along the way. I believe policy and procedure should be a guide not handcuffs keeping an individual restricted from performing at there peek. The guide is there for everyday routine. Issues which can be defined as “cookie cutter” on the job. There are many times when I had to think outside the box. At my job the motto is make a decision and ask for forgiveness later. I am so glad this is the kind of environment I work it because it helps me to be as efficient as possible furthermore solve customers issues.

    At work I speak to various clients daily regarding billing equipment and service. One of my customers calls in about a device he never received. I checked the postal tracking and discovered that it had been sent and to the incorrect address. This is not the customers fault, however policy is to get the equipment back first and then send the customer out another device. This would take days leaving the customer with no other form of communication. Looking around I noticed no upper level management was available. The customer was highly irritated due to the companies mistake and ready to discontinue service. Valuing the customers time, I MADE A DECISION. I sent the customer out another device to the correct address and then filed an investigation with the postal service to have the company reimbursed.

    Finally I documented the account thoroughly so anyone reading the notes would understand exactly what transpired. I also emailed my supervisor to bring her in on the loop on the executive decision made. When she returned she approved the order because of the support of why I made the decision and was happy the customer was saved. That day my companies brand was a little stronger and my supervisors respect for me grew. She knows I a competent enough to leave alone. A win-win for everyone.

  • I have learned that where there are adversities there are opportunities to grow and learn to do a better job next time.

  • Focusing on your strengths is a new concept that I am embracing. Far too often individuals look at their weaknesses and pour all of their energy and talent into correcting what they are not good at it. Great power and keys to success are found in looking at what your great at. Taking your natural talents and excelling in those areas carries far more weight and far less energy than fixing what you are not strong at. That is what I will teach in my career once I have completed my program. It is a working practive that I try to embrace now in my team assignments. My experience indicates that I am a teacher and an advisor. I enjoy teaching and building people up. That is when I am at my best. My weakness is the politics and formal presentations. I am terrible at putting on a show. However, when my team can speak and show what they know I have found that I don’t need to put on that show. The development of my people and financial successes speak for themselves.

  • This summary deals with a lot on, the job that had three years ago. I basically sucked at my job, because I did not, receieve the proper training. As a result of this, this caused tension between me and my for his lack of training me. Not controlling my temper did not really, help the situation neither.

  • This article is somewhat realistic. But I want to play Devil’s advocate for a minute. This works fine at a fairly sized company or an organization that has a location or facility in a real city populated with people who are used to demand and change. How about trying this at an organization that has facilities in small towns where the mentality is to only promote “those in the Good Ole Boy network”.
    In these instances, working smart usually makes you the work horse and never the candidate for promotion. In this type of environment, promotion goes to Joe’s son because his dad help build this great city and he was the football captain and all state MVP. All this to say, that there are still cases out there where talent and character get you shoved into the shadows behind heritage and lineage. Respect only works in one direction in this type of environment.
    The manufacturing environments are usually the victims of this organizational mindset. Corporations usually place their facilities in small obscure towns where workers only know how to work and personal relationship and nepotism run rampant. Even the executives they send off to start-up facilities in these small towns fall victim to “The GOB Network”.
    In contrast, I find the article above to apply at large corporations that have great R&D departments, or that are set in progressive, populated cities with pools of talented and forward moving people.

    • The size of the town you’re in might be an important factor, but company
      size less so. Big companies can have more politics than small ones.
      Important thing is to find a place where you will be rewarded for good
      performance! And yes that usually means when there’s competition for
      good employees.

  • Rules are sometime meant to broken . This can be open topic as far as general expectations are concerned. It could be a way to implement new ideals and or concept to the company. I am glad to be apart of team that has an open door policy. Above all it is important to remember that you as an individual played a big part in the overal success.

  • Throughout the whole world, wherever a community develops, people have
    found the necessity to elaborate rules of conduct. Rules in the workplace are the way
    humans provide boundaries in order to live peacefully in an organized
    society so as to achieve progress and evolution. However, all the way
    through history, there have been several stages at which rules needed to
    be broken, consequently leading to a dramatic change in the
    civilization and the development of social order even within a working environment.

    Since the very beginnings of humanity, regulation and principles have
    organized small groups of individuals as well as whole nations, finally
    deriving in the coordination of the whole planet. Individuals search for
    stability in every aspect of life, either emotionally or, in this case,
    socially, exposing its drive from a need rather than from an
    imposition. Rules are established by men, and women, who are appointed by their own
    public or boss, therefore allowing the risk of being dismissed whenever it is deemed right to. Moreover, such rules have always adapted to
    times, changing with its own people and refreshing with new ideas, movements, and

    Thus, regulations have become each day more flexible,
    permitting them to be bent to every extent, though always severe enough
    so as not to be lead into chaos. Rules at times may seem to be too rigid, too severe, too authoritarian
    to some extent. Rules usually do not seem to consider enough all the
    facets and circumstances of tangible life thus they are broken, and rightfully so.

  • I have been in management for several years now. No one is
    perfect but I definitely imply working together is the only way we will all be
    successful. It is better to try and make a mistake, then to simply stand by and
    do nothing about it.

    “It is easier to obtain forgiveness then it is

  • I was not sure about going back to school. I always wanted to, but I did not know if it was possible working full time and going to school full time. Fortunately my supervisors have allowed me to keep on becoming a better person by giving me the days off to go to school. The University of Phoenix has taught me something very important. When a team works together on a problem, more gets done to solve the problem.

    I have been working in the criminal justice field for a little over five years. I also have four and a half years of prior military service. I chose to major in criminal justice because I was already working in the field. By going to the University of Phoenix, I feel more comfortable in performing my duties. I also understand more about the courts process and how victims rights were virtually non-existant in the past.

    I have had to cut my days off a little short and spend less time with my family because I need to finish my homework. I know that these sacrifices will be well worth it in the future. Getting a Bachelors degree means a lot to me. I will be the first one in my family to earn a Bachelors degree. I want to make my family proud and I want to be a good role model for my four younger brothers. I have always reminded my brothers that having an education is really important. The best way to show my brothers the importance of an education is by getting a Bachelors degree. I will continue my education and work on my Masters so that one day I can also teach and share the experiences that I have had from working in the criminal justice field.

  • I have worked in several management positions; I have found that employees have more respect for an employer or supervisor who is not afraid to get their hands dirty, by rolling up their sleeves and helping out. I have respected my supervisors who worked along side their employees; I found the key to earning respect from my staff was in giving respect as well as expecting it. I have never asked a member of my staff to perform any task that I was not will to do myself.
    Many people in management forget what it takes to complete an assignment; they lose sight of the big picture in favor of meeting deadlines. It is important that a leader remembers those who will accomplish the bulk of the work required to successfully meet a dealine, and to be realisitc in the demands placed on staff to meet the deadline.
    The most important thing I have learned working in management is that encouragement and enthusiasm go a very long way to raising morale of those involved in completing a project. The positive message sent to those around us can mean the difference between finishing a project before deadlines, or a late project which is a disaster. We must consider those around us and work together for the common goals of a corporation. The encouragement and positive reinforcement which we offer to our staff will pay off far more quickly than behaving like a tyrant on a power trip.

  • Do you know how to succed at work? If so, you’ll have a much better shot of receiving raises and promotions.
    If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you might know where this is going… But, if you’re not, the quirky character George Costanza gives his advice on how to succeed: simply look busy.
    It’s not just about looking busy, Costanza believes there’s an art to it! He says the key to succeeding at work is to look annoyed. In fact, his theory is: if you act annoyed, you’ll always seem busy! While admittedly this might work for a while, it’s probably not the best advice!
    What can you do to succeed at work?
    According to Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his book Thou Shall Prosper there are three things to start doing to succeed in an entry level job to succeed at work:

    1. Show up regularly and on time
    2. Obey instructions
    3. Speak and act respectfully

    Seriously, anyone can do those three things. They may sound ridiculously simple, but my parents gave this advice when I was young, and it worked for me. It’s amazing how hard those three items are for some people.
    I worked for my Dad as a maintenance man/janitor at my high school. It was a pretty crappy job (pun intended) but it was actually very rewarding. I showed up on time, did what my boss instructed, and was always respectful of my coworkers.
    It’s sad to say, but what I learned in that job has helped me more in life than most other jobs I’ve had!
    Maybe that’s why I can relate to what Andrew Carnegie believed when he said, “It is not the rich man’s son that the young struggler for advancement has to fear in the race of life, nor his nephew, nor his cousin. Let him look out for the “dark horse” in the boy who begins by sweeping out the office.”
    This is the path I’ve taken and it has led me to succeed at work.

  • With the job I currently have, I would say I am still an entry-level associate. I have worked for the company at a hotel for 3 years now, but I am still working my way up, or at least trying too. The obstacle for me is that I can be socially awkward by closing myself off to my coworkers, especially my boss. I only talk to my boss when I have a question or concern and that is rare. I’ve had less than 10 meetings with the General Manager since I’ve started. Everyone else seems to be buddy-buddy with the GM though. A few have moved up the ladder faster than I have in the last 3 years. I think if I asserted myself more, it wouldn’t be so awkward and my boss will be able to see who I really am as a person.
    I am a hard worker, but the shyness is what really brings me down. Because I am shy, my manager has already told me she hasn’t really promoted me because of how shy I am with guests. She said when I show her I can be social with strangers, and herself I believe, she will be more comfortable moving me up to a higher position. I can understand this, because in the hospitality world, you have to be very social, good with starting conversations, enhancing the guest experience so that they will come back. I enjoyed the article-Want to be Taken Seriously? Do this. I will definitely make changes with my social skills with the coworkers.

  • I have had some jobs that was leading to no where. I am currently in retail job. I have been there for 2 years. I love working there only because I love my boss. I am trying to become a manager there. But what I don’t understand is the favoritism that is in the store. It makes me mad because I can’t do anything about it. If I say anything I will possibly get fired. But I like the lines of communication that me and my boss have, I want to take those skills with me whenever I become a manager.

  • This is a very informative articel that I believe can help everyone in the future. Some people do just take any job that they are offered and not satisfied. This article allows a person to give much thought to are they happy with the job they are at. Another amount of questions to ask yourself is there any room for advancement here?

  • One of the biggest lessons to learn in my opinion is to sometimes sit back, listen, and learn. Though my resume is not exactly lengthy, I have learned that being aware of what’s right and what’s wrong in your workplace will help you excel in your given field.

    For example, my first OFFICIAL paying job was in March 2010. For as long as I cold remember, I always wanted to involve myself in the customer service atmosphere. Whether it was in person or over the telephone, I wanted to be that person at the other end catering to the needs of an individual. Because of my lack of experience in the workforce, I came in the door very naive and unaware that other individuals would have ideas than myself.

    Prior to working there, I made the decision to go to a different college for a business degree instead of pre-vetereinary medicine. With that decision, developed problems amongst my co-workers. Because of my attending a business school, I began analyzing my atmosphere a lot more than when hired. I began realizing that the atmosphere I found very friendly, wasn’t so friendly. Naturally, I understand that NO job is going to be perfect, there are definitely going to be cons within the work atmosphere, but the problem was not the job itself, it was my co-workers.

    I began feeling that working there was a huge mistake because before I was hired, I was desperate for a job, the economy wasn’t and still isn’t in the best shape, and to top it all off, I felt as if I were meeting a whole new group of employees. Starting with the district manager down to certain employees, the atmosphere was not the best. We were meeting sales dishonestly, some of the co-workers were violating the employee-employer relationship policy where it caused friction among other associates, and it made it obvious where favoritism slept. With that being said, the atmosphere was entirely too small for those type of behavior because the payroll only consisted of 10 employees that which includes three managers.

    Attending school eventually allowed me to view things from different perspective more than usual and made me more aware of the people around me. After so long, I felt as if I was outgrowing my occupation not because I believed I was better than anyone, but because my imagination outgrew where I felt I belonged for that particular phase in my life. Friction increased in my workplace when I decided to take on a second job because I was underpaid, being cheated out of my hours, and not receiving deserved respect.

    Eventually, I had to put in my letter of resignation because my first conflicted with my professional and eventually my personal life.

    The lesson I am trying to teach is be knowledgeable of where you apply for employment. Always research the mission and vision of that particular company. In the event that you do get an interview, analyze those that you meet just as they will be analyzing you because you are new face. I am not saying make judgements, but be aware of the kind of energies you get off that individual because you never know, they could be your new co-worker.

  • I think sucking at your job is too easy, but easier not to.  It is not difficult to maintain an open line of communication with your boss.  If there is something you don’t understand or forget, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or for the instructions again.

  • Working smarter is definitely much better than working harder. By better I do not mean easier. Anyone who has made it to the top by working smarter will not tell you it was a cake walk. In my field, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not have an easy breezy way to the top. This isn’t about them though–it’s about me. Most of my work experience is in retail. I’ve worked nearly every aspect of retail below a supervising position. It wasn’t hard manual labor, but it did require me to be on my feet at least 8 hours a day. After having a family, my skill set expanded but my job title remained the same. I can remember going to work and looking around thinking, “I’m better than this, I’m smarter than this”. After being terminated, the opportunity presented itself for me to return to school. It was so ironic because after leaving college the first time I always told myself that I would return to school again if I was ever given the opportunity. That was almost three and half years ago. I’m qualified for more positions now that I’m in school pursuing my degree. My former managers have actually noticed my abilities more so now that I am not working for them. It makes me feel good to help them solve their ‘big’ problems with my simple understanding and know how. That’s all I ever wanted. Now I just want to be paid for it. lol 🙂