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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.

20 THINGS YOUR BOSS WANTS FROM YOU

Entry-level

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

Experienced

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)?

Advanced

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

Important:

  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.

For comprehensive advice on the entire job search process, read our complete guide to landing a job at a great company or visit our career advice hub.

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1,402 comments

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  • Great advice. Effective communication is key in every relationship including relationship between managers and direct reports. communication channels may vary ie. emails, IM etc but it has to be formal regardless. Combining a good degree with the right skills needed for the job is what most employers want. Hard work is important but working smart is what will get you maintained and moved to the next level. Am glad I read this article. Am currently enrolled for a graduate programme that am convinced is essential for my next career move. Reading this article just increased my confidence.

  • When I received my first job at the age of 18 it was scary for me. Working in a place where you are the youngest one and everyone feels as though they are above and that no matter how hard you work you still aren’t putting your best foot forth. This article taught me that even with a college degree it doesn’t amount to how successful you will be in your job/career because because the expectations for you are going to be high to fill and you have to hope that you meet the standards.

  • I personally found the article to be motivational and inspiring. It brings real life situations and real time job mentality to the table. Many people leave school assuming that is enough, they now know enough. However, I found that careers in themselves never stop evolving. One must always be willing to learn and adjust to be the best they can be and excel in their position. Humbleness and willingness to learn breeds success. I truly enjoyed the post. I will recommend it to others.

  • I personally found the article to be motivational and inspiring. It brings real life situations and real time job mentality to the table. Many people leave school assuming that is enough, they now know enough. However, I found that careers in themselves never stop evolving. One must always be willing to learn and adjust to be the best they can be and excel in their position. Humbleness and willingness to learn breeds success. I truly enjoyed the post.

  • I enjoyed the lesson I truly believe I work smart for the most part. I really like the last line of hiring people smarter and better than I am because with loyalty they can excel a business.

  • I have held multiple careers since leaving college and this article honestly speaks to all of the challenges not only I myself have faced, but I see others who come out of college begin to face. You are always taught to stand out, ask questions and be proactive. While this is true, when you first get your new career, you are better to be less hear than seen.

    You have to make sure that you are always aware of everything going on, but only comment when asked. A lot of your older coworkers, even those only 1 year older than you, will be offended sometimes when you chime in on something they feel as if you have no knowledge about. Also you have to remember the first thing which is, forget what you learned in school and even your old job, what you are going to do here, you are starting at day 1 of your learning.

    All in all as you move up the ladder your voice will be louder and your ideas will be considered so please don’t let go of those ones you had from your first day in the office as they may be industry changing. Just take your time and know when you get your turn to manager, learn from the successes and failures of those before you and apply them to all of the idea you have or may have had. You will learn that it helped you a lot more than you realize along the way.

  • I can so relate to this article. I recently got hired at a big retail company, and that part about your boss not wanting to take time to train you is so true. She appreciated and was very happy that I had learned all my responsibilities by just learning from my peers. I also have asked her before about what she things of my progress and asked her what she thinks matters in my jobs if its sells or credits. From her answer I have learned how to be a good employee and one that managers are happy with.

  • I loved this lesson on how to work smart and succeed within the workforce. I can relate to this article because I obtained a high level position by following similar steps listed here. My first job was folding newspapers for the local weekly news and then I gradually worked my way up to different positions.

    This generation is well known for dreaming big and hoping to be successful, but they are also known as being entitled and wanting to do minimal amount of work to achieve success. However, I tried to take a different approach by reaching for high goals but working very hard to obtain them.

    While at my job at the newspaper, I was the only person who would volunteer to cover events, stay late to meet deadlines, and want to learn new positions that I wasn’t in charge of. My boss was very busy so I also had to teach myself how to do certain projects or work new programs. I was originally hired to fold newspapers, but then I ended up writing articles, doing graphic design, selling ads, managing social media, managing big public relations accounts, and do the office accounting. I wanted to learn every aspect of the company so I could be useful and valuable to the company.

    Eventually, I learned so much that they promoted me to Office Manager. Then when I started doing payroll in addition to my other roles, they promoted me to Vice President of Operations. I was running a small business at twenty-three years old. It wasn’t because I became the boss’ pet or felt as if I deserved each promotion. Instead, I tried to stay humble and just strived to learn more about the company. I didn’t want to suck at my job, as the article talks about. I wanted to do well, I wanted to respect my boss, and respect the company’s time by making the most of my day. Doing so allowed me to run a company at such a young age, and ultimately move on to work at a private university.

    I’m so thankful to have had these experiences and I truly believe we can all be successful. With hard work, we can achieve any goal we set our mind to.

  • Only being 19, I have been successful in the jobs I’ve had, always putting forth pride in doing a great job. My jobs have also been all cleaning jobs which is not what I had planned but it was the only quick money at the time. I also played many sports in high school, therefore I could only be a seasonal worker and couldn’t get a better job.

  • I feel as though in every job you start out with, you’re going to suck at it in a way. Like describe in the article, “it’s easy to suck at your job.” Working at my first job, it was very easy to suck at it. What made it easy is not working smart at all. My first job was working in the food industry at In N Out burger. In N Out gets busy very quickly and you have to move quickly and think smart about what you’re doing. It all starts with the person taking orders.

    • Customers order in various ways, so the associate has to be smart and think carefully about how they run through orders. When the order goes back to the cooks, the cooks have to make each burger properly. Then the burgers have to get the correct amount of fresh fries so the customer can be sent with a great quality meal. It’s all about working smart the first time around so there won’t be any mess ups to redo any of the same steps or have complaints come around. It is easy to mess up by not paying attention.

      • When I was first starting at the job, I would make little mistakes frequently by not paying attention and not being careful. I thought I just sucked at working there. However, I started changing my attitude around. I started paying attention and working better as a team with my coworkers. I started working smarter and harder. It’s not about being your boss’s pet because you still can suck at your job which will be frustrating for your boss. You’ll succeed more by playing it smart.

  • What I have learned from pursuing a degree in astronomy and physics is that communication is no more

    important when trying to communicate difficult concepts among colleagues in my field than it is in

    communicating with peers in the restaurant industry. I can attest to this because this past summer was my first

    time working in a restaurant, and communication, a good attitude, and going above and beyond is what made

    me a successful employee. Recognizing that those traits helped me excel as an employee in the restaurant

    industry I attempted to translate those traits into my research position with the University of Arizona, where I

    study observational extragalactic astronomy, and in doing so I notice that my supervisor points out my

    contributions more frequently and has offered me a raise recently. Reflecting over my experiences in life and

    the useful information provided by JustJobs Academy, I believe communication skills are a necessary and

    sufficient condition for achieving success in any work place.

  • this was very helpful! My boss is very clear that she should not have to teach us what we already should know At the same time she would like everything up to here standards, which is expected. I find myself during the time spent with my new boss often asking her for instructions or how she would go about doing a certain thing, just to make sure that I am doing a job that super ceeps her standards. I agree that the compitition is tough, so I always try to put my best foot forward at all times.

  • What I relate to in this, is actually the main theme I pulled from this and that is “advocate for yourself” the term work smarter is used throughout the entire lesson and what you can compare that to is advocating for yourself.

    I have had to do this many times throughout my High School and career and working. I see something that does not work right, or I see that i am doing something the wrong way…. and Instead of going to my boss who really does not want to take the time to teach me, I teach myself. I can do this by referring to the employee handbook, asking other coworkers etc…

  • This article is great! I really understand that having a college degree does not automatically make you a great employee. Being good at your job also includes how you work with your peers, present yourself, and how hardworking you are. There are many other qualities that go along with these.

    I really took into mind “the difference between being average and working smart was the difference between a good career and a great career”. This really does make sense because if your smart with your work you will definitely improve and be an asset, but if you are just average then you can easily be replaced by someone better.

    Love the article!

  • There are many aspects of this article that remind me of when I first began working as a nurse aid. In order to become certified, I took an 8 week course which was comprised of standardized exams and then eventually, moved on to the floor for clinical rotations. I remember being completely competent in a “book smart” manner but really lacked in my abilities to transfer these skills I learned in the class room to the floor and on an actual patient. Basically, it was a pretty rough start to say the least.

    What really catapulted me into being more successful at my job was not trying to appease my instructors, peers, and workers on the unit, but rather, to listen to the patient I was caring for in order to understand their needs and goals. By doing this, I could build a positive and trusting rapport with my those I cared for which in turn would create high satisfaction among my patients. Since patient satisfaction is an integral aspect in successful patient care, supervisors and instructors alike tend to interview and round on patients daily to gauge satisfaction. This is when name would come up in a positive manner in conversation.

    The “take home” idea that really stuck with me, at least in my own personal experience, is that successful job performance always comes to making sure that those you are providing the service to are satisfied with your work. I never once thought about what my superiors would think of me while I did my job but rather, the patient. As long as I continued to work compassionately, within the scope of my practice, and in a patient-focused way that my work would eventually be noticed.

  • What stood out most in this article for me, was the advice to be yourself. I’ve always stood by this principle, and although it may have gotten me into trouble in the short term, in the long term, I believe that there are real benefits to being honest and open about yourself. I completely agree that working smartly can help you find satisfaction in your work, and matching who you are, with what you do, contributes greatly to that.

    My family migrated from India to the UAE, and when I moved back to India for university, I tried to conform with the norm as an Engineering undergraduate student and found myself to be extremely out of place. With time, I realized that the best version of me I could be, was myself, and chose to embrace my unique qualities, and take them as my strengths. During my final year, as I was getting interviewed for a job, my spontaneity and confidence were tested when I was randomly asked whether I would be able to sing, and I managed to sing a couple of tunes and get my notes right, and the rush of confidence from acing the spontaneous musical performance guided me through the next rounds of interviews to get the job at a reputed multi-national consultancy firm, despite my below average academic performances in Engineering.

    I picked up skill sets that matched my interests at my job, but was very unsatisfied, and soon realized that my skills, abilities and interests lied elsewhere – in a career working for the earth. I took the risk to stick to my principles, went against my family’s wishes (who have since been extremely supportive), and left a comfortable career as a Software Engineer in a consulting firm, to pursue a career in environmental sciences. And every day since then, I have felt satisfied with my work and been driven to do more.

    I gained exposure in this field by working as a field volunteer on a human wildlife conflict survey in rural communities living on the periphery of protected areas. Following this, I secured a job working as a project assistant at a prestigious research institution despite my deficient background, by highlighting my unique strengths, passion for the environment and just being honest about my shortcomings but also about my enthusiasm to learn more. With this valuable work experience, I was accepted to an excellent MS program in the US, and through originality, hard work, dedication, and good luck, I also managed to secure a job for myself as a research assistant, providing me with valuable research experience, industry exposure, as well as funding for my education and living expenses in a different country.

    I moved to the US alone, to an obscure city that I had never heard of before, pursuing a degree that I had no academic background in, researching an environment that I had no familiarity with, but despite all these unknowns, I retained my originality and stuck by it consistently, and it has helped me flourish. Despite the stress of work, graduate school, and facing personal problems related to my health, I truly find meaning and value in the work I do, and it keeps me going from one day to another, especially on days when everything else feels wrong. I feel that being honest about who you are and matching it with what you do, is working smart, because work that is driven by real passion can be enriching and truly therapeutic. It isn’t just good for your productivity, it’s good for you!

  • Working smart has been my career motto.

    I have no college degree and have been working the past 13 years in both the public and private sectors. These jobs were obtained based on my ability to articulate what I could offer, I obviously had to bring more to the table and prove myself right out of the gate.

    Every single one of the hiring managers took a risk with me. Sure, after my first job I had experience but that was it. What I did was kept my boss aware of what I was doing. I didn’t hang around his office everyday, but he saw my productivity in other ways. He was getting less and less vendor complaints, deliveries were streamlined and inventory requests were immediately completed.

    I took complete ownership of my positions, reached out to vendor contacts immediately and introduced myself. I was able to be the main point of contact for vendors and thus took undue stress away from my boss.

    Working smart has assisted me in my working career in lieu of having a college degree. However, as I continue my education, I am grateful to all the skills I have honed in my working career.

  • It is not just important to do well and get a degree but to be yourself and do the best that you know how. I love how this article shows us how we can be exactly better in a lot of different areas so that we can excel in any given career. To find the areas to be organized and always prepared in everything we do would and will put us above peers and co workers.

  • Reading this article has helped me realize that no school can teach you the true values held in a professional setting, that comes from experience and listening to the experiences of others. I’ve found myself in my life at numerous jobs, all of which are entry-level jobs, but require me to be a competitive candidate for promotions. These lessons highlighted here are skills I’ve seen reflected in my learning from those jobs. The lesson I still find myself struggling with is finding ways to improve my work attitude. By nature, I am not a negative person but I do notice when my attitude changes at work the entire environment I am surrounded in also changes.

  • After reading this article, It showed me how just going to school isn’t going to prepare you for the job. One also needs to be able to gain experience while being on the job and to use that experience to grow and excel. You can’t expect things to be spoon fed to you, you need to work hard to become better at what you do. I can relate to this article, being a Kohl’s employee for three and a half years. I started out as a seasonal employee and by working hard and showing I was serious about being effective, they kept me. I have now since then got employee of the month three times and have been cross trained in multiple departments. I know when I graduate and move onto my new career, I will need to do the same.

  • What I have taken away from this article, is that school will not be everything once I graduate and move in to the work force. There is education involved in every job, however what this article speaks to me is that I should be working for myself, not my boss. I should be proactively taking time to be good at my job, because as the article states, my boss will not want to take me. This sounds like a very informative article on how to have “street smarts” after school, when we will be joining the workforce.

  • The list of the “20 things your boss wants from you” I find intriguing and accurate. I personally connect with the entry level list, as I have just recently been employed by one of the country’s biggest fast food chain restaurants. I am still a senior in high school and I needed a source of income as I am almost ready to graduate and transfer to the University of Arizona.

    I had applied to the business and I was hired and working about a week later. Being my first job I was unsure of what to expect. But within my first day I was able to get a feel for the environment I would be working in for the next few months. It was fast paced and organized, more than I had anticipated, but none that I was not ready for. I will admit I was overwhelmed at first, but I knew that I just had to take it a day at a time and take every opportunity to learn every machine and learn the way to work effectively and efficiently.

    It has only been a couple of weeks and I feel as though I have earned the respect of my boss. I have been punctual, respectful, and I have displayed a sense of confidence in the workplace. I had basically performed the actions as described in the list, and they have worked wonders. My boss now sees me as a dependable individual and he has expressed his gratitude towards me. I will learn from this list as I become a more experienced worker, and I will keep the words of this article in the back of my mind as this will be helpful to me not only now, but in the near future.

  • The part that really rings true to me is where it says “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 exactly how I have felt. I, like many people, sought after jobs for the paycheck. I was in my undergraduate degree and I couldn’t not pay my bills. For a time, I then sacrificed who I was for what I did. I finally just recently found a job that aligns what I do with who I am perfectly. Even on the rough days, I know I’m in the right spot. It is that level of care that gives me hope. For anyone who thinks they are stuck forever sacrificing who they are for a job that might not be what they want to do, it will get better. You just have to find the opportunity to branch out and grow as an individual. Once you find a place who values you for who you are, what you do will be easy.

  • After reading this article I can truly say i relate to most of the themes discussed. I am currently an assistant to a property manager who happens to be a family friend. Thus, you can expect my relationship with my boss would be great. Indeed it is! but not because she knows me personally, but because i learned to work with her and not only for her. I learned how to process like her and have the same attitude towards the job as she does. This ensured a nice job to look forward to every day and my boss truly enjoys employing me. I consider this as my own way of discovering how to work smart according to my job.

  • Work ethic is what it all boils down to. Your education, your ability to socialize, your skills, all are nothing compared to your worth ethic when it comes to being succesful at your job. It doesnt matter how smart or talented you are at something, if you show up to work and don’t have the drive to do it, then yes you will still “suck” at your job.

  • Throughout my time as an employee at Baskin Robbins, I have witnessed many of my co-worker — including myself — go through coming of age moments like these. Most of the teenagers that I have helped trained learned that what they thought was ¨working smart¨ actually was not working smart at all. Everyone has to start somewhere in their work career and its either to the bottom where you stay, or you either climb that ladder to the top. Of course you can´t be your boss´ favorite employee, but you might get close enough. As a teenager — your middle aged boss can only expect so much from you – despite how hard your work ethics is.

    This summer, I´m moving down to GA, where I will be able to advance my work efforts as I engage nomerous amounts of classes for college. Despite the job of scooping ice cream, I learned three valuable lessons that will carry on throughout the rest of my life.

    Number one: Patience is the key, no matter how long the line is out the door — you can´t please every human being right away.
    Number two: Despite the efforts of trying to make tips, the most valuable tip you´ll get on the night of a summer rush is how fast I should be cleaning.
    Number three: Scooping up ice cream is just the first step to designing the Baskin Robbins ads on TV.

  • My reflection from this Article is that there is always a need to find the key in order to success in a work, school , or family setting.
    Particularly in the modern culture, I think most of us walk in a new field with our degree and think we have already made it. However from personal experience the key to success at any situation has been beyond that diploma.
    communication has been my ultimate emphasis on what it is takes to move up the ladder. Imagine interacting with so many diverse individuals that have a different ways of understanding and analyzing.
    I remember to live by the quote “It is not what you say, but how you say it”.

  • The section “It’s Not About Becoming your bosses Pet”, resonated with me the most when they explained needing to find a balance between “what you do and who you are”. As an 18-year-old girl, I’ve only had two jobs in my lifetime, though with both I succeeded very well. This success was due to my balanced level of professionalism and using my personality to create a bond between myself and my boss.

    Though Having a good worth ethic, as well as a good attitude, has not only helped me to bond with my boss’s, but with my co-workers and customers. More than once I have been told how refreshing my attitude is by customers, and that they will definitely return. This in turn has helped me gain more hours at work, and even a raise. Working smart, in all aspects of the phrase, is how one creates connections and opportunities.

  • I found this article inspiring and as well educational. I went for an interview a month ago at a veterinarian hospital, and never knew why they did not call me back. I called them and they said I did have any experience in the field, and did not have many questions about the job. Therefore, I was unprepared and did not seem to want the job at all. They were totally correct. I was totally unprepared and did not take the time to research about the company
    This article was about being ready for a life changing moment in the working field and when you graduate from college a job isn’t going to be handed to you. You must have the correct materials to move you forward on your journey.

  • Having a degree will never assure you a good performance at work. School will provide you a lot of useful knowledge and skills for your job, but they won’t be enough for you to succeed. Not until you are thrown into the real world and you start operating in an industry or administration, you will be able to learn and gain the right skills to thrive. One of the motivations I have about graduating and working is that it doesn’t matter if you suck at work because then you can only get better day by day.

  • I am a first year college student taking this all in and realizing more and more how true it is. Experience is everything, and just having a college degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll “work smart.” I’m in a music industry class, and oftentimes we have guest speakers who are actually working in the field. They are constantly talking about the importance of organization and building your reputation as someone who’s hardworking and genuine.

    I learned that a lot of them had trouble at their first jobs in the industry because they had little experience and didn’t know what their bosses expected from them. From reading this article and thinking about several guest speaker’s experiences, working smart is a balance between what you have and what you learn. You can be a type of person who thrives in a certain environment, who excels because they have people skills and are passionate about what they do. Working smart for people in the music industry means showing up on time, knowing how to book musicians, marketing, learning to be a stage hand, etc. If your passionate about something, that shines through as well. You’re more motivated to work harder and go the extra ten miles because you want to learn. When passion and learning collide, that’s when “working smart” happens.

  • This advise is very important to me because working is school is like preparing for a job and is the building blocks that create a good worker. I want to succeed at my future job and want to work well. Having a trusting relationships with my co-workers and boss is very important. I have always been very trusting and I’m not very worried about that part of it, its the relationship part. I want to get along with everyone and that is hard for me because my personality is very bright and happy go lucky all the time. Most people in college, I have found not to be as liking in that. I will take the advise from this article and hope for the best.

  • You can graduate from Harvard, Princeton, Or Yale really caught my attention. My boss is always bragging about her college degree, but yet does not have a good work ethic. She has no respect for the employees and definitely looks down at a lot of people. And to say our Supervisor who has no college education has to review her reports due to lack of professionalism and misspelled words.

  • Taking away from this, I saw that there is no true way to not suck at your job and just because you have training in something doesn’t mean you’re good at it. This applies to my job profession. I’m currently majoring in performing arts. However, just because people are getting training in this field, doesn’t mean that everyone is good. It takes a true actor to stand out and make the right impression to get a job and keep a name going in this business. 90% of my job is making a good impression and being smart at every audition.

  • I completely relate to this article because of my constant struggle to match up “what you do, with who you are as a person”. I was working dead end jobs that meant nothing to me, with a degree that only got me into entry level positions. I had no interest in the work I was doing, therefore my ambition was little to none, and I had no interest in advancing.

    I am now pursuing a career that encompasses me as a person. As a soon to be registered nurse, working smart has become second nature to me. I do not expect my boss to explain every single nursing theory, skill or procedure that is utilized at work. It is up to me to either research on my own or ask pertinent questions, to learn on my own and not rely on others for me to be successful. Sucking at my job is no longer an option, because my passion lies with nursing and being in an environment where I can constantly learn.

    My goals are to advance in the nursing field, where eventually I will become a family nurse practitioner. This will lead me to become my own boss, where I can diagnose patients, prescribe medication and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

  • Oh wow! This is an eye opening article. Thank God I read through it. Sometimes, It’s not about where you are from or what college you attended, But the qualities and values you have to add to the success of the team you are working on. Nothing good comes easily.

  • Reading this made me feel better about getting a job in the “real world.” Being at the entry level position at an job always makes me feel so vulnerable for mistakes and makes me wish I was at the point where I was confident I could leave being confident I did the job correct.
    My first job was at a fast food place called Culver’s. When I first started I was scared and didn’t know how to do anything. However, through asking questions and working hard I was able to understand the rhythm of the store and after a year of working there I was promoted and became a trustworthy employee. I feel that when I finish school and get a job I am going to feel the same way I did at that fast food job. However, over time I will gain experience and confidence for what I am doing when I show up to work each day.
    Through reading this I learned that as a rookie there are expectations your boss is going to have of you, in addition they also see potential in you and that is one of the reasons why they hired a rookie and not a vet. So you have to prove that it was the right thing to do by hiring the person with not at much experience.

  • In order to be successful, a person must acquire social skills as well as communication skills. A college degree is a huge accomplishment; however, skills need to be obtained as well or your degree could be useless. Jobs are essential and degrees are applauded, but ultimately, a person must have the right skills for a particular job.

  • Thank you Eric Shannon for sharing your thoughts about how to work smart. I agree that someone graduating from a high status university can still suck at their job and not know what they are doing once they start working. One might have the fancy degree and the best GPA, but I guess those things don’t matter if the person has no clue what they should be doing once they are employed. I know what it’s like to get good grades but then continue to make mistakes at my job.

    I used to be a grader for a learning center called Best Brains and I remember having to go through training on how to grade homework packets and test by using an answer key. Even though I worked there for almost 4 years, my boss would constantly tell me that I was not doing a good job in grading the homework packets and tests. This led me to feel slightly embarrassed since I felt like an idiot at my work for the past 4 years. My boss would tell me that sometimes the answer keys could be incorrect therefore I should recheck the student’s work and make any changes to the answer keys. Turns out that my boss was right and that most of the answer keys were wrong, which resulted me accidentally failing some of the smart students. Instead of having my boss tell me what to do, I should have just rechecked the student’s work on my own instead of blindly trusting the answer key and waiting for someone to correct me.

  • This is wonderful, I will definitely reference this article every day a a reminder to myself of what to do and not do when I start working this spring.

  • I love this article because at California Baptist University they pride themselves with equipping the students with preparation for the real world and real jobs. It is easy to read a book, but the part that prepares you for your career is being able to apply what you learned with future obsticles.

  • What I gathered from this article is one needs to be quick on their feet. Meaning understanding what is expected from you and executing projects assigned by upper management. Also, just because one graduates from a prestigious university does not mean they will be successful at their job. Graduates who can work smart by being optimally productive stand the greatest chance of being successful at their new job.

  • I agree completely with the fact that bosses do not want to teach you. I worked at an apple orchard during the summers and falls, and it was honestly pretty hard to learn everything when you don’t live on a farm or work with those things every day.

    My first day I worked at the cash register. I honestly could not tell some of the fruits and vegetables apart, which sounds pretty sad, but it was true. Some of the different tomatoes or nectarines or pumpkins. It was hard for me to think of what I was trying to type into the register. Same goes with the apples, all of the apples were the same price, but people would ask me questions about them and I would have no idea. (I still couldn’t tell you much about certain apples besides a few).

    My boss did not have time to sit there and teach me the differences because she was very busy going back and forth between the outside of the orchard and the inside. I never really saw her during the day since she was so busy. I realized that applying for this job, I should’ve known what I would be having to do.

    I had my coworkers help me out, and I ended up making a little cheat sheet by the register that had everything I needed to know on it. After the first few months it became way busier because of the holidays, and I got way better and knowing what everything was.

    I learned that it just takes a little time and practice before really being able to become good at something. I almost thought about quitting because I was so frustrated, but I am so glad I didn’t. I learned that it shouldn’t be the boss who teaches you, they are busy for a reason and hired you for a reason.

  • The main aspect of this story is that you need to continue pursuing a life after college. IT’s about who you know, not what you know. I personally have has success with the jobs I have held, I held a management position and always felt respected. No one asked where I went to college, or what type of degree I have. This article shows people that you always want to make sure you are notice, and that it doesn’t make you vain. I will keep this article on my number one list after I graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design.

  • Reading this reminds me of my teacher in my Economics class in high school. Before starting on one of the last lessons of the year he said, “Common sense, you would think it be the easiest to learn; but actually, a lot of people lack such thing” and that is all I thought about reading this. It might not have meant common sense, BUT the talk of knowing how to work and be great or good at it speaks the same way. Almost like being in a team and one person refuses to listen or try new things other than their own and have to run the show with people whom don’t agree. Like adaptation, it’s so important to be able to flex and move without being hurt or in the wrong, you have to be able to work and compromise with people around you.

  • What I gathered from this is that getting an education and having a degree may not necessarily mean that you’ll be great at your job or have a successful career ahead. Why? Simply because, now a days in school, they do not teach you how to work smart. They don’t teach you work ethic, values, and the trust you must earn.

  • In my opinion, the above article explains the importance of being a listener, and a self taught worker. These days, people do not want to have to baby you and train you to do the job. Employers expect you to come in to the position and already have an idea of what you should be doing and how to get the job done. An employee can be very like-able, but in the end it comes down to the work you do. At my current job, I work for a small business owner. As much as I love my boss, she simply has never been the type to stop and show me what I need to do to complete the job. Like most workers today, she expects me to study her doings and to teach and familiarize myself with the company and our clients. She recently hired another girl to help out part-time and has already discussed firing the new employee because she does not listen and has yet to learn the trade. Although the girl went to an Ivy league school, and I only have my associates from a community college, I am still the better candidate for the job. While her resume may look better than mine, My knowledge, personality, and quick learning/listening skills combined have taken me further than her education ever will.

  • In order to produce the best result, time, commitment, repetition, endurance and
    an array of additional skills are needed. These are characteristics that develop
    and become honed over years of application. Quality work ethic is not born, it
    is made. The best course of action to take when working for the first time, or
    for a new company, is to perform to the best of your ability consistently because
    your level of competence will increase with your level of consistency.

  • All of these can be summarized into three big fold:

    1. Know your weakness and work work on it
    2. Understand your boss and work environment to become more productive
    3. Work with precision, have good communication skill, be able to handle stress and learn to multi task.
    Adding team work and great socialization skills to all of these will take you through even the most difficult time and task. Never be afraid to ask questions, because nobody is an island of knowledge.
    it is a huge learning point for me and this had improved my idea and enriched my understanding of effectiveness.

  • What i get out of this lesson is that one must work ‘with’ their boss, not ‘for’ them. This way, you gain more respect and credibility on the job both from your boss and your co-workers. At high school, i try to help my teacher out, let her/him know when something was wrong or not understandable so that we both benefited, instead of just letting it go or just agreeing with her/him all the time.

    Also, when it comes down to doing work on the job it is wise to make sure that work is something you love doing so that it doesn’t feel like work. Loving what you do boosts company moral as they see its employees having a great time and also boosts efficiency, with everyone readily helping out and doing the best they can, showing no hesitation to get started on a project.

  • It seems like society is teaching the millennials to spotlight their own achievements before understanding what is being asked of them, while on the job search. Personal “branding” has become the new buzz word sweeping across college campuses. My sorority has pushed this idea onto us and scrutinized those of us who see this matter differently. Eric Shannon highlights the issues that come with personal branding and I agree with his argument. While I think it is important to have a deep understanding of our strengths, I do not think creating a personal brand around them is necessary. Like Shannon, I believe that our employers would rather see an honest and sincere character who has a strong understanding of the job description, rather then someone who has spent an abundance of time building up their social media. Ultimately, your personality is going to be at the center of an interview, over your personal brand.

  • This article couldn’t have been stated any better. When someone wants to be truly successful, it takes commitment, time, motivation, and a willingness to put in the work needed to get there. When I graduated high school in 2014, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and this scared me. I had gone through the motions of signing up for college classes with a four year college and declaring a major, but something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel ready to commit to anything in the “adult world,” seeing as a month ago I was required to ask permission to use the bathroom. The transition shocked me, and I was actually very homesick when I left; something I did not expect.

    During that first semester in college, my roommate told me about a ten-Saturday certification program for Dental Assisting. After a lot of thinking, researching and talking with my family, I finally decided to transfer to a technical college close to home after my first semester, and also attend this ten-Saturday program to help figure myself out.

    I began the program during winter break of 2014, and I had never been more relieved. The instructors were so understanding and helpful, along with the other students. I caught on really quickly, studied the dental field more and aced all my tests. I was, and still am, confident that I chose the right thing because now I have been employed as a full-time Dental Assistant for over a year (promoted to Lead DA after six months), therefore, gaining more and more experience every day. I have also been accepted into the Dental Hygiene program at Northcentral Technical College come this fall. I can’t wait to further my career and become a Dental Hygienist!

  • In this article, I can relate to how being successful at work is all about making your boss happy. You need to show them only your good side, but you also need to be able to let loose and show them that you have your own ways of doing things that are efficient and get things done.

    The 20 things your boss wants from you are very helpful, even though they seem like the most simple things, you forget to do these kinds of things if you don’t think about it. These are all good tips to keep in mind for part-time jobs and full-time jobs. I will be keeping these tips in mind as i pursue my degree.

  • After graduating high school I didn’t choose to go straight to college. I ended up working at a local Walgreens store with the hopes of saving as much money as i possibly could for either a car or for tuition just in case I went to college. When I first started it was quite the learning experience. I tried to present myself as best I could and was willing to learn all that I could to be a great employee. It took a while for me to really get the hang of things and at first I was so worried about impressing my managers that I lost sight of what made me great in the first place.

    I remember the days where i’d try my absolute best, but things just wouldn’t work out and I felt as though the other workers were just so much better. After about a month or so my manger scheduled me to be on the floor. I was no longer working the front register and I took advantage. Putting stock away, helping customers, covering breaks, and even working photo came naturally to me. I accomplished my tasks with speed and efficiency. I was working at what I believed was a normal pace. However, my mangers thought I was working at an incredible pace that they had not been used to. I eventually became one of the better workers at that particular Walgreens and till this day those same managers will continue to let me know that if I ever needed a job, they’d welcome me with open arms.

    I guess what I learned from working at Walgreens was that I shouldn’t be afraid of adapting. I didn’t care about being the boss’ pet. All I knew how to do was, accomplish my tasks as best I could. My managers didn’t want to spend too much time teaching me and that was fine. I was often times thrown into new situations and handled them pretty well. Working there helped me understand what it takes to be a great employee and this article reminds me greatly of the time I spent as an employee at Walgreens.

  • Honestly, i found this article to be uninteresting and lacking in any ability to teach the reader anything new. This article simply tries to teach the reader how to succeed in certain situations, where as I would rather learn how to succeed based on what I can do and how everyone has the potential to achieve any goal they want at their job through merit. As someone who has gotten jobs, scholarships, and acceptance into college sole based on merit I want to know what I have achieved cannot be obtained through mere shortcuts. The way I see it is that there is no better boss for ones own success the amount of competent work that persons put into any job, assignment, or other objective they may have at the moment.
    Please excuse me if I insulted anyone in anyway with my thoughts

  • I agree with a lot of what you are saying above. I think it is very true that if you do not like your job, or do not like what you do, you will not do your job to the best of your ability. It will feel completely natural to slack off and not give 100% of your effort and this will most of the time, be extremely noticeable. I also believe that working smart can be achieved by just about anyone with a work ethic. Even if you don’t or can’t work smart initially, if you are careful enough and observant enough along the way, you can pick up different traits and start to work smart. One of these traits is to only rely on yourself in the workplace. Never rely on someone else to get something done if it is your responsibility because in the end, everyone will look out for themselves and will throw someone else under the bus before they get in trouble. Especially if someone is trying to make ends meet to support their family, they will do whatever it takes so always be careful who you trust and what you trust them with.

    On to the topic of a college degree; I agree and I also disagree with some of your points. I totally agree with your point that someone with a college degree can be overpriced in a sense and not worth hiring. I had a particular experience with this when I was working for my mom’s friend over this past summer. A majority of the guys that work for him are without college degrees and it is rare to find a guy that has one, doing the work that these guys did. However, there was one guy that the company came across and hired, thinking he would be good for the job. But, he was lazy and didn’t do the job very well although he had a college degree. The company ended up firing him and he was without a job when a ton of different guys without degrees were able to keep the same exact job. This goes to show, just because you have a college degree, that doesn’t mean that you automatically have a job by any means.

    On the other hand, it is extremely hard to be successful in this day and age without a college degree. The only way you can really be successful without a degree is if you become an entrepreneur and create a company or business that eventually thrives in the economy. Even with this, the failure rate when trying to start a business is extremely high and you generally come out of it poorer than when you went into it. It is just how the U.S. is today; if you don’t have a college degree, it is very hard to get up to the high rankings of a company or business. For example, I have a friend who’s dad is a police officer and if you want to get anywhere close to a high rank, such as a Lieutenant, within the police force, you must have a college degree. They will just not let you get past this point if you don’t have a degree and this is where I believe if you don’t have a degree in today’s world, you could be in a lot of trouble for the future.

    All in all, a great article and I enjoyed the read. Also very helpful and will keep these tips in mind as I get further into my career. Thank you.

  • I totally agree with this, as my uncle has told me numerous times just having a degree isn’t enough. Although it is obviously a great compliment, and can provide some validity to your professional appearance, its going to take a little more to prove to a company and or a boss that you’re worth their time. To me that means always working to your best capabilities, and doing as your asked, however that doesn’t mean you should shy away from voicing your opinion, within the right time and place. Companies do value your opinions when they’re given in a respectable manner, sometimes these are where the best of ideas can come from. After all aren’t we all there for the same reason?

  • I like this article. It is very informative and worth noting that it’s not the brand of ourselves that is most important, but being honest and sincere.

  • Greetings,

    I enjoyed reading the article; it is very informative. I can relate to the “taking ownership” concept. In a previous job as a supervisor, I remember an employee who would always whine about assignments. I never understood why he always found a reason to complain about doing an assignment, even when he chose which assignment he was going to work on until know. It dawn on me that he never took ownership of anything. He always found someone else to blame for his failure. Great article, I’m sure I’ll refer to it in the future.

    Respectfully,
    Carlos Herrera

  • This lesson is very prevalent to my experience in work. All throughout high school I worked at a deli, where I had several co-workers who didn’t know what it meant to be a good worker or to “work smart.” Many of these co-workers weren’t great workers because they didn’t know what our boss wanted, how she wanted it, and when she wanted it. And one would think, why wouldn’t they just ask the boss what to do? The problem was they didn’t care. My co-workers didn’t love their jobs, it didn’t make them happy therefor there was no motivation for them to work smart. So one after another, my boss would get fed up and fire them.

    It was very easy for me to distinguish which of my co-workers enjoyed coming into work and those who despised it. Those who enjoyed work were responsive to the boss and worked proactively. Oppositely, those who hated working would wait until they were told what to do before doing anything productive. I’m not saying that those who enjoyed their work were perfect employees, they made mistakes, but it’s the way they handled their mistakes that made the boss recognize their valuableness. As outlined in the article, those who work smart take responsibility for their actions and don’t place the blame on others.

    Working smart doesn’t mean brown nosing the boss or being their “pet”, as discussed in the article. I remember one co-worker specifically that would always brown nose the boss in attempt to earn her liking, but that’s about all she did at work. Consequentially, the boss didn’t like her, she was written up on several occasions and was eventually fired. As outlined above and shown in my personal experience, bosses like their workers to be efficient and precise rather than a pet.

    This working smart model is something I’ve never really thought about it, but it is very legitimate. I believe that these are skills that everyone is capable of learning as long as they are working in a job they enjoy.

  • This is a good article.

    I have been working at a Hispanic cultural institution for over 2, in order to fund some of my bills for my undergraduate degree in Art History. I am not high in the hierarchal scale at all, since I am a Visitor Services and Sale Associate for weekend. However, I have done my job in a manner that has allowed my employer to lean on me whenever they need someone to take on some much needed extra hours. While this is not a dream job it allows for me to be in an art focused location. It will look great on any resumes, whenever I choose to apply for a career path to any museum or other cultural institutions.

    This job has giving me an upper hand with experience in customer service and knowledge of finances. For this job, like any job, it is important to have the basics skill of time management, always being prompt and ready. Since I have keys to the building it is my duty on weekends to, disable the alarm’s, turn on all of the lights, projections and make sure the money is still there, all before opening. Not only that, I am trusted with products lists and re-ordering of products. From the years spent, I was additionally given an internship opportunity with the Curator of Exhibition’s. The internship allowed me to explore even more so, the way in which a museum works from within. Giving me a taste of my future.

    It is smart to not just look at a job at face value, but explore underneath. Even if the job ends up being a bust, you’ve at least learned from it and can improve yourself for the future. For myself, that was not the case with this little part-time job that stemmed into a practical lesson on employment.

    Overall it is really up to the individual to work for their goals.

  • I loved the tips for being great at your job. It provides easy and clear resources and advice in order to be the best possible employee and that can lead to better opportunities such as raises and promotions. For me, it is important to watch my attitude, not because I have a bad one, but because I can come off as to strong and don’t want that to be misconstrued. I am a leader and you have to follow when you are start working or there could be negative side effects or consequences.

    It definitely is good motivation to know that employers look for the smartest and want to hire people smarter than them and value our intelligence and give employees opportunities to shine. Reading this article gives me another set of tools that I can use to make my presence felt in the working world.

  • What I get from this article is that when we begin in the workforce, we are young and we are learning how to apply ourselves in the business world. We have a lot to learn and will learn more and more with each job that we have.

    In my career path I have learned many factors that have helped me succeed. One of the main ones that sticks with me is that when you work for a company and you are in public, you represent the company even on your own time. If you are associated with a company and you are misbehaving in the public, you can give the company a bad reputation by your actions. In business, no one is irreplaceable. Always advise your supervisor what is going on in the event that they are in the public and are asked questions, they can be prepared to answer the questions without being caught off guard.

  • While reading this article, I could see how I related to it. My first job was working in a kitchen over the summer. My boss would teach the basic lessons of how to cook or clean something the proper way, but then he left you go to see how you would handle the situation later, in other words the “work smart” method. I caught on very fast at my job without becoming the boss’s pet. After only three months of working there, they asked me to become a supervisor. All of my hard work was finally starting to pay off. This will be my third summer working for this company, and as the author of the article mentioned, he wants to hire people above him. In my case, I cannot hire anyone, but I can train them on how to use the equipment and I have seen people that I have taught become better at things than I am as a supervisor. I enjoyed reading this article, as a lot of it hit close to home, and gave insight into what employers are looking for.

  • I would say that I have had good success at the jobs that I have had. So far, I have only had basic jobs as a sandwich maker at Jimmy Johns, a cashier at Target, and a sandwich maker at Mondo’s subs, but in those jobs I believe I have done well. If I need to email my current boss/manager, I always address it correctly, and I try to be formal enough, but also concise and to the point. I do all of the things that are asked of me, and I even try to do these things before being asked.

    One thing I may need to work on a bit is facial expression with customers. I believe that I am ok with this for my current job, but once, while working at Target, I was approached by my manager who said to try to make sure I smile more. He said I often look like I am sad. This showed me that I may not have been working completely smart. Because of knowing this issue, however, I worked to having a better expression and working smarter.

  • The lesson that I gained from this article is that the way to succeed in life is not just to work, but to work smart. Anyone can work and work hard, but only the best will work smart. Doing so allows a person to get more done than their coworkers at a faster rate with less effort.

    An example of this is with my schoolwork. I’m currently a senior in High School, and I am also taking multiple AP classes. These classes give large amounts of coursework, homework, and study material. Yet I still have time to relax, plan out my future, and apply for scholarships. This is because I work smart, using supplementary resources, such as the internet, and more direct resources like the teacher or other classmates. Because I do these things, I can comfortably complete my AP courses with the praises of my teachers while others are struggling to even complete their classwork.

    In conclusion, this article has shown me that the key to success is to work intelligently and properly use your resources instead of simply working hard. Taking this advice can allow anyone, including myself, to easily achieve their goals, both at school and at the workplace.

  • I agree with the general idea of this, and I do agree that a lot of success comes from drive. The want to make more from yourself. But there are limitations to creativity. Some times being to forward could lead to downfall. Ultimately, its not about the college degree, its work ethic; common sense. Its about positivity. Having people skills, being diverse and working smart can ultimately make the difference when it comes to being a great employee or even student.

  • After reading this lesson, I can see how helpful it is to inform yourself before seeking a job. I say this because from my own experience, employers always seek for people who have the skills and knowledge that will make them good candidates for their work.

    When I was looking for a job for college, I applied to a calling center where I am still working; and I got myself prepared by doing calling jobs on the side so that I could be well prepared for this new job. And because if this preparation, I was able to get the job and start working at the beginning of my first year in college.

    I think that there is a lot more to learn in the job industry and really think this program would prepare people to find and more importantly get and keep a job. I really liked this lesson because it was really clear and I also learned that there are many things to learn in order to succees at a job such as being useful and efficieng in your job as well as being able to communicate with your superiors.

  • “Work smart – how to succeed at a great company” by Eric Shannon was very interesting for me.
    This is because it was an article about the world we live in nowaday.
    Living a life today is very hard and distress because of a lot of task, examination, competition, and so on.
    Nice university diploma such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge do not assure our success no more.
    So, we need to have our own special merits that can distinguish ourselves from others.
    Also, I believe each of us has our unique talents and advantages that set us apart.

    For instance, I have quick wits and behave politely to others; I think these are my special strengths.
    In my case, about 10months ago, I worked at an English Kindergarten in Korea.
    I did much things at there such as making teaching materials, managing the phone, helping conversation between native English teachers and Korean students, and so on.
    I always tried to do my best not only for important things but also for trivial things.
    For example, I treated student’s parents and co-worker with civility at all times.
    Also, I cleaned the classrooms and the furniture, and arranged the books neatly before my boss ask for me.
    So I could get colleague’s and boss’s confidence, take an important part in the Kindergarten, and receive more salary.
    However, it was not my strategy to succeed, it was behaviors from the bottom of my heart.
    I really loved to clean the classrooms and desks and chairs for my young kindergarten students, and appreciated all of my co-worker and my boss for their kindness for me without prejudice.

    In conclusion, innate talents are very important to succeed; but I think great effort and heartfelt behavior are more important to succeed satisfactorily. Hence, I will do my best in my college, and future company with my special strenghts and sincere behavior even though my English skills are not perfect.

  • Basically, I have gathered from this information that having a college degree does not guarantee that I will be great at my future job. In order to succeed I have to become a well-rounded person and also a hard worker. In order to be great at what I do I must always respect those around me and above me, even if we don’t always get along. I’m so glad I read this article because so many people believe that if they suffer through college for a few years they will eventually make a ton of money and absolutely love what they do. But that is not always the case. To be honest, neither of my parents have college degrees and they are well alright. College is not for everyone, but having a degree does make entering the workforce so much easier.

  • For a while now I have heard the saying “work smart, not hard.” This didn’t really make sense to me because for all of my life people always say “work hard.” After reading this article I have made a great realization, that in order to work hard you have to work smart as well. Working smart to me means that you find the most efficient way to accomplish a task. This saves the company money and saves you time. It doesn’t matter what degree you have from college, if you are able to work smart and pick up the necessary skills quickly you will be successful in your career.

  • In my life while still in highschool I have gathered work experiences at my dad’s Company site.
    He was basically the site manager and assigned me on the job so can I have some work experience.
    I never worked for him directly, he assigned me a crew leader or trainer. Of course, being a teen I
    was nervous and really sucked at my job. My job consisted on doing corn hand pollination, and I corrupted some pollen and screwed up some exercises. But my trainer never was mad since this happened to many trainees. He or she corrected me and showed me time and time again how it’s done. Over time I learned and worked alone since I didn’t screwed up as much as the first time. I knew what they wanted from me and it was simple. For two summers I worked at my dad’s company site and I learned a lot since then for future jobs. I’m an undergraduate student that is interested in finding a job while studying. Short term jobs like these help me for future experiences.

  • This article perfectly describes what it is like to build a reputation in a new job; while you might feel lost at the beginning and require some training, most bosses do not like to take the time to get you up to speed. They assume that you can read their mind, and that everything you do will be exactly as they imagine it.

    I had such experiences while working in a research lab. My supervisor would constantly assume that she had told me something, when she never had. When I would come to her with questions or results, her frustration was obvious when I had not followed the exact protocol that she had in her head. Once I noticed this pattern, learned how to “work smart,” and was proactive about making sure that we were on the same page, our working relationship significantly improved. The strategies and advice listed in this article are incredibly useful in navigating such workplace relationships, and being successful regardless of the numerous barriers.

  • As a current college student on the hunt for great career opportunities, this article has been a life changer. I was always taught to just suck up to the boss instead of actually trying to be a good worker. I’ve worked in retail throughout high school and in between college semesters, and it honestly is tough. There’s a high demand for hard workers, but it’s hard to stand out. Following the rules to becoming a smart worker really isolated myself and my skills from my coworkers in a positive way. Now, being able to tuck this knowledge under my belt for future applications and internships, I can already tell I’ll be more successful in the workforce.

  • Working smart is obviously important in today’s job market, as mentioned in the article, “Today, working smart can make the difference between having a career and having nothing.” With there being a very tough competition for jobs, especially for specific positions like video editor, graphic design, public relations dealing with talent, etc, one job might be sought after by multiple people, meaning you have to have a very strong portfolio/resume when you apply, as well as have a very good interview.

    Another topic discussed in the article was meeting expectations; if you’re hired on to do public relations, let’s say, and you can’t work well in a group, or clients don’t like you, the boss of the company will probably get rid of you. Being confident in your abilities while also being well-versed in working with others is another very vital tool.

    The biggest issue, though, it the process of actively getting a job. When I entered the workforce almost four years ago, it was impossible for me to get a job because they all wanted work experience…yet I didn’t have that because no one would hire me. It was a very frustrating process, yet eventually I landed a job at a Rec Center and have worked there ever since. However, being a janitor at a Rec Center doesn’t translate well into what I want to do, Game Design and Video Production. This means that even though I may have the degree, I won’t have the experience working in a company, putting me back at the bottom amiss all the other people who also have degrees, but might have years of experience over me.

    In terms of working smart, I never needed a class on it or even a lecture in how to work smart; I just did my job. I never even had a personal finance class until my senior year of high school (last year) and I pretty much knew everything in the class already because it was pretty common sense. Yet, I’ve worked with people who my boss has hated because they are awful workers who don’t listen, are not very reliable, and have no sense of personal finance at all. They have either left or were fired, and I’ve stayed. Right there shows how quickly you can be replaced if you aren’t doing your job correctly, or aren’t liked.

    One of my favorite parts of the article is the quote, “The problem with sucking at your job is that it gives you very little power to make changes.” I know in the game industry, if you don’t understand programming very well, it’s hard to make changes in the code to maximize optimization. The more experience you have and the more knowledge you have in what you are doing ultimately equates to you having more freedom in your job, as you know more ways to work around something or new ways to optimize something. If you are good at your job and can come up with creative and inventive solutions to problems, higher-ups may see that and want to promote you, increasing your importance to the job, giving you more and more leeway as you move up and stay longer at your job.

    The take away from the article, I feel, is to recognize your faults and pay attention to what employers are looking for in an employee. Following orders while still taking liberties to improve upon the task given to you (basically taking initiative) will get you places much faster than just doing your job; understanding what you are doing is more valuable than just being your boss’s pet.

    From the article, I have learned more about what future employers are most likely looking for in me, and how to spend the next years of higher education towards giving myself some of the qualities looked highly upon in the job market today.

  • The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I worked at a local sandwich shop that specialized in wraps. This means I would have to spend 4 hours of my 6-hour shift doing nothing except splitting pita. By then I had learned how to work smart, as high schools generally teach that sort of thing, but the problem here wasn’t working smart. It was lack of motivation and drive at a job I hated. So I made the smart choice, and quit that job to start my own summer clothing business.

    While making clothes, I may not have been able to make as much as if I worked 40-hours a week at this meaningless job. But for the amount of time that I was working, I was easily making more than I would’ve been splitting pitas, and I had more fun doing it while also building life long skills that I’ve been able to apply in everyday life.

    I’m doing this for the scholarship, so if the above is all you want to read feel free to stop here. I just want to address some of the statements you make in your article.

    You say that schools don’t teach students how to work smart, and I strongly disagree.

    One of the main purposes of school is to teach you how to work smart. There may not be a specific class in school titled, “how to work smart,” but it’s very unlikely that someone would be able to make it through college, let alone high school, without knowing how to effectively manage their time and work load to achieve a final product, AKA working smart. Especially if you graduate from a rigorous school in a demanding major.

    That’s why employers’ will have “sky-high” expectations for the workers they hire out of college, and won’t teach you what working smart means. They expect/know that at this point in your life, you should be well educated enough to figure out what working smart means and how to apply it on your own. ESPECIALLY if you’ve just graduated from an ivy league school.

    Then in one of the paragraphs you state that, “Most [people] have something to sell you; I don’t.” This is an untrue statement. In the lines directly following that statement you attempt to sell us on using your job-search engine. Then at the end of the article you link us to 20 different articles linked to this site in order to drive extra traffic to each page, and at the very end you try to literally SELL us your ebook for $12.95.

    I’m sure some people can pass through school in some easy major without working smart, but to think that this applies to everyone in college is wrong.

  • I agree 100% from everything stated above. When I finally found a job in my career field. I felt like I was thrown to the wolves. I was given a 2 hour intro and then was sat at my desk and was told to get to work. My boss didn’t give me a to do list, he didn’t walk me through what needed to be done. He expected me to just know. So I had to pull my big girl pants up and figure out what needed to be done. I also quickly learned that kissing my bosses butt was not the way to get in his good graces either. He would run all over me if I let him. He tried to make me work weekends on top of my 40 hour weekday schedule and not pay me overtime. You have to get in the rhythm of your job and then draw your line. I did the best that I could in my 40 hours, but after that I’m sorry.

  • You can learn so much from an entry leven job. When I started attending college I got a job at a fast food restaurant, needless to say this was not a job I wanted to keep for many years. I knew I had to find something better. I needed better pay, and better hours. This job did not offer the things I wanted, so I started looking for something that could support me, and teach me new things.

    That is when I found a job at a physical therapy office. This job had everything I wanted, great hours, good pay and great people to work with. At first I was very shy and wasn’t very sure how to do my assigned duties. My supervisor was very helpful and slowly but surely I started learning more and more. I slowly started getting more opportunities within the company and got new responsibilities and better pay.

    I learned that in order to grow in a career you have to put yourself out there and you have to show that you are interested in learning and doing more things. I found this brings much more that a pay raise. This gives you the opportunity to grow, to gain respect from your supervisors and co workers. I believe that this is the best was to work smart.

  • This article brings to light skills and behaviors that can be practiced to support my goals to be indispensable to my boss and team. Many of the suggestions in the “20 Things Your Boss Wants from You” involve communication and how to anticipate your Boss’ needs. In a work world inundated by data and continuous access to communication, there are great opportunities to increase a boss’ efficiency by translating this data into useful information. Being disciplined to the strategies mentioned in this article, for example responding to e-mails and taking notes electronically, provide an infrastructure to make the most of this opportunity.

    The article brings forward a message that has been communicated to me many times in my life. That excellence in education gets you a “seat at the table”, but it is your abilities and passion in your work that creates a career. I found the comments regarding the use of these “skills” as transferrable to all aspects of career development to “ring true” for me. Whether the goal is to create future customers, advance in a business, gain experience for the next step in a career or secure references for future advancement the skills are equally effective in achieving these accomplishments.

    My first job in High School at Abercrombie was filled of many lessons mentioned in this article. My goals were to secure employment for money and experience to put on my resume. I had to balance my work with academic and sports responsibilities. My job was going well and I enjoyed the team and I was being scheduled for the desired amount of hours. Then the supervisor changed and the new leader didn’t seem to appreciate my other responsibilities. I felt powerless to being given an opportunity to change her perception. As I reviewed this article, it made me reflect on how things may have been different if I would have deployed some of these skills with my new boss. Direct communication that was clear and blunt may have assisted in assuring the new manager new my interest and how I could balance my dueling responsibilities.

  • The theme of this article, to work smart, reminds me of what something my Mother taught me, and that I have tried to apply to the last two jobs I’ve held: to anticipate what your boss wants from you, and deliver on it without them needing to ask. I worked retail for some time, and after a while, I found that my bosses were relying on the pace of my work to accomplish their goals for the store, whether the day was busy or not. By working quickly to accomplish tasks, rather than having the relaxed, “it will get done” attitude that many of my coworkers had when not under direct supervision, I was given the opportunity to train new hires and discuss opportunities for my coworkers to improve. My managers frequently sought my opinion on how certain coworkers were doing; by working smart I was given the advantage to influence the opinions of my bosses.

    In my most current job as a teaching assistant at my undergraduate university, I was unsure of what I would be responsible for. By meeting with the professor I was assisting and asking specific, well thought out questions about what duties he would need me to take over for him, I was able to gauge how I could exceed his expectations. Because I knew I would applying to a graduate program later, his good opinion of me was extremely important. I made sure to promptly check all email, so that I was responding to issues that both he, and students needed resolved so that the students would begin to contact him first, instead of going through me. I held review sessions for students, and set a goal of myself to have all assignments graded and posted online within a certain timespan. Beyond this, I made to sure to maintain an attitude of professionalism that could have been easy to lose when there were students of the same age, or whom were my friends in the class. From doing these tasks, he mentioned that I had indeed exceeded his expectations.

    The principles of working smart and the advice that while a degree from a well known and respected institution can open doors, it is how you perform once in the room that determines the track of your career, are something I will carry into my graduate study to improve professional relationships, and into my career to advance myself.

  • One of the main themes I recognize from this article is that employers prefer honesty to outright flashiness and branding. I can relate to this as I have never sought to be flashy or be dishonest in my job seeking, and that way of seeking for has been quite successful for me.

    Of course, while always trying to impress my employers, I have never tried to come off as someone who I am not. I’ve found that more often than not, this has allowed me to nail interviews and get off on the right foot with my employers.

    This allowed me to get a job early in high school, but more importantly allowed me to get a graphic design job my freshman year in college, which has been both a blessing to me financially and an absolute joy to work on, as graphic design has always been a major interest of mine.

  • I remember getting my first work-study job in the School of Communications department at my university. Although I was just a office assistant, my supervisor was a great one, she would advice us on our work ethic. She would also prepare us for what we could learn from the job and take with us to future jobs. We were able to use that job experience as a way to practice building our resume and creating a positive image.

    After leaving that work-study position, I find myself back to the department to work with the Production professors on a film project I am working on. Since they remember me and work ethic from the time I used to work there, they were happy to work on my project with me. Since this was a personal project film, they were impressed at my outreach into making it.

    From what we read above, I can see how the lessons relate to some I have faced in my life. Although mine are on a very small scale than when I graduate from university, I understand that it is important to keep a professional image and be able to keep good connections.

  • Having a job these days is important but more important is being comfortable at it. These days they are not just looking for a college degree, they are also looking for a person that can be capable of being the image of any corporation. Your boss has to be proud of having you at his corporation.
    For being a great worker you have to like what you’re doing and understand what the job what’s from you. People these days have to work smart in order to have a job, its not just being great at the job but it also is being a great person that’s helps you. You get a job with persistence, great attitude and the capacity to adapt to the work.

  • I almost never made the highest grades in my class. There was a guy that was in my class that would cheat on every test. He thought he was working smart and getting ahead of the rest of us that genuinely studied and worked hard for our grades. I became bitter towards this person as I stayed after class and struggled to receive a passing grade in certain subjects.
    Now that we are out of school and earning our own way, this person is struggling. He cheated himself out of a real education. Although he had the scores of a genius, he could not cope with real world problems where the answers were not on his phone. I know that I can handle a work load by myself and prepare myself for any test. Ultimately this is working smarter and not cheating yourself out of anything.

  • Working smart can be a challenge when you do not understand your bosses intentions. This is where communication would come in useful. I believe that respectfully telling your boss that you need more instruction would be a good first step.

  • I have been employed since I was 16 and agree with all of this, just getting a degree isn’t always going to satisfy you so this is awesome.

  • Everything about this article is spot on. All headings lead directly back to the main theme that respect and integrity is what can and will land you a job and make you stand out in that job no matter what industry or level of competition that job may warrant. From personal experience, one major part of this article stood out to me.

    The idea that “you can graduate from Princeton, Harvard, or Yale and still such at your job.” This is so wise, because it shows how the world has grown in the past 10-20 years. Yes it is still important if you do choose to go to a big school and that’s mostly where you will make your connections. I have a friend, however, who went to public college, University of Oregon and has landed a job at the reputable online news wire called Buzzfeed. After working with me at Hurley International out of college, my friend Sam took her connections from college to interview at Buzzfeed with someone she found on linkedin. Using credentials she’d earned in college, she landed a first interview and because of her personality and level of integrity with her potential boss, she landed the job. You don’t always need to go to a prestigious school to make an impression. You just have to own a level of prestige in your work ethic and everything you do.

    This article really illustrates the flexibility that the work force presents. Many people think that the responsibilities of a job are cut in stone, but the reality is that most things can be changed from their original form if given the right amount of care and time worked on/with. This rings true for jobs and bosses too. As long as there is a foundation of respect and integrity, most anyone can go extremely far in whatever they choose to do.

  • I enjoyed reading this article! When I was deciding my major
    all I could think about was financial reward and security. However, when it
    comes down to it, you have do to something you are passionate about, then you
    will naturally be good at it! It will be easy to act. My parents have worked
    all of their lives and they always told me whether it is just a part-time job,
    a volunteer job, or your career, if you agreed to work for someone, do just
    that. Work for them. I am working my way through college and I have come across
    a lot of people that do only what is necessary to get a paycheck. I love that
    this article gives tips on how to be great. It is like you said, you need to
    have a good relationship with any boss because they could be a reference for
    your dream job.

    This article was really helpful that I will definitely share it!

  • This is actually one of my fears that I will have going into a new job. I am so afraid that I won’t be good at it or that I will mess something up. With that being said, I always have that fear in the back of my mind, but that strives me to educate myself now even more so that I can prevent future mistakes. I think when you have a job, it is important to keep educating yourself so you won’t be behind everyone else. I think it’s important to be as up to date as possible within your career. There will be times that I will feel like I don’t know what Im doing or that this wasn’t the right choice for me but I will always make it through whatever the job throws at me. Even if I fail, I will always pick myself back up and try even harder the next time.

  • I can share a perfect example of working “smarter”.

    Every single one of
    my co-workers had a college degree, except me.
    I had been hired on as a temporary file clerk immediately following the acquisition
    of another telecommunications network, that nearly doubled the company in size,
    revenue, and network capacity. It wasn’t
    a very pleasant take over; most workers left in the office, were a bit
    disgruntled, especially towards me; simply because I was hired on by the acquiring
    company.

    Eventually I managed to make a few of them happy to see me
    each day, by offering assistance (and following through) with light clerical
    work. I was under direct supervision of
    the Vice President of, who was the only other person present from the acquiring
    company. He only came to oversee the
    filing project at the “soon to be closed” office.

    I showed up every day with a smile and a, “Good Morning”, to
    everyone who met my eyes (and some who didn’t); despite the thickly lingering
    tension in the air. I have always believed
    that morality levels in the office boost production, and this was exactly the
    case. I soon was able to ask questions
    directly to the persons who would actually be in the know of the right answer;
    instead piling a stack of papers aside to ask the Vice President.

    He, of course, had the authority to provide answers, but his
    answers were merely educated guesses, and he would be quite frank about that
    fact. I remember being taught, “caution
    to the side of error” in terms of what legal documents needed to be kept on
    record for businesses. I know he appreciated that stack of paperwork in
    question, slowly dwindle down to none, as I began to work “smarter” for the
    company, keeping its goals and vision statement, as my own; and ultimately
    being able to save them much time and money.

    My sincerity empathy towards
    the disgruntled workers who would soon be without a job, grew as I realized
    that the project I had been working on, was nearing completion. My last assignment, for the project I was
    working on, was to ship out the files. I
    had been scanning, auditing, and packing them into boxes for nearly 9
    months. At the Beginning of the week, I
    thought to be my last, the Vice President came and asked me personally if I
    would like to continue working at their other local office, and “move” with
    them to “unpack” the files, due to my consistent display of both good attitude
    and good work ethic.

  • I feel like this article will help me get ahead in the work field. Learning about these tips and building on top of what my parents taught me about the outside world as well as what I have learned in my own experiences volunteering in an office setting can improve my chances of climbing to the top easier. Asking a lot of questions is also a good quality to have in the work place. I hear of some people not knowing how to format an email to a professor and if your school has a course in writing in the work place (they exist!) I suggest taking them. They’re a great help and can get you even further!

  • Every job I have ever had has taught me something new I could then bring to the next job. My first job was doing hard jobs for my landlord as a teen. he paid me out of pocket but it taught me a lot. I did a lot of tree removal and clearing out abandoned houses. It taught me that you need to work hard. It also taught me that hard work doesn’t have to be stressful. You can have fun even in the toughest of jobs.

    The next job I had was a staple for any young person. I worked fast food. There I learned to work with a sense of urgency. It was a fat paced job and you needed to work fast to do it. It was hard but I learned a lot and loved it.

    After that, I worked in a store. I became a shift lead right out the gate and it was challenging. I never knew having authority would be so hard. I had to set an example for my fellow employees and that example was critical. It taught me to be responsible.

    Next I was back to fast food. This wasn’t the same experience as the first. At this job we were greatly understaffed. I was forced to work a lot of lunch rushes solo in the kitchen and it was horrible. Even here I learned something. I learned that you don’t always have a great job, but you have to make the most of it.

    I can take these lessons and apply them to my future jobs and I can push them into a school aspirations.

  • Being a good employee is constant process. This includes maintaining a positive attitude, communication skills, work ethic, and team work approach. Trying your best regardless of not getting the last promotion may just be the key to getting the next promotion. An employee must be open to change, willing to compromise, and supportive of the agency’s goals and mission. Always strive to be a lifelong learner, and not have a sense of entitlement. They are many other qualified applicants to take your place. Humility, flexibility, and a sense of loyalty are nice features in any employee.

  • I have learned a great deal from reading this article especially because of the current changes that I am going through. I was recently a sales associate at one company but I was looking for a position that required more responsibility and skill. I made sure to master all of my skills as a sales associate before I told my managers that I was looking to grow with the company. Unfortunately there were no available positions at the moment therefore I decided to wait out the holiday season and start looking for a better job at the beginning of the new year. One day while I was working I got recruited by a company that I love, to start the application process for a management position. I received great recommendations from my current managers because we had developed good relationships and they knew that I was ready for the next step, even if it meant moving forward with another company. I knew the stakes were high when I applied because I had no prior work experience as a manager but luckily I made lasting impressions on the store manager and the district manager and landed the job. Coming into the job my store manager had mentioned that he was looking for someone to help whip the store back into shape and to help him reinforce the rules that some people are taking lightly. I will use these tips to help me be effective and work smart.

  • this article really helped me a lot simply because it gave me a better understanding of how and what to really look for in a job or anything you have to declare. for me i had a huge problem trying to declare my major and what i really wanted to do after high school after years and years if thinking that i wanted to become a pediatrician because of the money but after taking the health course up to my senior year in high school that’s when i decided i didn’t want to do such a thing anymore and i had to be smart about my next step and decision into wanting to major in fashion and having that as a career option as well. this article has taught me about smart decision making and that if you went to a well known big college or community college that has nothing to do with your work ethic and how you present yourself. this is something that i can keep in mind while im finishing up college and even after college to pursue a career in fashion.

  • As a mother of three, and someone who has just recently stepped back into the working world only a few months ago, I take this article to heart. Before I decided to become a stay at home parent, I was a full time employee and someone no one ever questioned was a bad employee. I was fast, and efficient, which made my bosses respect me even more. If there was ever any issues, I could answer them with no problem. I have been out of commission for the last 2 years and coming back into this world feels so different. Although I have always been a hard worker, I find that many people are just happy being employed. However, I notice that there are several companies with high turnover rates which is definitely something to look out for when searching for a job. When I went in for interviews, and there were plenty, I found that the companies that many companies wanted someone they could train or at least someone that was flexible. But just as they studied me, my body language and my knowledge of the job, I studied them as well and had just as many questions if not more for them than they had for me. I think in turn it paid off because not only did i get the job I desired, I got a job that I genuinely enjoy. Now onto to the next thing, my JOB. Now that I am working, I notice how vigilant managers can be, especially since they know I am “fresh from home”. The first few weeks at my job I quickly became annoyed at how closely my work was watched. I discussed this with my manager and they were actually very understanding and allowed me to work independently and even started offering me more hours (I work part time so this is a good thing). Managers respect you more when they find that you are willing to do the work effectively and efficiently and are capable of doing it on your own.

  • So true! In today’s fast paced world employers appreciate a person that is self motivated and accepts instruction BUT can carry out the task without a lot of supervision. Education and ethics go a long way! I have always enjoyed listening to my employers requirements and commiting to meet or exceed their expectations!

  • I have come to notice that even though you may have had things always come easy to you while growing up, that does not mean it will always be the case. You will have to work hard, and things will come at fault to you. But you have to work through it and come out stronger. Learn from your mistakes, and do not be scared to do something extraordinary because that may be one of the key factors that makes you more qualified for job positions than others, you have to go with your gut and work to be the best.

  • It is very interesting to know that not evening going to the best schools in the country can get you a job. I pretty much had found that out myself growing up. I personally believe that even going to a 4 year school cannot guarantee you a career. It’s all about the effort you put into to pursuing that job and the techniques you use. There will always be competition but does not mean it will be impossible.

  • I like what is done here, My major is currently Political Science, and i’m wanting a pre-law feel, but the type of law i’m going into is corporate. So I will be changing my major to Business Marking very soon. I want to be taking seriously in my job and or work space and hope its fun and that everyone can enjoy it. I am very passionate about law and a few of these key points I make the way i feel about work, and working in and with bigger and large organizations.

  • This article had a lot of useful information. When trying to make a name for yourself as the new person in the company, there are several factors that will come into play. The degree, skill set and personality helped to gain the job, but now what? Continue growth, pay attention to details, continue to learn from mistakes made, be sincere in your faults and in your appreciation of those you work with. Have enough confidence in yourself to keep moving forward in your company but do not make a name for yourself by throwing your coworkers under the bus in order to get there. At the end of the day, be better today than you were yesterday.

  • I have had only one job in my life. The biggest turning point for that job was before I even started. When I went in for my interview with the manager and assistant manager (did not know who they were until I got there) I was completely nervous. I took the advice my mom gave me: take a deep breath and be yourself. I am pretty open-minded and communicate ideas very easily when I shake the nervousness.

    During the interview, I realized there were certain questions I did not know the answer to because of lack of experience. I simply stated that fact and they wrote down comments. I thought that the worst they could do is say no. I continued to be honest instead of painting a picture of a model employee. At the end they said they would try me out with a seasonal position. I was not really picky since I lacked experience anyway.
    The salary was discussed next. I was expecting the bare minimum. I got $2 more than minimum wage. They said they were impressed with my honest and winning personality. They said I sounded excited and fun. Like I said, I was just being myself. First interview and I nailed it. With the giant smile I had on my face and the trembling excitement, I left the room stoked.

    When the season ended, my manager called me disappointed. He said unfortunately the season was over and he had to let me (and the other seasonal employees) go. He then said to let him check the budget and see if he cannot make room on the permanent employee list for me. Unfortunately he couldn’t fit it in the budget. they were barely making budget as it is. He said he really enjoyed having me around from my out-of-the-box ideas to my will to perform task to the fullest and my great personality.

    He said I could call him for a reference anytime and that I was one of the best employees he’s ever had. I am not going to lie, I was on cloud nine after that comment. It jus goes to show that honesty wins over a** kissing just like the article states (in a more or less words).

  • The lesson that I gather from reading this is to learn basic common sense in the work place. It seems that the underlying message is that if you working for some, get done what you boss wants. If you run into complications, think about your options, ask around, do research, everything you can and then go to your boss if it’s needed.
    If you are working for yourself, work hard, be confident in your choices as well as smart,and be ready to work for the company and not for a salary.
    Lastly, keep improving yourself, grind to get the job done, and work smarter not harder.

  • This makes a lot of sense. It is almost comforting to read something like this. It tells me that finding a job and getting better and better jobs may not be as hard as I had thought. I always worry if college is going to be worth it or if there will even be opportunities once I am done with college and ready to start the job search. I think that this article is actually a good motivator as long as you take it the right way. Advice like this really needs to be put into action the right way. It sounds as though the author has made ways for us to figure out how to put all this information to work. This article could really help anyone who may read it. I liked the fact that the author said how it is easy to suck at your job. At the same time, you could be very good at your job with not that much effort. Working smart doesn’t nececarily mean working a lot or really hard. It’s nice to hear stuff like that. It makes it sound like the future will be easiear than people make it out to be.

  • My first job was being an assistant chef in the kitchen at a local summer camp in Arizona. I had never done any type of work in the kitchen on a professional level; just cooking at home. I was extremely nervous when I arrived at the camp, before I had even started working! My first day I met the other staff members and was given a tour of the kitchen, I was scared that I wouldn’t remember where everything was. I got the hang of things pretty quick and I ended up working there the entire summer for 4 years. Before I moved out of state, the camp closed down and the director told me that she and her husband were nervous to have me on board the first day I showed up because they saw how insecure I was when I walked in. Confidence is extremely important when it comes to jobs, whether it’s an interview or another day on the work schedule. Knowing what your boss wants and getting it done as quickly and as efficiently as possible is definitely the key to being a successful employee. Do not let obstacles keep you from getting your work done, deal with them and continue to do your job. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either.

  • Just having a degree does not mean that you will be amazing at your job. While going to school can help better prepare you for your future career, it does not teach you everything. The main thing I learned from this article is that you need to learn not only how to do your job, but also how to improve yourself in the eyes of your employer. The best way to set yourself apart from your coworkers is to be great at communicating and interacting with others, The more helpful and reliable your are, the more you will stand out. The best thing to do is to learn what is expected of you as an employee and then to exceed those expectations.

  • The saying “Life isn’t fair” resonated throughout my brain as I read this article.There is no guarantee for success which is frightening. All of my life I have been told that having a college degree betters your chances at a job and success, but still that could not even be true. Many of the richest people in the world didn’t even graduate from college. This article, I think is a way to prepare people for the unknown future and to not have such high expectations because they will be disappointed. Be the best version of yourself and the hardest worker you can be. These tips will be most helpful.

  • I enjoyed this read very much. The main theme that I gathered from this article is
    that you must have clear communications skills as well as be your own person;
    that having a college degree does not mean you are higher or better than anyone
    else that works alongside with you. You must be precise and honest, as well as creative
    and witty. You must go above and beyond to stand out, but only do this in a positive manner.
    Do not try to be better than anyone else, per say; but just make yourself recognizable
    and known.

  • Very interesting take. These things made me look at getting a job and impressing my boss differently. I’m a journalism major. They literally tell us it’s the worst major you can major in because it’s to competitive when you’re looking for a job, so out of all these people, I could use all the help I can get. THANK YOU

  • Having a college degree is like a receipt saying that you know those skills. What companies want is the work ethic behind the skills. Only having the skills is like only knowing the theory of CPR but not being able to put it to use. When you can put it to use successfully then the company will have the trust to hire you.

  • The key to being a top-notch worker is to build the foundation. This is the most important thing one can do when in hopes for a successful career. I understand that those with better college degrees tend to land the nicest jobs first, but getting a degree from a great college may not be the only thing that sways the boss.

    Within the article above, it states,”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.” It is a very true, well-supported claim to make. A person’s worth ethic is not created through school and study entirely. Most work ethic of a person is found from how they lived before the job opportunity (i.e. if the loved one of a child growing up is patient and focused then odds are so will be that child).

    College may provide students with the idea that, since they have a college degree, they don’t have to show the extra effort and go the extra mile their job may require. It requires a balance of characteristics, strategy, and open-mindedness to succeed. This is exactly what this article put into perspective to me, as well as others.

  • The most important thing I’ve learned from this is that even the best student can be bad at a job. What makes a good employee is a very complicated thing. One must keep his eyes and ears open to what his boss may or may not say. Somehow one must know exactly what to do and when to do it. To some this comes naturally, and to others it can take time, but I believe everyone can master this skill of debunking a bosses requirements if they only have some time.
    My first job I learned quite a bit about this. I had a good boss, but I didn’t quite understand him at times. He would ask me to do chores, which I did excellently. However, I would always try to do more than what was asked of me. You ask, “how could that be bad”. Well.. It can definitely be bad if you mess up while trying to go above and beyond.
    This job was in the automotive mechanic sort. I would often do things that I wasn’t exactly supposed to do in order to impress the boss. Many times I would work on vehicles when I wasn’t certified or trained to do so. I’ve made hundreds of dollars of mistakes this way. However, I learned my lesson and all my jobs since then have worked out much better.

  • As an African American physics major, I always feel as if everyone’s eye is on me to perform. In school they teach you how to do a bunch of problems, they never really help with problem solving where the real world is all about. Since I am part of a minority population, I thought jobs will be handed to me. I applied for a paid internship where I believed I was the best candidate because of my unusual background. I got rejected even though I was excelling at school with a 4.00 GPA. This rejection might be due to my mediocre social skills because my major has not taught me how to interact successfully with people, but to just solve physics problems. Thus it is important to note that having a fancy degree will not help with securing jobs, but being able to successfully communicate the reasons why you might be the best candidate, and then performing well on those abilities.

  • I can also relate to this article. I always thought that I knew everything there was to know about people but I also had a very negative attitude about most of the things in my life. I have always been a good reader of people but after majoring in psychology and obtaining my associates I learned so much more. I am a good reader of people but I learned how to observe more, have a more positive attitude and it gets you so much farther in life. I have always enjoyed learning new things and my all-time favorite thing to learn about is the human mind, how it works, what makes a person “tick”. As far as work ethic goes, I feel that the way that you conduct yourself in an interview makes is how the person interviewing will base their opinion. Go in with a positive and confident attitude but not too confident, you don’t want to come off as arrogant, and let them know that you are there to listen and that you are serious about what they have to say and as it says in the beginning, all they ask is that you are honest and sincere.

  • I think this article is a great piece of advice to anyone trying to join or is already in the work force. The idea that you make the job by who you are and what you bring to it as opposed to just doing what you’re told to do well is so intricate to anyone’s success at their job.

    At my first job I was working as the receptionist at a local museum in my town. I was still in high school so I knew that this wasn’t going to be a permanent job so to say that I didn’t put much into it was an understatement. I showed up, did what I was supposed to do and then left. It wasn’t until after a while that I finally started to really put myself into what I was doing there that the guests and even my employer really started to notice the work I was doing. Before I had simply done what I was supposed to do, but after I started to put who I was into those tasks I finally felt like I was actually making a difference and contributing to the business as a whole.

    The truth that the article states that a good degree from a good college isn’t a guaranteer for a good job is terrifyingly true. But if you can match that degree with a good attitude and desire for what you’re doing then I don’t see how you couldn’t find a way to succeed in the end with whatever job you end up doing. This was a great read for me since in only a few short years I’ll be applying to professional jobs, a lot of insight to always keep in mind!

  • I just recently got my first real job working at a cupcake bakery. I have many run in with my boss about working smart. Throughout all the different aspects of my job my boss teaches me to work smart. If she sees that i’m struggling with a task she will teach me step by step how to complete it the easiest and fastest way possible. After being thought the correct way, I learn through repetition and show my boss i can complete the task independently. Now that my technique is more effective my boss and I are both happier. Making these connections is interesting and applicable to my future career in film.

  • Working at my job there are alot of ways I can relate to Michael and doing things to do for my boss that she will wants or expects from me. In the four years there, being assertive and dependable was the most important because she is always on the go and she needs her employees to be self starters.

  • What I received from the text was that just because you have obtained a college degree does not mean you will be successful in your future career. You have to develop the proper communication skills and knowledge to succeed in the work environment. I will continue to be positive about any upcoming situation, not every career is meant for you. Although, you may not succeed at one there still is room for more. As I continue to further my education I will keep a positive message in mind.

  • I’m in a job now where I deal with handling finances and other equally important aspects of the department. If I were to make a mistake, it would create a huge problem. My boss is always busy of course so, everything I do is a learning curve, and there are always new tasks assigned to me that my coworkers are not skilled enough to handle. Instead of constantly harassing my boss with questions, I figure out the problems myself and it has led to a quick development of necessary skills to perform my daily tasks. If I didn’t handle and solve my problems myself, I would not be the dedicated and qualified employee I am today.

  • This article is awesome for considering how you are perceived in the workplace rather than your usual perception. I am thankful there are people out there who care enough to share their wisdom with those struggling to get to the top.

    Competition keeps us on our feet and, as mentioned in the article, it’s more fierce than ever. I have learned to appreciate a work environment that keeps me focused. Unfortunately that focus can diminish over time and this article reminded me to keep my attitude positive at all times as thoughts become actions. I did fall victim to a poor attitude due to less than satisfactory work conditions. Every day I’d show up to work absolutely dreading it and my work suffered. This only went on for a few weeks before I realized what was happening and decided to whip my attitude into shape.

    Rather than dreading conversation with my coworkers I sought it out and had genuine discussions. I began to view my work life as a challenge rather than a problem that won’t go away. I knew I had to keep going to work so I made the best out of it. This life lesson has helped me overcome many hurdles. I will continue to employ this and all of the other things I’ve learned in reading this article to my climb in my education as well as career.

  • while reading this, I have leaned that it pays off to keep your drive and determination regardless of what your work experience may bring. As human beings, we have to realize we are not robots. There will be times when we try our absolute hardest and give 110 percent and we will still fail, time and time again. What matters is when we have the strengthand the courage to get back up and try again.

    Acheiving success is going to come with strife, but it’s nothing a little hard work and dedication can’t handle. I am more than sure that when I begin my dream job, there ibe things I am going to have to work extra hard at to understand and to simply get the hang of. However, once I reach understanding, then I will be enabled to soon be GREAT at it. Either way, every experience can be a learning experience. As long as I keep the right attitude, and keep my eye on the prize, working to fulfil my dreams, I will earn my ideal of success.

  • From this situation I got that communication is key, you know like they always say! But it’s true you have to be able to communicate if you really and truly want to be a success. Not only talking as a form of communication but e-mails, body language, and eye contact. You have to know how to use all of the above in an appropriate manner. Also this can help you get a higher position, be respected more, and even learn what your boss would like for you to accomplish.

  • What I gathered from the article is most colleges do not prepare you for what you will encounter in the real world of jobs. I do believe though that there are schools out there that do prepare you quite well for when you do get hired. The college that I attend puts you right into the action as a freshmen in the first semester. I am an education major and have been in the schools since day one of my freshmen year. This has allowed me to make a decision on if this was something I would like to do for the rest of my life as well as given me the confidence to go out into the work force and be a great teacher. I do not feel as tough I will be blind sided by expectations or overwhelmed because my school has adequately prepared me.

  • I have learned from this that your boss doesn’t want someone who is asking them a million times how to do something they want you to be able to solve some problems on your own. I have also learned that if you make a mistake say you made it. Its better than trying to blame someone else. Its easier to admit your mistakes and learn from them than to pass them on to someone else. Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject of doing something that is not in the plan that may save time and money the worst they can say is no or they could even say yes.

  • This article is very insightful and helpful. What the writer is saying appears to be that being successful in the work place takes more work than just the work of the job. People skills, communication skills, the ability to self teach and/or learn quickly, and being sincere are included in the work. Being kind and amiable is also important, but kissing butt is not. Take criticism well; learn from mistakes and do not repeat the same error. Learn to find your own mistakes without being told them, and fix them pronto. Fully listen when someone, especially your boss, is talking, even if you think you know what they have to say. Wait your turn to speak without interrupting, and don’t take up to much of the conversation.

    Most all of the advice in this article makes sense. Although much of it seems like common knowledge, many people are lacking and should evaluate themselves and their work ethic. At least this has been my experience. Even previous managers appear to lack discipline and proper etiquette. I have worked with a people that do the bare minimum or average, and only a few that have gone above average to stand out. I like to think that I, personally, fall under the latter, for I do have good references from my previous employers.

    Nobody enjoys whiners, do-nothing-ers, and brown-nosers. Succeeding in the work place requires hard work, but is not impossible. With or without a college education, your boss will expect you to work hard. Do not disappoint him/her.

  • I think that being effective at the job is both the most important characteristic in a worker and the most rewarding factor, as well. I currently work in retail, and I have been since high school – that’s almost six years! I have seen many different managers, and all of which have given no direction in what they want, some lack degrees, and all have poorly managed. However, I have learned that by having good work ethic, being efficient and on-time, and learning how to multi-task are what make me an asset to a company. Not because of great management molding me into the perfect employee. I also think that creating your “own brand” is pointless, and yet required at the same time. Ideally, your work ethic should define what position you get, if you get promoted, and your pay rate. However, in the real world, what defines all this is who you know, who you suck up to, and what you market yourself as. You have to WOW the people who interview you, you have to go to college (because that’s what everyone else it doing and you need to put something on your resume to even get the interview), and you have to make yourself stand out – or you’ll fade away. Therefore, it is my strong belief that you have to be both efficient and claim your own signature to make it in the world today.

  • This article really affirmed the idea that people will respect you more if you follow through with what you say. It is important to gain the respect of your coworkers while also not losing yourself in trying to become liked by everyone. You can provide quality work for the company while also honing your leadership skills and remaining true to yourself.

  • The concept of “working smart” is essential for professional success. I understood
    this concept while working at my first job. Initially, it was not clear to me that the
    best way to enjoy work was to defer my boss’s judgement and authority. In the
    beginning, it was challenging because I questioned some of his decisions.
    However, I started looking for my boss’s priorities, values and strengths. This
    made me realize that my boss deserved his position because he was experienced
    and well qualified. I developed respect for him, which made my job much easier;
    I became more motivated to work and gained my boss’s respect. Ultimately I became
    one of his most valued employees.

    Learning how to work smart was a life experience that helped me professionally and
    academically. By doing our job right, following the protocol and supervisor’s
    instructions we increase our efficiency.

  • I have been successful when searching for jobs, the obstacle occurs when I first start the job because I do not know as much as the other employees. Needless to say I have always been afraid to ask questions. It was not until I volunteered at Lees Summit Medical Center my senior year of high school that gave me the courage to ask questions.

    I was volunteering at Lee’s Summit Medical Center for about an hour, and one of the Charge Nurses pulled me aside and said, “Follow me.” I smiled eagerly, but her blank expression confirmed her seriousness. My smile faltered slightly, and I followed her to the closet room.

    She was heavily sweating, swiftly moving from room to room, and barked, “Put gowns, towels, and blankets in every room any towels than need refolding; refold them. Understand?” “Umm okay.” I mumbled, unable to get enough courage to admit that I had never been to any parts of the hospital except the main level.

    Pretending to know where I was going, I grabbed a map, took that cart with my supplies, and headed to the rooms. During my commute I passed the Charge Nurse in several times. With a look of irritation and disgust, she snapped, “If you didn’t know where you were going why didn’t you say something.” In that moment it dawned on me that my fear of showing ignorance rendered me incompetent.

    Barely making it through the first day at the hospital I was relieved to return to my ACT class; something I was familiar with. We were practicing the math portion, and touched on inverse tangent functions. I did not understand the problem, so I put an asterisk by the problem. Then the teach said, “I’m sure you guys remember this so I’ll move on.” All of the students nodded in agreement. Suddenly, I realized that I was not asking where the rooms were located. The fear of not learning overcame my fear of looking foolish. I raised my had and asked.

    Asking questions in my ACT class was not life changing, but it gave me a new willingness to ask questions. This is important college, working at a job, and everyday life. I returned to the hospital the following day and asked the nurse if she would help me find my way around the hospital.

  • The entire employee, manager, boss relationship seems a bit
    typical. Employees are trying to triumph
    over one another to gain attention or “kudos” from their boss, which I find
    this irrelevant. Managers are either
    accepting or annoyed by the behavior and therefore respond accordingly.
    Authentic work ethics, goal driven with the intent to survive and the vision of
    promotion within reach, should be the motivator.

    I love the work smart article, it gives simple insight on
    how to make an impression without creating depression. Intimidation seems to swindle itself into the
    mind sets of my employees when the “Person of Power” is present and to me that
    is a simple way to weed out the weak.
    Intimidation should inspire, and force you to sit up straight, speak
    clearly, and of course work smart.

  • I’ve only had one job — a summer job — but I have had the experience of being in a position of leadership for 3 years now, in my high school orchestra. To some, this may not seem like a great ordeal, but it does take a lot of talent to lead a group of high school kids. I must always be very careful to never seem egotistical, while maintaining an air of confidence.
    High school students are very sensitive to how topics are approached. For instance, if I want to change how we play something, I must not tell them, I must suggest it, and let them come to the idea of their own accord. I lead by example, and I make a point to consider any observations the other players in my orchestra make about how we are playing.
    I didn’t used to be very approachable because I didn’t offer my ideas, I forced them. I realized that people shied away from me, and I made an attempt to learn why. I have made the greatest attempts to learn from these mistakes, which I think I have. And, as the article above says, it is important to accept your faults, while acknowleding your strengths, and it is important to acknowledge when your colleagues are more talented than you, because you can learn from them– but only if you step down off the pedestal that is your ego.

  • So nice to hear how it’s not always fun and games at your first job but you always learn and grow to be the best at what you do.

  • This article was very informative. It gave me
    some insight on the business world and how behind closed doors works. This article
    also gave me a few pointers on how to carry myself when looking for a job. Observing
    what goes on around me will help me to learn what to do and what not to do. This
    article highlights some ways to work smarter by showing the importance of being
    attentive to the needs and thoughts of others. Thank you for these valuable
    lessons

  • I have always been a firm believer that the only person that can dictate where you can go in life is yourself. Why let other people tell you what you can or cannot achieve? As long as you have the passion, will and desire to do whatever it takes to reach your dream job, it will always be a possibility. Someone who has a strong education but lacks the attitude and motivation is no better off than someone with a lesser education but the drive to push themselves to become better each and every day. This article reaffirmed this idea. Specifically, the part that spoke to me the most was the statement that you can graduate from Harvard and still “suck” at your job. Overall, this was a great read, and I would strongly recommend that anyone who is questioning their ability to land the career or job of their dreams should read this.

  • I really found this article interesting. It basically taught me to work smart in the sense to where it benefits me (meaning working for my self). Not working because the salary is high or being forced to. This article was a great read!

  • I currently hold a position as a pharmacy technician. I have learned that the more positive attitude you have and the harder you work, the more you will enjoy your job. Working with the public is not an easy task, but smiles are contagious. No matter how high of a degree you have, you want to stand out based on your personal qualities. Job opportunities are not as numerous as they used to be; therefore, you need to try your best to strengthen the qualities necessary for all types of jobs and/or situations.

  • From this I gather that having a degree is great but it also means that you need to live up to it if you are going to flaunt it. Often times people assume they are better and thank they can take their time with certain projects because they are too good to do them.
    Really when you boss gives you a deadline you should be work smart and achieve to get it done before the deadline. This can prove that you are serious about your job and that you respect management authority.
    However with having a degree there can be a since of competition for attention in the workplace, feeling they should have a better position than what they are currently doing. However work smart means you still need to earn and own your position.

  • This article was very useful. I admired how the author spoke on how many boss’s expect you to build your own brand. I never understood the concept of “build your own brand”, I rather just be who I am throughout the work process. I also admire how the author gave views from his own personal life, he wasn’t afraid to admit that he sucked at his job/ I feel like that’s important to know because we usually think that when we first start a new job we should already know what expected of us which is not true at all. It’s almost like a trial and error type of thing. You will never what to do without messing up at first.

    I especially loved when the author spoke about having a higher education from and Ivy League school doesn’t guarantee that you’ll do great on the job. Hearing information like that gives me a lot of hope because I always felt like if a person had a better education than what I had then they would already get the job and be great at it when I already probably have something that they don’t which is great communication skills.

  • This site has some excellent suggestions for being really great at your job. Things that I never really even thought about. Basically, working smart, being trustworthy & efficient are musts to be successful in your career. I have only worked part-time jobs so far in my life as I have always been a student but going into my 3rd year of college, I have really started thinking about my career path. I have no doubt that occupational therapy is for me and I have worked extremely hard to get into the program at one of the few Universities that offer this degree. I will definitely come back and re-read this site as I begin each new job throughout my lifetime.

  • The above information is a great perspective to use in approaching the work place. Ultimately, there are life lessons that you cannot necessarily be taught in school, but rather you learn them through experience or advice.

    Personally, the most valuable lessons I can identify with are gaining the value and trust of your boss as well as being aware of my surroundings and situations. I worked as a student assistant for two years and developed a great relationship with my boss because we had an understanding on what was expected, she could count on me to complete tasks, and I delivered the best possible work.

    Being aware of my surroundings and situations showed that I was observant, open to learning, and suggested my reliability. I complied to work procedures, communicated with fellow co-workers for new skills, and discovered how others approached various situations in the workplace. Though I could have been taught some of my life lessons through instructional teaching, my experiences allowed me to handle various situations first-hand making them memorable.

  • What I learned from reading this article and from outside knowledge is that being good in a professional atmosphere is both an art and a science. What I mean by is being a science is that you learn in the classroom how something is done. With that being said you can be the best student and still not be able to take what you learned and apply it to real life. That is where the art comes in to play. You have to be able to take what you learn in the classroom and be able to apply it in the work force. Not everyone is born with this ability. So kissing up in to your boss is not going to do anything for you. Its a matter to learning a skill and then applying it properly. You have to know how to communicate and work with people. All of these things will surely help me in the future.

  • The degree I am pursuing is Animation. Risky in today’s standard job market but I am passionate in what I do and in what I continue to learn. Just because someone graduates from a high ranking school or a specialized school doesn’t automatically get handed a golden ticket. Every person needs to seek out and work hard on their personal goals.

  • I enjoyed this article. It is very important in your jobs to be a good employee. I liked how it said that even if you have a degree, you sill are not an expert. Ultimately your boss makes all the final decisions. As an employee you must be honest and do your best at what you are doing. Put yourself in a boss position. Check yourself by deciding if you would want to have an employee like you are.

    • I have found in my experience of being an employee that being honest and working had pays off. Sometimes this literally means you get a bonus or a raise. I worked for a t-shirt shop my senior year and that summer. During that time the ownership changed. The new owners wanted me to help them repaint the store. I spent the majority of that summer working hard and painting for them and in return I received a bonus. Working hard always pays off in some way or another.

  • To be successful in your career it is a mix between who you know and what you know. The experience you get from a job is the most important. If you are outstanding at your job, a boss will not care how much schooling you have gone through. That being said, if you do not have other bosses or network of people that can back you up on your skills you will not get anywhere either. This is an important theme for me as I am starting to determine the path I want to pursue for my career as a freshman in college.

    When I was sixteen I got my first job only because the boss knew my teacher and my neighbor. The boss did not care who he hired as long as the person could give the store a good name. After reading this article on job searching though it really but the real world of jobs into perspective. Bosses really do want to put you in a learning and growing environment and want you to work for their company because of your individual skills that you access. The more consistent you are at a job, the more benefits you will see and be happier overall. How well one does in their career is entirely up to them.

  • Although I was young, I got my first real job when I was 16. This was the first time that I experienced what it felt like to work under managers and a boss. I saw how fast paced the business was and tried to make sure I was doing everything right. Even though I was just starting out, I tried to make sure that I stood out by being proactive and trying to keep a smile on my face at all times. Just like the article, my boss didn’t teach me how to “work smart”. In fact, she was hardly there and just supervised from cameras and from calling every so often.

    This article helped me to understand that you can get a degree in something that you will use for your career, but in order to be successful in that job, you must know how to work smart. You can be the most knowledgeable employee and know the most about the company, but If you cant work smart by having a healthy relationship with your boss, it won’t be worth it. Searching for the right job is also something that is effected by working smart. You need to find a job that you are good at and something that you love so you won’t be miserable. If you find a career that you enjoy doing, it will almost feel like you aren’t even working.

  • this article made me realize that its about the effort you put into your work that is important. also just because you have a degree does not mean you have arrived the hard work us just beginning.

  • When reading this , the message I received was quite simple . As we know there is much competition in the work place ! However just because your colleague has a Harvard background that does not guarantee them to success. It goes beyond having a degree its preparing yourself to be ready to be all that you can be for yourself , boss and more importantly your company. Making great connections and getting the job done efficiently and effectively.

  • The point that grabbed and stuck with me throughout the article is the notion that the stakes are high. Technological advancements have allowed for us to grow exponentially as a society, however; resources are more easily accessible through the growth of the Internet.

    The Internet and its unlimited resources are so powerful and because it can be used and information can be accessed by any and everyone, that puts everyone in the same boat. In order to be a step ahead of one’s competition, one will have to go the extra mile to be classified as a great worker. Anyone can be good at what they do but to be great you have to put in and exert more effort than your competition.

    Whether taking an extra class to learn more about you field of study to continuing you education after you have your degree, one should never be content with being good, but always strive to achieve greatness.

  • I love this article because it really relates to the everyday worker. It has language that is easily understandable to the college student. I agree that you may suck at your job because you don’t know what your boss wants! I am in that situation all the time. You don’t want to ask too many questions because they honestly don’t have the time or patience to help you do your job perfectly to their expectation. I am glad I read this article because it shows me that I am not alone! Thank you.

  • Nope, your boss never has the time to teach you, but he/she will always have the time to tell you to do what they don’t want to do. That’s why it’s better to work on your dissertation or project around your advisor or boss’ interests. You know, to get the most out of whatever your boss is doing.

  • What I’ve come to understand from this is that it doesn’t matter what school I go to so much as how I work. If I get my my work done in a smart way and keep organized, I’m more likely to impress my boss. Having a good relationship with my boss and coworkers will help me in the future, but that doesn’t mean I have to be the boss’s pet. Working smart will get me a long way in life.

  • In reference to the lesson “Ironically, your boss doesn’t want to take time to teach you what working smart means,” I can relate to that lesson by using it as a comparison from how a previous job of mine went. During high school, I attended a trade school where I studied auto body and collision repair. In my junior year, I acquired a job as a clean-up person in a fully functional auto body shop. After a month or so, I began to express to my manager and my boss that I have previous experience and knowledge in regards to the work that is being done here. My boss and manager both agreed that I should have expressed that to them before. I was soon promoted to a mechanics helper and began to do body work on my own instead of just cleaning.

    Although my situation does not apply directly to the given lesson, it shows that the bosses of companies do not want to take time out of their busy schedules to teach something to an employee that they should have been able to learn on their own or by a previous establishment. If you enter a company with being aware already on how to “work smart,” then you are ahead of the majority of the competition already.

  • I appreciate I saw this article before I graduate from school. Combined with my past experience in my hometown, I understand only having a terrific college degree is not enough, it doesn’t equal to you’re having a successful career.

    There are lots of elements and aspects need to be considered when getting along with collegues, with bosses and customers during working.

  • This I can relate to on multiple levels. Recently we received a new team lead, and all of my coworkers were fearful and skeptical. He was different from our previous boss and many people struggled with their jobs because they were far too focused on doing things “how we used to”. The important thing to understand about managers and team leaders and to set yourself apart from others is to be dynamic. Move along with changes and be flexible. No one is going to see things exactly the same way. Understand that job requirements might change and be willing to bring your best efforts forward. Working smart requires knowledge and organization and it also requires the willingness to change. Someone can have less experience than someone else and still have just as much of a chance to be offered similar job opportunities. Job experience is only half of the reason for being hired, that I have learned.

  • This article is very helpful. It shows you how to take some of the pressure off of starting a new job and how to start off having a great relationship with your boss.

  • I have been apart of many group projects, where my teacher would in a way act as my boss. They don’t want to constantly tell you what to do, the want you to be able to grasp the task at hand without you having to know exactly how it is to be executed, and due to this, you are then able to put your own personal touch on projects. As an art student, being an individual is very critical in your work. When completing a piece for a patron, you are only given an idea, meaning you have to come up with the visual of the piece without guidance. It teaches you to be more independent and less about having to suck up to people, just to give the bare minimum and something expected.

  • Success does not necessarily look good on paper. Sure, a 3.8 GPA looks great on a transcript and high SAT scores mean a lot when applying to a University. However, success encompasses a variety of key attributes and skills that person needs to carry with them throughout their chosen career.

    Many times we find that the greatest, most powerful entrepreneurs and scholars in our history were college drop-outs, failures to some degree, and condemned by teachers and society itself. It is ironic, mainly because we are taught to do well on paper when the real skills come from communication and connections with others. It is not always about what you know, but who you know and how you are able to utilize the relationships and connections you make with peers and potential job representatives. Sometimes the most important aspect of succeeding at any institution, organization or company is believing that you can learn if you don’t know something and the proper motivation to do so.

    Overall, I think the message is clear that being book-smart needs to be complemented with being people-smart. They are equally important. One gets you a degree, the other gets you a job and maintains stability of that job. The other key message here is to be adaptive. As Charles Darwin said, it is the survival of the fittest. Separate yourself from the pack by learning how to adapt quickly to the needs of your profession, mastering the necessary technical skills, and molding yourself into a niche-skill employee that would essentially seal your position for the long-term. Befriend your profession and reciprocate the rewards!

  • This article was informative! Although I had known that just having a college degree was not enough to get the job I wanted, it is nice to have an easy dos and don’ts list that spells it out for you. Some of the things I already do, some I need to work on and put into my day to day work. I will definitely be keeping all of them in mind going forward.

  • It is so important to not just have an education, but also have the skills to survive in the work force. This is similar to high school; I’m a senior and I am terrified to enter the world because I don’t know how to manage my finances or shop for car insurance or mortgage a home. However, these are things you learn from experience.

    I like this article because it reiterates just that; in order to gain experience you have to persevere, and it gives you tips to do that.

  • Last summer I landed a job at a local country club through a friend of my mother and I was exceptionally nervous as I had zero experience with people on that tier of wealth. To me, a country club was a plaything for rich people to toss money at and not bat an eye, and I fully expected it to run like a well-oiled machine. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
    Within a week of me starting my snack bar job, I had come to realize that this club was home to the filthy rich, but also to people who could barely afford it. And the club itself was probably the most unorganized place I had every worked. I was on my own to learn where everything was kept and to find my way around the club. My boss had a new “brilliant” idea about how the snack bar should be run each week, some of which were gems, but most were not. The club had specific company policies, of course and all employees had to take a class to understand them before we could begin working, but following those guidelines did not prove to be successful for me. At first, I was not well liked by my coworkers, my boss, and most importantly, the club members.
    Little by little, I came to realize that the most important thing to the club’s success was not to uphold the company policies to the dot every day, but to do my absolute best to please each club member in any way possible. So that is what I strived to do. By the end of the summer I was well liked by my coworkers and many club members and had been personally asked by all three head club managers to return next summer for a promotion.
    I feel that this article is entirely right about needing to figure out what is actually expected of you in your position. Self-sufficiency is highly sought-after by employers as is the desire to work hard. These were the keys to my success this past summer, even amongst the mistakes I made and learned to overcome. My seemingly insignificant snack bar job at the country club was an invaluable learning experience and I will use it as a springboard into more successes in my future employment endeavors.

  • Last summer I worked for a real-estate company in Detroit,
    and my employers’ main initiative was to rejuvenate the city. This was a two
    pronged plan involving renovating abandoned buildings, and maintaining those
    already in good condition. I was part of a team responsible for the latter. The
    entire team consisted of about 20 high school students, but we were split up
    and assigned to individual buildings to be supervised by the manager of the
    property.

    Our daily tasks typically included sweeping the outdoor
    patio, cleaning tables, and weeding flower beds. While these aren’t the most
    glamorous of jobs, this was the first time I had worked full time, and I wanted
    to make the most of it. My partner at this building however, was not so
    committed. He often wanted to take more breaks than were permitted and to
    neglect certain aspects of the job that he did not enjoy. While he was mostly a
    good employee, these traits made it harder for me to do my due diligence in the
    workplace, and I frequently felt angry with him.

    Then, halfway through the summer, the hiring manager, the “head-honcho”
    so to speak, called a team meeting and informed us that some of the team
    members had been severely neglecting their responsibilities. I thought for sure
    she was referring to my partner and that we would be fired. However, she said
    that these individuals had unnecessarily left their building for hours at a
    time, blatantly disobeyed their supervisors, and simply didn’t do their job. I
    was appalled at the audacity of these other employees. Didn’t they care enough
    about their job to take it seriously?

    But I soon realized I was guilty of the same crime when I
    allowed my partner to have a negative influence on my work ethic and attitude. It
    was at this point that I refused to accompany my partner on any more extra
    breaks or to be upset with him for doing so. I encouraged him to work the whole
    time he was on the clock, but if he didn’t, it wasn’t something worth being
    upset over. I realized I could’ve been stuck with someone far worse, and it was
    better to pick up his slack, allow my supervisors to see my extra effort, and
    be content with knowing I was doing what was expected of me.

  • The lesson learnt was that being able to do well at your job is better than just being qualified. For example: I work part time as a pharmacy technician. My job is to assist the pharmacist, fill prescriptions, label and dispense them;count medications as well as bill insurance companies. Before I was a certified technician, i ensured that all the task given to me was completed by the end of my shift, I always went the extra mile so that the customers were satisfied. I’m not good at multitasking like many of my coworkers were so, I ensured that I focused on one prescription at a time to decrease any mistakes that could have been made by trying to multitask. Now that I’m a certified technician with more experience I still follow that procedure in order to work smart and, get the job done right.

  • I am really glad that I took the time out to read this article. I feel that it gives great incite on the real world. I also feel as though I can relate to the author. At 16 years old I finally got my first job, but it didn’t last long. With it being my first job I had all types of mixed emotions, I was excited yet scared and nervous because it seemed as though I was just out their with minimal training. After about a week working there I was called into my manager’s office and told that I was taken off the schedule (basically fired) because I didn’t “look” happy. Apparently it seemed that i was always mad because of how I looked. I was completely upset and disappointed. After a few months I found a new job and I learned from my first job what I should and shouldn’t do.

  • I especially appreciated the author’s message on avoiding personal branding and instead focusing on being “honest and sincere.” I feel too often that people are seeking quick, cure-alls for their problems, which in this case would be being successful in their jobs. Many times, people (myself included) overlook the fact that honesty and sincerity will go much farther than manipulation and can apply to anyone in any situation, whether seeking a job, a friend, or personal happiness.

  • Its important to work smart and be effective. If you work in a mediocre manner you will get mediocre results that no one wants. Work your best and you’ll get the good results you want.

  • I can relate to this in that I was always taught by my mother to work smart. She also explained to me that, nothing in this world is given to you, sometimes you have to take it. Luckily I have the same go getter personality as my mom and I’m also a people person so it isn’t hard to have people like me without kissing butt.

    For example the summer after graduating high school I was having a hard time trying to find a job. I did everything I could possibly do, I met the managers, applied on time and the same day, called back in a week, etc. I realized, maybe I’m not the only one doing these things and this is why noone wants me. I’m just going by the book but not showing them who I truly am.

    I had to change the game from the normal job search. Most of my jobs were in retail and that is what I had applied to collegd for so instead of trying to make a boring name for myself by following the book and what not, I decided to take my resume and the application and put it into a sort of creative fashion magazine cover and back with things that represented me. Before I knew it I started getting many call backs. I was a little shocked because I took a professional risk by putting myself out there in that way.

    I ended up being hired at a shoe store, my manager explained to me that she had never been approached with something so creative and genuine, she knew she had the best employee from that one risk. I am a sophomore in college now and she still speaks good words on me and so do the other people form the jobs that I got call backs from. I built relationships, I thought outside of the box but for the best part I thought smart.

  • The same thing that happened to Eric happened to me when I first started working. My boss didn’t really teach me how to do most of the stuff, I had to pick up on some things on my own. It was my first job in retail so I wasn’t as polished as my other coworkers and was looked down upon, and I hated it.

    I started to watch, learn, and execute the duties of the job even before being asked to. I went from sucking and being the slowest to being someone that trained the new people.

    Working smart was hard to while balancing school, but once I put my mind to it and realized others, including my boss, noticed my progress, it was worth it.

  • This article covered important roles in maintaining and succeeding in any job.Many fail to see the constant juggle and the need for attention a job requires. As a student who also works in the medical field im always juggling both. Work is a well tune machine which requires time to figure out the sequence of what works and what dose not. This article gives you all major sources of what you must focus on to succeed personality, bosses likes, expectations etc. This article will prove to be an asset for any one seeking to further or main tain their job and or profession.

  • In this competitive world, more business company are searching employee that is not just have a certification, but most importantly the attitude of the person as well. This article reminds me that everybody is unique but we have to find a way to make ourself outstanding compare to other competitors.

  • I honestly wish I could have read this article right before I started my first job. When I was hired for my first job I was extremely nervous about making sure I was doing everything I needed to do in order to keep management satisfied. The tips about what your boss wants from you, I found to be very helpful. Although, I have created a great professional relationship with my boss over time, these tips will help me maintain being on good terms with my boss.

  • Just because you have a certificate in your hand and have gotten your degree does not ensure you that you will be successful. Many people graduate in a field in which they will never use again. Going to college is more than just getting a degree. It’s about learning how to evolve as a person and adapt to surroundings while learning at a quick pace. You go to college to enhance your people skills, communication, and network. This was a great reminder to not forget about the other important aspects needed to be successful.

  • Just like the person below said. Having a degree doesn’t mean anything. I think that its more to what you do with it; like where you put your knowledge in getting this little pierce of paper.

  • This article shows me a lot about myself and others who I have encountered in the workplace. I feel that although I have not had a lot of experience in my field, this less shows me what to do and look for in the future. I will share this with many friends and hope to spread the word. There is nothing more important than students working towards the future.

  • I gathered from this article that the key to success in a job is being good at what you do and what your boss expects from you. It also helps to be as honest as possible, follow the rules and stay up to date with the information you need on the job. Personally I have been trying and failing to get a summer job recently and perhaps this article is the answer to my questions. I will try these methods and hopefully will find my job search more fruitful.

  • Sometimes the best tool in your specific working career is knowing the people around you that will bring you up higher in the business. Making personal connections with the people around you can be a sure fire way to be remembered. Treating your business life and the relationships you make in it equally as your own personal life is the key to success. When people around you can tell you are taking your work life seriously they will reward you. Even in the process of getting your own degree this tactic is important. Making personal connections with your professors and classmates will help you make connection in the real job community and even give you a few more people to help you study and prepare yourself for your future job.

  • I am excellent at my job, mainly because I love it. Once I even had some very good advice for my boss that would help her communicate more effectively with her employees.

    One day I was at work doing my job like I always am, when all of a sudden one of my co-workers spoke over the radio and addressed me directly as if to give me an order. This was a person who was in a different position than I but we were on the same level.

    I heard his public comments toward me and due to his past penchant for telling people how to do their jobs, I became annoyed. I responded to his radio comments with a remark questioning his work performance and his motivations, also on the radio.

    My boss overheard me as she keeps a radio herself. She asked me to come to the office and speak with her. When I entered her office she asked me if I was aware of the new plans that she had instituted to increase overall performance. I told her no. She informed me that she had given certain individuals more responsibility and he was only doing what she had asked of him. Then she told me that she had posted these new policies on the bulletin board.

    I told her that I hadn’t read the bulletin board in weeks. That everything on there had been there for months and Sundays and I had seen it all. I told her that if she had asked the individual to do these tasks then I of course was perfectly ok with it. I just felt blind sided in the moment. I told her that in the future if she posts new stuff on the bulletin board, it would be much more efficient to pick up a big red arrow sticker that says ‘NEW’ and tack it to the bulletin board next to the new item that she posts. It would get much more attention that way and avoid this problem in the future.

    She agreed and actually praised me, citing the idea as “really good” and most importantly “simple”.

    I then apologized to my co-worker and went on about my day.

  • This article really put forward what I feel like a lot of people aren’t fully aware of when it comes to a real world job. I think many people think that they can just approach their career like they had approached their high school and college educations; that they can get through just by telling their professor they have nice shoes. In reality, you have to be smart and ‘work smart’. I think this article was full of great information and tips to make the most of the skills you learned at university- and the ones you didn’t.

  • The message that I got from passage is that you necessarily have to be the best to be successful you just have to know what you need to do to get that and have the perseverance to work toward that. Eric Shannon said he sucked at his first job, now he’s successful because he realized that in order to get where he wanted to be he had to work smart. He not only worked but he also used communication and people skills, which is also essential part of having a successful career. I always hear that the best female singer isn’t Aretha Franklin, the best singer is unknown to most of the world. The difference Aretha Franklin and the actual best female singer is that Aretha networked and she had people skills that connected her to the right people that helped her to get where she is today. These are things I will definitely keep in mind when I’m job searching.

  • I learned that in order to succeed, you have to do your best in everything you do. Do not step on other people and just try to be nice to other people. You have to be honest and sincere on things you do. You have to show to that you are trustworthy and people should respect you for who you are and should be treated with respect. I does not matter where you graduated, what matters is that what good values you learned and how you can use these knowledge to succeed in life.

  • It not really about working hard but smart. Your boss does not have the time to teach you. In today society there are alot of people looking for job so you need to work smart. Be determine to learn quick and pick up skills on the way. There are people out there quick to take your position so start to work smart. Never give up on a task and be willing to learn; with this install in you head, you will be okay for the future.

  • Coming from a well-known school, people do expect greatest at of you. But the truth is, we don’t know it all and that why I choose to go to college to further my knowledge. I had experience where I was place in a position not knowing a clue to do. I had become a student government association represented for a club as a freshman. I took the position with my eye wide open not knowing what was required of me. I had to learned from other members, as well as ask for help to accomplish the tasks I had to do. I had learn quickly and realize that those obstacles was a learning experience.

  • I’ve been working at my job for a year now. It’s the type of job where I just do whatever project my boss as me do. Whether it be re organizing the cabinets just to be told 5 hours later to shred everything or just doing countless data entries. I learned to just do whatever they ask of me regardless of how stupid it may be. This has gotten me very far. My bosses love my work ethic and know that I won’t turn my nose up at a project because it’s beneath me. I’ve even driven my boss’s cat to the vet and I hate cats. I like this article because it shows that hard work really gets you places.

  • Working Smart really spoke to me. In my time when I have had to work with people I have found that it was far easier to

    work smart than to depend ultimately on being the boss’s pet. I have heartbreakingly seen many women and men make

    every attempt to be the “friend” of their boss or the “romantic interest” of their boss. This usually only works for a short

    time for the person and limits their ability to develop problem solving strategies. I found the only way for me to be able to

    achieve satisfaction in my work was to work smart and be my own friend. I took a great point away from this lesson as it

    pointed out that “Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at

    work”. In order for you to have power over your life and over things you need to match up who you are with what you do.

    You will constantly be limited unless you can find ways to persevere and achieve in life.

  • Getting blamed for things one didn’t do will always happen. And your first job experience in 1992, has taught me the best defense is to be organized. If I can in detail explain to a boss, what I did in a project, there will be no trouble for me. That is if indeed I wasn’t the cause of trouble.

    Working smart can be learned. Most things in life are learned. Work habits are something that can be changed over time. Working smart saves time and puts both employee and employer on good terms.

    The one thing I would have to work on when I join the work force is the ability to be taken seriously. I am serious about what I do and put a lot of effort into it. I always want to be comfortable around the people I work with. With the need to feel comfortable, I tend to be either the quiet one or the person who agrees with everything. When starting out on a job, one wants to learn as much as possible from veterans. Suggesting new ideas seem to be out of the questions. What does someone straight of college knows compared to a veteran. But somehow a balanced must be found, where the new kid on the block can learn from veterans and make his/her voice heard. When colleagues think one brings value to the company, then they will be taken seriously.

  • I truly relate to this article. I have had incidences where there was miscommunication between my boss and I where it made it extremely difficult to actually do my job. I would have to redo things, tear things down, or just get a scolding from them because of the misunderstanding of the situation.

    I also do believe that staying in good standings with your boss is extremely important. This would make the working environment friendlier and they would also be a very good reference if you needed another job.

  • This article definitely give the reader a different perspective when thinking about their future. It confirms that it is not all about where you go it is about what you do with what you have. Schools can teach the class, but it is the student’s job to apply it to their daily life. Bosses are not going to want to babysit you they want to give you something to do and trust you get it done. This article is full of helpful tips for the future.

  • I really enjoyed reading this article. The only real job that I’ve really ever had, is working in the school library; putting books away, checking people in and out, and the dreaded inventory at the end of the year. It was easy. I learned how to communicate well with people, as well as how annoying the alphabet can be when putting away fifty books an hour.

    The points made in this article are all very well made. I learned how to communicate well with people, as well how to interpret their meanings, opinions, and preferences, all just from the books they read.

    The next two points are very well conceived. Knowing what your boss wants, and getting it done correctly are very necessary. Why do something a different way, if it involves more work, with the same outcome? I mean, sure, doing things differently is very useful if it is more productive. There are some that I work with that have the former problem. More work, for less results, and it is very pointless, but, since it is such a simple job, there are really no after effects. Also the work is very easy, so explanation is not necessary, however training is very useful. I actually find it to be fun.

    The points made in this article are very useful, overall, in succeeding in the workplace and makes many wonderful, and useful points that could make one a very extraordinary and successful person in their life, workplace, and home.

  • I enjoyed reading this, it simply reminded me of how far I’ve come in my “career” of many positions. For the most of my adult years, I’ve been in an administrative specialist type of position. In the beginning, I totally sucked at it because I didn’t want to learn more than what I had already known. That lasted all of five minutes.

    I gained a position with a school district and had to “jump out on faith” in filling the shoes of the person I was replacing. For one, it was a blessing, for the job just fell into my lap. I had just had my baby and returned from maternity leave at my previous job. Just having a casual conversation with a family friend led me to the HR office and eventually at my own desk. For a week, I worked both jobs, and my supervisor from the first job decided that I didn’t have to work any further with them, for I needed to spend some time with my new baby. I ended up working in the new position for almost twelve years.

    Over the years, I think I met the devil and then some. That motivated me to go back to school and obtain my Bachelor’s degree. I am in a new position with the Human Services department and pursuing my Master’s degree. I have learned that I must work smarter, now that I am a mother and wife. I am now looking to building a better future for my family by working as smart as I can.

  • As a current undergraduate apprehensive about having to enter the job market in the near future, this article was both nerve-wrecking and enlightening to read. Having already known about the level of competition that now exists and confirming that fact by reading about it almost makes it scary to go any further. However the lessons taught in this article, albeit seemingly blatant, is actually pretty easy to achieve, once you get in the habit of it. But habits may be just as hard to form as they are to break them. Especially if it’s a habit that contrasts to how one usually runs things.

    I’ve only worked three part-time jobs so far. Each job was vastly different, ranging from public park jobs to university ones, with very distinct boss-subordinate dynamics. But however different said dynamics were, the lessons discussed in this article were very relevant to each of these jobs. The key pointers I picked up is that if you can communicate effectively, if you’re diligent, and you know your boss, you can work smart. A good work ethic tied up with a good relationship with your boss guarantees success. I like my bosses, and didn’t hesitate to talk or communicate with them (despite occasionally being afraid of appearing annoying)–something as simple as that, can very much affect where your standing is. How your boss thinks of you is important. Putting more effort in getting to know your boss, I believe, is good in the long run.

    It feels more assuring after reading this article that the work ethic I’ve been practicing still applies to the job market I’m about to enter. Reading the “20 Things Your Boss Wants From You” closely resembled what professors ideally want of students. I’m sharpening up those skills, like being able to communicate effectively in email, or taking good notes, as I advance in my education. It’s relieving to know that those aspects of my work ethic aren’t lost once I graduate, but rather, it’ll give me a boost when I start my career.

  • These are all exceptionally good and well though out tips, though I must say that there are some flaws in this argument.

    It’s become substantially hard to find a job in this country, and it’ll become even more so once population grows due to immigrants; this is why the USA is becoming so restricting in allowing anyone to come in and make a living. So…. What should we do? The many of us already are int he work force: looking for jobs, looking a place that’s hiring; however, the real problem is being overlooked. There are too many of us, too many people looking for the same job that you’re looking for.

    That being said, what is the humanly thing to do? Show the people who hire that you are ‘unique’ among the many, when in fact, in reality, there is nothing unique about anyone. There just isn’t.

    We must create more jobs. Create jobs. That can only be done if you have any creativity. There are endless options out there that we as a country don’t see. Many jobs are not seen by many.

    Though this article provides great suggestions, we are all reading the same thing, so what does that do? We will all try the same approach; using this article as a guide for us. Problem is, we all can’t be accepted so it is YOU who make yourself a plausible reason to be hired. It is solely you and what your experiences are.

  • This article is so true! It’s important to know how to be efficient at your job and not take up your boss’s time. However, it’s also important to know what your boss wants, so that you can do your work correctly.

    I also liked your comment that attending an ivy league school doesn’t necessarily prepare you for working after school. It is easy to attend a less prestigious institution and still succeed afterwards.

  • I was 15 when I started my first job and it was an awful experience that haunted me for many years. I was hired at a local fast food seafood restaurant. My supervisor and trainer was an 18 year old who trained me for 2 days and then left me on my own. I was doing my best, but it was so busy and I was alone and could not keep up with the waves of customers that was coming inside and well as the drive thru window. I was lost and an eager to help coworker offered to help me. Little did I know, she was not helping! Daily my register was short money, each day more money then the previous day. By the end of my first week, I was fired!!!

    Later, I was approach by another employee that had been fired from that restaurant for the same reason and was shocked with I was told the “helpful coworker” has also offered her assistance. She was steeling money and it was being blamed on the working she was pretending to help. How sad…

    Anyway, I never really got over my first working experience. I totally avoided jobs that required me to handle money. This greatly limited my job possibilities as a young person trying to gain experience.

  • I completely agree with all the things said on this page. I know from personal experience that in your mind you may be the best for the job but in an employer’s eyes its how you reflect yourself and your work ethic. I just got an internship after applying to it twice; once last year and again this year. I met face to face with the candidate that got the job over me last year but honestly seeing the work she’s done made me agree with my employer’s choice of choosing her. I honestly wouldn’t have been ready and I would’ve “sucked at the job.” I also know for a fact that you will not get an answer to an email if you don’t write it correctly and how your boss wants. This page definitely helps me look at some of my weaknesses and see how I can approve them to achieve in the work field.

  • I think this article teaches most of the things you experience on jobs. Sometimes, somethings are best not experienced when you are on the job. The article explains exactly what you should know even before applying for a job.

    When hired for job, it is very important to know what expectations your boss has for you because you might be doing the right work but also not meet the requirements your boss expects.

    This article is great and should be shared to all.

  • I really enjoyed this article because I will be getting a job for the summer and next fall. These tips will definitely land me a job that I know I will enjoy and hopefully move up the ladder in the company.

    I do have a job right now, but it is only part time because I am a student. I am a Bingo Floor- worker and also a Cashier. And no, I am not joking. A lot of people have misconceptions about my job. Most think that it is really simple and easy, however, I have to work with money constantly, over a hundred customers to attend to, and not to mention standing/ walking for roughly 6 hours on your feet. I also have to remember the prices of everything, how much to pay someone, and do adding and subtracting quickly.

    Learning these tips will hopefully help me move up in the Bingo department, just in case if my other job doesn’t come through. Thank you.

  • I have read a lot of articles like this that make suggestions on how one may do better in their job or how to get a job at that big league company! Most of the ones I have read all reiterate the same things over and over with minor adjustments or diversity. However, In this article, I found it to be completely opposite of those I have read before. It is very straight forward and seems very practical, that I decided to try it out myself.

    I work as a runner/legal assistant for a Lawyer at a Law Firm and I was noticing that I was constantly making small mistakes due to the fact that I was always trying to do multiple things at once. At first, I thought this would look better to my boss because I was managing to get a lot done in one day but due to the constant little mistakes, I found myself having to go back and redo what should have been done right in the first place.

    “Fail to do this and you may get fired”, is the one that I chose to work on. Before reading this article I figured it wasn’t really that big of a deal that I was making little mistakes. I figured that my boss was somewhat relieved that they were minor rather than large ones. Then I read this article and realized that my boss may be getting the impression that he has to babysit me and that I continue to make mistakes that he has already corrected me on. Making me seem like I can’t follow simple directions.

    I made an effort in my job to focus on one task at a time and go back and check my work to make sure that I didn’t repeat the same mistakes as before and my boss was thrilled! After a week he pulled me into his office to tell me how much he appreciated the effort I was putting in at work and told me he was very happy with my work the last week!

    This may be only a minor thing to change but it made all the difference. Now its time for me to tackle all the other ones as well!

  • I really enjoyed this topic it provided so much information on how to be a great employee and work smart. I have been employed with a lot of different companies and I truly can say that I always was a quiet employee. I was the type to listen to my boss and did what was need to be done. If something came up that I didn’t agree with of course I spoke my mind and talked to my boss about the situation.

    There are some managers and supervisors who obtain those positions and don’t know how to act professional. They get the big head and treat some employees unfair. Even though I have never experienced I know people who have been through it. Most of the managers are fired or the employee will find another job. The information about working smart is so true, bosses want an employer that knows what needs to be done. They don’t want to train an employer day after day.

    Once again I enjoyed the advice and I will most definitely share this information with my family and friends!

  • Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have met a number of students who believe they will land their dream, high-paying, and fulfilling job solely based on the fact that they will have graduated from the best public university in the nation: UC Berkeley.

    This article truly saves it’s best tip for last: your degree will only benefit you if you make it useful. Regardless of where you attained your degree from, it’s your education, skill, application, work ethic, and perseverance that will distinguish you as an employee. Kudos to you Eric for stating the truth! One simply can’t expect the piece of paper that is their degree to do their work for them.

  • Through working in a historical, “mom and pop” restaurant, I have gained experience through numerous instances that have helped me succeed, and instances that have hindered my success. This article clearly explains the steps that I have taken to succeed in my workplace; my ascension from weekdays and all weekend in the dish room, to fry cook duties in the kitchen, and finally culminating in a solid position on the wait staff interacting with the public.

    My bosses pay close attention to who they choose to give promotions to. The people who receive promotions and pay raises are the people who are self-competent and reliable. Because the restaurant is locally owned, the employees of the restaurant are vital to the life of the business. I have seen numerous employees come and go because of their lack of competence, and willingness to comply to the demands of the restaurant’s owners. If one does not provide a helping hand in all aspects of the restaurant, or does not act like a member of the overall team, their employment is terminated.

    This article is great in providing helpful hints to people who struggle with interacting with their boss as well as succeeding at their job by providing how to suck at it.

  • I have to admit, reading this article was fun, interesting, entertaining, education, and very true on many levels. I can relate to the “your boss doesn’t want to take time to teach you”. I have worked the same place for the past two years, which happens to be my first “real” job as well, and internally I have moved around in two different areas of the corporation. It really hit me when I got into my second position and was working under the President of the Corporation and there really never was time to sit down and teach me so I did a lot of online research on how to do things or asked others that were slightly more experienced than me to explain certain things.

    I work in a Business field and the best and most creative thing he told me was to never beat around the bush with him, if I ever needed help, had questions, or really messed something up. But I have learned now that he really didn’t want me to do that with him, he wanted me to apply that to anyone I ever did business with. I figured it out after a year, but if I was ever in the wrong with someone about any issue, I was up front and said I made a mistake and that has always gone over better than stretching the truth to get by for a few days. Then it dawned on me I could have used that great advice when I was in my teen years.

  • I found this reading very informational and I really think I will be abetter employee from reading this so thank you for putting it out there

  • I had gotten my first job at a grocery store when I was 15. Being a freshman in high school, I had no idea what to expect nor did I have any clue what would be expected of me. Though I did have a certain high schooler confidence that I really shouldn’t have had, it being my first job and all. Being 20 now, I wish I had read this 5 years ago. The top 10 are great ways on how to not get fired. Pay attention to when someone is speaking, act friendly, double check your work, and so on.

    Where it really gets interesting is how he tells us to succeed at our jobs. Basic confidence in your work is one thing, but being able to own up to mistakes and handle them correctly is another. Knowing yourself comes in big too. As of now, I am a sophomore in college and nobody is telling me how I should fix myself. It is more like “oh you didn’t do well on a test? Better luck next time.” sort of mentality. In that regard knowing oneself and how to improve without anybody telling you is a great concept.

    I enjoyed reading this. Hopefully I can remember these crucial ideals when it comes time to find a career and exceed.

  • Working smart is definitely a fine art that needs to be master quickly. Everyone has sucked a time or two at a job, but the only thing that matters is how you recover and over come. I enjoyed reading this article- it reminded me how important it is to perform like a surgeon.

    Sometimes the best thing to do when you don’t understand is be as honest as possible, but sometimes the best thing to do is act like you know and research until you do. Google is a wonderful thing.

  • I really enjoyed reading this article. It has opened my eyes to think more out of the box. I work at an IT company that sells CRM software to businesses. I am there internal CRM System Admin. Day in and Day out, I am glued to the computer, making our CRM work better for our company (which has grown in double its size since I have been there within the year). I love my job and I love the people I work for and with.

    Every one of the 20 Things Your Boss Wants from You is what is expected at my place of employment. And I try to engage and act on every one to the best of my ability. And every time, every day, I am getting complimented on my job, what I do every day, my thinking process, my honest opinion, positive personality and the such.

    The CEO of the company, a young 40 year old man, also abides by these steps and ‘rules’. If he expects these 20 things to be act upon, he will do the same, giving that same respect back to his employees.

    I will be bookmarking this page. There is so much here that I and anyone can learn from on daily basis! At least a refresh or reminder!

  • It really is easy to suck at your job when you don’t know exactly what your boss wants from you. I know because I have completed entire jobs just to have the boss come over and say restart its all wrong.

  • I also sucked at my first job. I was too accustomed to being free and not used to being so controlled. I was fired for eating three minutes into my shift. Although I felt that everything was under control, I had rules to follow. Before I could break rules I had to master them, which I had not been able to do by that time. It took this day for me to learn that I wanted to live by an example, which pushed me to work harder at my next jobs than I did my first job. After I began to work better than the “old” me, I began to work to be better than my new coworkers. It takes exceptional coworkers that are above you to push you to your potential. This article helped me to reminisce on an important part of my life and to learn from it. Not only that, but it was good to know that I am not the only who sucked at their first job!

  • I find it refreshing to read an article about the workplace set in a comedic tone. The message and the lessons are easier to remember and relate.

    While I am yet to have my first “real” job, I can relate to the article based on the experience I have had doing jobs for money assigned to me by my mother. Listen to what is expected, have a good attitude and work ethic, offer suggestions in a diplomatic way as no one knows you better than you do and tactfully offer suggestions how to do the job by working smarter, not harder.
    Totally unrelated, where is the “like” button?

  • I found this article inspiring. In the society I watch walk through the streets of life many individuals do not know these basic principles. The job market on this day and age is so competitive people have to realize that education and good skills are just not going to get you the career you desire.

  • What I am about to suggest may just make me seem like a naive adolescent to some of you reading this, yet I feel compelled to share what I have discovered about working smart. In my experience, college and part-time jobs are what you use to get yourself to a career, to a job you truly love.

    So I think the best way you can work smart is to choose your work smart. Why spend thousands of dollars and all that energy on school just to go for a job with an appealing starting salary. Sure, money is important, but why spend the little time you have on the earth doing something you hate and maybe even unrelated to your field? I suggest using your energy to strive for the job you will truly enjoy doing, because you will be better at that job by default because you enjoy doing it. No one is good at something they hate and if you hate your job, eventually your supervisor will notice and you may lose the job you are not crazy over anyway.

    Attitude is everything; the rest can come with practice and time if you’re not that great when you first start.

  • This is actually a very insightful article. I have found out that there is such a thing as working harder than necessary. Getting along with your co-workers and boss is actually an integral part of a smoothly operating workplace. By working smarter and relating who you are with what you do will get people typically to like you and put you in a position of leadership and the fast track to promotion. It similar to clearing a huge boulder ahead of time that 90 percent of the employees around you are probably not thinking about. Typically the working part of the job isn’t as difficult and consuming as the “getting-along” and being efficient.

    Working smarter means working smoothly and will greatly benefit you in any workplace.

  • The job competition today is a complete battle. You have to be the best at everything you can do, if not the best then you must learn to fake until until it becomes your best. I have worked since I was 13, I would work my hardest at everything I did never did I slack off because that shows weakness to your employer and your co workers. Im a military brat so I was taught to be disciplined, unlike a lot of the kids my age. I am so thankful for that because I learned that if I want something I have to work for it. Its not easy. Kids these days don’t see it that way, they think brown nosing the boss will get them the promotion and some cases it works. When that ever happens thats when I know I do not want to work somebody who cares more about the suck up employees than the hard working employees who get things done. When I graduate and start my own business I want hard working, deserving, motivated people like my self. I don’t the employees to think I will hand everything to them wrapped in a bow. I believe in hard work pays off, and Im determined to make that happen!

  • I had a similar experience. My first job was at a nail salon in Miami, Florida. I was pretty much the only one who spoke English my boss as well as all my co workers were Vietnamese. you could say we had serious communication issues. I could never understand what my boss was saying, I was so intimidated by her and the job in general, since it was my first job and I was only 15, I never asked her to repeat herself. I would never do exactly what she wanted and It was so stressful. I wish I would have read this article back then although it doesn’t 100% apply to me some tips would have been helpful.

  • If you’ve never held a job before then read this, learn it and practice it because it will become so important. I’m only a sophomore in college and I’ve never had a so called “real job”. I work in retail in order to try and get enough money to live and pay for my education. But even though I’ve never had a office job, doesn’t mean that these tips aren’t equally as important to me, you and everyone else that holds a job; regardless of the type. I work at a company where we adopt a See It, Own It and Do It sort of philosophy and I think that those words clearly define work smarter in a nut shell.

    Go above and beyond what you are supposed to do, do something without being told and find solutions to problems your managers didn’t even know they had. It is a tough market for jobs out there and there will always be someone more qualified than you. Set yourself apart and you’ll have good things happen no mater what sort of work you are involved in. I’ve practiced these tips on a daily basis and it netted me the chance for a supervisor position at age 19, working at the company for 2 and 1/2 years.

    So don’t take it lightly or brush it aside. Instead take it from a first hand source that these things are important and could be the difference between that promotion and being stuck on the bottom of the pile.

  • I have found that working smart is also about picking up on your bosses pet peeves. For example, when I worked retail I had one boss who hated clutter, but was very passive aggressive about it. Instead of talking to the people who had left work for others, she would simply cut their hours. In order to maintain my position, I picked up on this cue and many others and attempted to be one step ahead. She never had to correct me or ask me to redo something because I already had it done.

  • “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.”

    Though this is a phenomenally simple concept, it remains misunderstood by the vast majority of America’s university population. Every year, many thousands of students graduate from college believing themselves fully prepared for the professional world, only to struggle in daunting and unfamiliar environments. There are only so many situations which textbooks and classrooms can prepare you for.

    This is why I consider it critical for students, no matter how prestigious the school on their degree, to seize every opportunity to engage in real world exposure during their time in college. Through internships, on-campus assistantships, part time employment, and other such opportunities, our students get the chance to develop fundamental, real-world skills which will serve them well later in life.

    I consider those experiences the most valuable of my undergraduate career. I was blessed with a wonderful series of of opportunities, which exposed me to rigorous, practical positions in a variety of industries, including business, non-profit, and government. In these roles, I developed the administrative, interpersonal, and professional skills crucial to any career I may embark upon.

    This is a very practical article with incredibly critical takeaways. It should be mandatory reading for every college student!

  • This article is very interesting. One of my biggest fears of graduating from college is that I will get a job and perform poorly at it. I do not question my skills or knowledge, but I question what others will do and if I can adapt to the workplace to fit into how business is done. I am a Sports Business major, so I want to work in sports. I am leaning towards professional sports over collegiate or youth sports. I feel that it would be a bigger challenge and more fulfilling in the long run. My favorite part of this article was the “20 Things Your Boss Wants From You.” I feel like this is relatable and the list will benefit me as I move into my professional career. I feel knowing what my boss expects from me is the biggest advantage to have when starting a new job. I will be able to focus on what needs to be done and it will make me more successful.

  • I agree the stakes are high for the jobs search these days but in my experience if students are dedicated and tenacious enough to seek out a job and have the drive to apply, in most cases they will receive an interview. I really feel students need to be a go- getter in their life because opportunities are behind every corner one just needs to be willing to look. In my opinion I feel the technology of internet was a huge success with resume building and applying for jobs. Although without internet I feel you would get the most dedicated for the job because now applying is harder and those who apply went through the effort and time to be there, meaning they really care.

  • this article is absolutely perfect; its a reminder that book smart can only take you so far. It reminds me of my first job experience in which i worked off commission selling a teeth whitening product. Naturally with a commission based job, your fellow employees become your competition and your boss sees you as a spot that can be filled. If i wanted to make a salary i had to learn all the tricks on my own, which even included learning some spanish to attract tourists. Also, there was no room for error, the competition to make sales was high and showing weakness would only make you lose a client. The lesson i took from this was that in a dog eat dog world, never let anyone think your a cat.

  • This article is a very interesting to read. In my previous job where I worked for nine and half years I would like to think that i worked smart. I that in the grand scheme of things many of my co-workers that I was the bosses pet or I sucked up, but all i ever did was what i was asked to do or what she expected me to do. I did try to find ways to make my job easier and this impressed my boss. My boss loved to keep drama stirred in the office by using examples of how one should work. I think this is some of why my co-workers felt threatened.

    This article would have been very helpful when i worked in this job because i could have printed and allowed my co-workers to read it. I know that it may have helped with lots of conflict between co-workers.

  • After working with the same business for over two years, it is clear that management and owners like to see their employees exceed what is expected of them. Whether you are a waitress, a janitor, a teacher, or a CEO it is always important to go above and beyond.

    This article shows step by step the Do’s and Don’ts of being a successful employee. It is important to not have a “glass ceiling” approach and know your capability in the work place. Showing eagerness, responsibility, motivation, and respect should be evident at all times.

    Like many say, “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” It is necessary to consistently prove your ability and potential in any work place at any given time.

  • Many of the points or rules listed in this article are ones that I have had to use over the years. My first full-time job in the corporate world found me struggling to meet expectations. In order to keep my job after probation, I had to make a change, which meant becoming more aware of those expectations. As a buyer, at the time, this involved taking notes at every meeting and of all requests and sometimes reiterating those comments back to participants. Doing so helped to solidify my reputation as someone who understood and could meet deliverables. To this day, I always keep a notebook.

    As well, I found that when internal and external customers trusted my judgment and work ethic, positive comments trickled back to my respective boss. I have enjoyed the privilege of having four bosses who never worked in the same state or office as me, but because of my reputation has a reliable and hard worker, there was no need to constantly look over my shoulder. They understood that I took my job serious and knew the job inside and out.

    As the article stated, one of the most important rules I have learned over the years is to have a solutions to problems, otherwise it may come-off as a complaint or as whining. In fact, the first corporate company I worked for had a rule that if there was a problem, the individual bringing it to light had to have one or more solutions. This method helped to save time with brainstorming and to establish how well the individual understood his/her job. Yes, there was the potential for the person to ignore the problem, but eventually the issue could rear its head and affect other areas of business…leading back to the person who could have helped resolve the matter at the start.

  • I have found in my work experience that it is always best to go above and beyond your basic job description.
    Managers and supervisors love it when you can problem solve on your own, and are trustworthy to handle issues on your own. Be dependable by doing even the very basics consistently well. Take your position seriously, even if it is entry level. I have always taken the initiative to learn as much as I can so that it is easy for me to be promoted because I already learned how to do many of the advanced skills needed in that higher position. I see so many people in the workplace that want the money and higher title but are unwilling to do the work it takes to get there. Work hard, be dependable, always show honesty and integrity. These things will help you be very successful in whatever job you have.

  • I liked reading this. It gives me a good mindset and makes me more aware. I will share this page with others and use these resources to help find myself a great job!

  • I really enjoyed reading this article. It is so nice and refreshing to read advice that is naturally honest and practical. I definitely took a lot away from this piece and plan on putting the info to good use.

    I really related to the sections “2 habits that show you are trustworthy and mature” and “Want to be taken seriously? Do this”. I try to always be as up front and honest as possible. I will be the first to admit when I have made a mistake, and I do my best to fix it or come up with ideas to present as solutions.

    I think this article is a great read for someone struggling to gain popularity with their boss at work. This piece pointed me in the direction of book I plan on looking up titled, “The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal”. There are many great lessons to be learned and plenty of room to grow.

  • This is an awesome article. It serves multiple roles, such as teaching, educating, and reminding us on what to do! This is a must read!!

  • “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!”

    Finishing up my senior year in undergraduate, I am seeing the panic amongst my peers of getting job interviews and opportunities. Applying to fifteen different places and receiving no responses back is detrimental to your emotional well-being. It takes more and more for you to become marketable, especially if you are only working off of your credentials and getting good grades. I am finding more and more that it is about who you know. I have applied to what feels like thousands of jobs throughout high school and college, and most of them I ended up getting an opportunity with because I knew someone already working there or in charge of the company. It is all about who you know but it is important to remember to never take advantage of that because even though you have the in, you still have to prove yourself. The hardest part should be getting noticed in our generation because of the mass amounts of faces and internet applications that companies receive. Once you get noticed, I have learned my strength is that I can always prove I deserve the job and deserve to be there. I am good at what I do and am determined to get to the position that I want to be at. However, my future dream career requires more schooling so back to the classroom I will go for my graduate degree in teaching. There, I hope to learn to work even smarter than I already know how, and become even more marketable in the community that I want to be in.

  • I love the idea of working smart, it makes sense in every aspect of having a career. My first job was a fast food restaurant, I really enjoyed working because I had the opportunity to be around different people daily and I love helping people. There were certain things that made it hard for example: my coworkers not doing what they should, being rude to customers and not doing all of their tasks leaving the others to pick up their slack. I do believe some bosses do not want to show you everything they know because they might feel threatened with their job or worried that you would be better at the job then they are. I always strive to be great at my job because I like to show people that I am a very dedicated worker.

  • I really liked all the advice given in the lists! I could already picture myself doing some of these things in my job. I only have a part time job now at a restaurant but I can still apply these to my job and how I work. I am so excited to start using this! I feel that if everyone started working smarter and not harder, the economy might not be going down the drain.

  • In this day in age it’s very hard to be skilled in anything right off the bat. Everyone experiences the growing pains of not performing the way we think we should or could. The difference between not performing well and becoming a success is how hard we work at making ourselves better people. Today, however most people just expect things to come easily their way because that’s how our society has transformed. Also while education is extremely important in how people perceive your ability it is not everything in boss’s decision into hiring you or how you will perform in the workplace. Entitlement is a key factor in how well one will perform as if one is entitled they will not work as hard as someone who believes they need to show their boss why they hired them and make them happy they took a chance on them.

    In my experience I have always been doubted and all I ever want is an opportunity to show that person that I can help or make a difference in their life or company. I think it all started when I volunteered with a group from my high school to take care of elementary kids on a field trip to go camping. It was honestly a humbling experience for me as I have always been a kid at heart. The only thing was I was nervous, I had never done anything like this, taking care of kids that I didn’t know and making sure they did not do anything dumb to hurt themselves. Kids are so unpredictable and that was I was so afraid of. What would they think of me? Would they follow my directions? Will they have fun? So I can into the experience the best way I knew how, with enthusiasm. It turned out to be a great experience as the kids feed off of my excitement and quickly became very comfortable with me and were having a blast. Then I realized that this could be used for other experiences in life. As long as I was willing to try hard enough with enough excitement I can excel at what it was I needed to do. This would also help work smarter as if I became interested enough in what I would like to do, I could be creative enough to come up with more ways to be more efficient. This is exactly why I would like to be an engineer as well, as I’m all about working smarter in combination with working hard, as though are the keys to be a successful employee.

  • The phrase that struck me most was “you need to match-up what you do with who you are as a person”. As the article said, employers want an employee who is able to measure up to the person you appear to be in your interview or on your resume. If you are a hard worker you will not need to prove yourself to anyone; your work speaks for itself.

    During my first internship job I learned how important it is to be an autonomous worker. After extensive networking I was able to land the internship position. My resume may have been excellent, but I had yet to learn what it meant to ‘work smart’.

    After my first couple weeks on the job, my boss was not sure what to make of me. The amount and the quality of work, although good, was not matching up with my credentials. Both of us knew I was not working at my full potential. In response to this, I became a workhorse. I made the time I was working at my position count, and showed positive results.

    As a result of my independently-driven work, I was respected and trusted by the management. In the work place, your character is determined by your quality of work, not the personal characteristics that go into that work. I learned that to work smart is to work hard, independently, professionally, sensitively, and precisely.

  • I totally agree with all of this. There is a lot of material here to look over and it really made me think about the way in which I have been treated at my work. I have worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for nearly two years now and every time it seems as though I am just never “good enough.” The nurses like to put on a front that they are so sweet when they are in front of their supervisor. However, when it comes to the time when it is the nurse and CNA alone in a room we are treated as though we will never get to their level. A lot of times I just like to think of it as- they aren’t trained with having good social and communication skills- but then I realize, I think it is more or less they just think they are all that. Being a CNA I try so hard to make everyone happy with what I do and you know what I get? A simple “thank you” from those that I support and then on the other hand the employees and managers say to me,” well next time can you do……better.” I mean seriously how much more can I do to satisfy EVERYONE’S needs? Just like it is said above, “the stakes are too high.” But yet we still get nothing. Sometimes I just want to tell the manager how I really feel but we all know the consequences of sticking up for ourselves. I have never had a good experience with that. Most often times I feel totally uncomfortable talking to my manager and then it becomes the silent treatment.

  • I find this article very interesting. Working smart always helps in any situation. There has to be at least 10 to 15 examples here in this article that I can relate to. First would have to be getting organized and properly documenting your work. I am in charge of training where I work and documentation is key. First it gives you that “CYA” feeling if you have all your items documented. For example, I track 125 to 150 training items from 7 different regulations. This adds up to almost more training hours then hours in year, and all tasks need to be documented and tracked for all employees. This can be hectic, especially when it comes to annual or semi-annual training. If I miss one item or one person isn’t fully trained, then I take a write up during an inspection and it appears to my supervisors that I have not been doing my job at all. Second, proper documentation means you can never be wrong and that you have the answer to any question when asked by your boss. This will go a long way in terms of perception of the quality of work and how you are perceived as an employee. Trust me on the second one.

    The next part of this story that I can relate to is the small paragraph about your boss not taking the time to teach you about working smarter. Having a plan, being organized and documenting is all fine but having that mentor or boss that doesn’t teach you how to do things better, more efficient, or smarter won’t help you develop or reach your full potential at all. When this happens it falls on you to find your own path. I have had plenty of supervisors that have just left me on my own, given me minimal help when I asked them, and provided no feedback when I completed my work. Looking back now there are many instances where I could have used some help to work smarter. I just had to suck it up, get motivated to better myself, and learn from my mistakes.

    So what does working smarter really mean? I am no whiz and I can only offer my opinion. What I think it really means, and this is what I think the author is trying to get across or at least lay the foundation down for is to be unique. Unique in the sense that you must create your own way to find ways to get things done. This means you need to know what you can do to cut down cost, to get rid of useless equipment, to stop using unimportant paperwork or procedures in order to get the same result needed to complete whatever it is that you’re doing. Working smarting means being educated on your work to know where you need to change things. Working smart means developing ideas, motivating your peers, documenting your work properly, and getting the job done efficiently so that, as the author states, you don’t suck at your job.

  • “Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work.”

    After working as an intern in several marketing positions as well as working full-time in market research, I have realized what I enjoyed so much about my favorite marketing and business classes: working with people in groups. Just prior to beginning my full-time job, I read the inspirational book, How You Will Measure Your Life, by Clayton Christianson. This book goes into great detail about finding happiness and fulfillment in one’s career. I finished this book with an epiphany: I was meant to work with people. More specifically, I was meant to work with kids and make an impact on their lives.

    I went on to work for the market research company for two more months, allowing this idea to nest in the back of my mind. After a trip to San Francisco to conduct Jamba Juice kids’ taste-tests (for my marketing research position), my co-workers carried on about how exhausting the experience was and how they couldn’t imagine teaching because they would have to interact with children all the time. By contrast, I left the experience feeling like that was the most fulfilling day of market research I would ever have! I enjoyed teaching the kids the concept of the taste test, how to properly conduct it, and teaching them that their opinions really mattered! That seemingly trivial taste test led me to reconsider my career path entirely.

    My natural outgrowth for becoming a teacher stemmed from my experiences as a nanny. For the past ten consecutive summers, I have worked as a nanny for several families. Though I have worked with children of different ages, genders, and familial circumstances, including a boy with special needs, one thing always remains the same: I end up fostering a tight-knit relationship with each child. Instilling confidence in these young people by praising their strengths and working with them through their challenges gives me joy and fulfillment.

    While I recognize this talent in myself for nurturing diverse relationships, I also realize that influencing one child is quite different from a whole classroom. Regardless of perceived challenges, I hope to translate my talents on this broader platform. My ideal grade level to teach is second grade because I believe second graders are still quite impressionable in the way they interpret the value of education. I hope to excite students about learning and encourage them to drink up every drop of knowledge that comes their way! Second graders are also at a pivotal point when it comes to their self-esteem. I plan to urge students to be true to themselves and to look past peer pressures. I look forward to developing my skills through the University of San Diego’s Master’s Credential Cohort Program for elementary education by way of my studies and practicum in order to influence students and develop their academic abilities.

    As a teacher, the foundation of my classroom will be that students can achieve anything with hard work. I will encourage students to ask questions because it is in this mode that all students will keep pace with the class. Just as I currently strive to build personal and positive relationships with the kids I care for, I am devoted to seeing each student as an individual. I hope to inspire them to push past their regular abilities and bring out their personal best! I look forward to collaborating with fellow teachers through lesson planning and curriculum sharing as to foster the best educational community possible.

    Who knew I could be so excited about my future career path?! I wish this theme of matching-up what you do with who you are as a person was stressed more to me as an undergraduate. There is an unyielding pressure as a student to choose a major, and therefore a career, that seems safe. It is reasonable for students to want to pay off their student loans, but pointless if they are ultimately paying for a career lacking personal fulfillment. I want to thank Just Jobs Academy, specifically its Career Guide to Working Smart, for calling out this imperative life lesson!

    • Working smart is like a first impression to bosses in the begging of your new job. I like the “match what you do with who you are” as well. I wish someone told me this in the beginning because theses words are very critical in pursuing a career path. But in a way I found that out myself and choose the criminal justice path. Only to be a forensic scientist.

      Not everyone can perform the same task , the same time. Some people or everyone has different speeds and talents that will help in unity to do the task at hand. If your are not any help anytime soon, you have the power to make changes like the article states. Or like Kristina Gourley said to read articles and topics about work management to keep up with everyone else at the job.

      Which is a good point because it is almost like evolving to the situation and finding a way out. These expectations are over the top and one should know how to convey the power of change in any problem because of the schooling.

      Therefore the article said to take ownership! That is a definite must when going in the workforce upon the degree one has been given.

  • I am glad that someone has addressed the view of being work smart. My first job was at a Kids recreational center and the administrative staff was family owned and ran. My job wasn’t hard at all, it was my co-workers and their poor work ethics. I am a workaholic and I love to see progress, but with this job people were not as strong and willing to do the dirty work. They were just there to get their checks and benefits. I feel as though we shouldn’t worry so much on the money and who makes more. There are plenty of significant issues in our society that are worth attention than the financial status of someone. This is what causes a high crime rate and our communities and this is what is holding our society back.

  • Such a timely article! Working smart is partly about being organized. In my acquisition career field, there can tend to be mountains of paperwork. Filing-as-you-go, whether electronically or paper, isn’t always the norm and catching up later is difficult. It is a career field where everyone is working and no one has adequate time to train employees. You learn by example, if you can, and by doing, as you must. Keeping track of your lessons, good and bad, and being receptive to them, are valuable to grow as a person and as an employee.

  • I can easily relate to the article, Your thoughts become actions. My parents are business owners and I worked for them for many years, I though it would be stupid to work somewhere else because they paid me so well. Soon I decided to start applying elsewhere and after getting a job and quitting for my parents I realized how much I enjoyed working in an environment when I was actually treated like an employee and not a daughter. Many people I was stupid for the pay decrease but I knew I needed to be my own person and make my own decisions. I can create my own happiness and I did so by becoming my own person with my own thoughts and ideas.

  • I found this very helpful. As a student a couple years away from entering the work force, experience and other’s advice are always welcomed. I found this very helpful and accurate, from my limited knowledge gained through my past jobs. There is a learning curve that one must always take in to account, no one knows how to do everything perfect their first try. As a student studying to become a professional pilot, I am intimately familiar with try, try again. If you don’t safely and accurately line yourself up with an accurate position with the runway, never force down the plane; it is always welcoming disaster.

    I feel as if this concept can apply to every aspect of life. Take a deep breath and try again, the experience and fluidity of working this job will come with time and dedication. This article made me realize that it is okay to make mistakes, it’s what one learns from making the mistake is the valuable lesson. As long as patience and perfection exist in a balanced and maintained symbiosis, then knowledge and growth will help transform and evolve a new employee into a valued and dexterous asset.

  • The statetement, “Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work.” is very true. i can truly say i ave found a job i love doing. i am an instrumentalist for various churches. I grew up with a passion for music while also playing a role in my church. Both characteristics of my life are put into one job.I also make a considerable amount of money for my age.

  • I think this article is a great lesson for all the recent college graduates and newly employed students, who are not happy with their jobs. I believe anyone who is honest with his work and company can act smart at his work. . Hard work is a key to success, and leads toward the path to achieve all the goals.
    I like the saying, ” You can also quit your job and start a business. If you do, your boss is now your customer”. I believe that nor everyone is meant to do jobs. My husband was not very happy from his job an boss. He quit his job and started his own business. Now he is doing, pretty good and is more satisfied and happy than ever.

  • I always found that you can succeed by being genuine and by treating others as human beings. Having just graduated from high school last year I learned that if you have an amazing teacher, tell them! Shoot them an email, write a note, go talk to them, but just let them know you appreciate them. By building these bonds you can completely change the dynamic of a work environment. Educators get frustrated. They wonder if they are reaching anyone. Just like everyone else superiors burn out. Sometimes the handful of problem students (absent for most of the semester, unmotivated, struggling but refuse to come talk to,etc) becomes all encompassing. When a teacher I had written a note to received my little message telling them that they made a positive impact, it made her entire semester. She told me that she saves every note and reads them when her job gets tough or frustrating to remind her why she chose that career path. By treating everyone as humans and looking at colleagues as teammates, companies as a whole can succeed, not just individuals.

  • As a currently enrolled college student, I have worked miscellaneous jobs in between classes to pay for expenses. From serving wings, to putting away clothes at a retail store, to now watching grade-school kids after school, I have learned quite a lot of different lessons.

    The number one lesson I have learned is to teach yourself and use all the resources you have to aid you.

    As a transfer student, I am working on a Visual Communication Design undergraduate degree at Herron School of Art + Design, and within my classes, I have had to teach myself multiple computer programs because many professors do not teach students these programs. It is refreshing to have this self-empowerment and knowing that I have gained skills and knowledge myself. It shows my professors that I have the dedication to this field along with the determination to be a good, and if not great, designer in the future.

    As I go through the VCD program here, I am constantly thinking about what career I want when I graduate. To be honest, thinking about it excites me and scares me at the same time. There is always going to be competition within the graphic design field and I have to prepare myself for that. Teaching myself, doing the internships, and being prepared to figure it out for myself is what’s going to make a difference for me when I’m out finding a career.

  • I worked at this pub and pizza place and for a while I had a great manager, who taught me the basics of what I needed to know. Mainly, just make the customer happy and be sure to not mess up. I was scared of messing up for a while, until I realized I was in a seniority position, since many people left the job. I was put in a place to teach the new workers, so I decided it was time to not be scared and do my job with confidence. I started to love work and became really knowledgeable at my job, people would start to look up to me and ask me questions. Even the owner would ask for my help.

    That manager ended up leaving one other experienced worker and I at the pub. My coworker and I had to teach the new manager, who was stuck in his ways, about the job. He failed to listen to us multiple times, and I got in trouble a few times for doing my job correctly. There was one time when a waitress asked me to grab a few vegetables for the salad bar, so I went back there to get them and my manager said that the waitress should come and get them herself. That would only be a nuisance and have her get in the way of the kitchen staff, so I did and I saved a lot of time. I love working, I love helping people.

    I cannot wait to obtain a degree in engineering, because then I can change the world and make peoples’ lives easier.

  • I have to say that what stuck out to me most in this article was listed under 20 things your boss wants from you in an entry level job. The article states, “above and beyond, tame your ego.” After completing my undergraduate degree, I took a year off to experience the working world before I moved on to graduate school. During this time I worked as a coordinator at a YMCA. I had just finished my degree in Health Education, and I was energetic, positive and extremely motivated to make a difference. I had all these wonderful ideas when I took on the wellness coordinator position, and thought they were BRILLIANT, however it didn’t seem as though my boss ever felt the same. I came in strong and confident in the knowledge I had obtained over the course of my undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t before long that I had to learn to “tame my ego.”

    While I implemented many programs and classes that went over phenomenally with our members, I forgot to stop and think about who had been working at the Y for over 10 years, and who had seen what had worked and what didn’t. I learned that what the boss says, goes. I learned that the boss knows BEST. They don’t teach you these things in college. They teach you to be strong and vocal, which are definitely characteristics need by employees in companies. But you have to learn when and how its most appropriate to speak your voice. Ultimately, I’ve learned its about balance. One more learn how to “tame their ego,” use their voice, and yet still respect the boss.

  • This article makes a valid point about the work field. When starting my first job as a math aide. I had not the simplest idea of how to work the best way possible. While my boss helped me with certain task, it seemed as if there was a reluctance to tell me all that was expected from the job. In the eye of the boss it may just be that he or she expects the knowledge of working smart to already be known as if it were common sense to everyone. I can already see the benefits of working smart instead of stay average in a career. The job already opened doors for me with the genuine recommendations, so the author simply knows what he is talking about. With someone who has experienced the working longer than I have, these tips are useful to any job rather it’s leading to a career or not.

    The work force today has a long list of employment competition which is shown by the high unemployment rates today. Any and all help in competing in an increasingly competing work field can help to open doors to starting employees like me. I completely agree and see how the author says that working the right way can make the difference in a career, making someone have a prospers career instead of a sub par career. My mother’s friend didn’t work smart and got stuck in a lower cap for her job, but my mom exhibited the traits of those who work smart and she has achieved a lot in her career. This article does create a very viable point about the way people work and what they get as a result of that.

    • This is a great tool for newcomers to the job search community! Everyone needs a stable job and this is a good reference to use when looking for them. These tips are very practical for everyday usage and contain very pertinent information. Everyone needs a job and if you read these articles then it gives the reader a very big advantage over the competitor. This is shown by the increased unemployment rates. This gives a great perspective from the view of the boss, rather than the thousands of useless articles about the views of the employee or unemployed job seeker. Thank you for the useful information to help me in my future job searches!

  • Being new in the work force, any tips is well appreciated. Luckily my mom and I are going to school at the same time, we stumbled on this website. Since she is well experienced and is only going back for a masters, she took the time to make sure I was prepared. This website has so many different resources and it is not title specific. My girlfriend is in school to become a dental hygienist and I am in school for business, but we both found interesting facts and tips, primarily from this article. If you have any question at all about your work place or career plan this website is sure to have your answer!

  • This article contains the best bit of advice I’ve ever been given:

    “Until you can match-up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work.”

    At age 42, I’m in the process of obtaining my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan. I spent the last 14 years working as a Paramedic, and although I have had incredible experiences doing so, my heart has never been in that field. In truth, I got my Paramedic license because it was a “safe” job, meaning that there would always be work available somewhere. It hasn’t been a total loss, as much of my artwork reflects on experiences I’ve had in the EMS field, but it has been a very large chunk of my life spent in a career that made me a very unhappy person. I never had the ambition to better my status in the company or to simply “do something great” as I do now, when I am creating. A poorly matched career wastes opportunity. Is there a greater price to pay than that?

  • I CAN RELATE TO THE BOSS NOT WANTING TO TEACH YOU WHAT THEY KNOW. I HAVE HAD TEACH MYSELF EVERYTHING THAT I KNOW ABOUT MY JOB WITH OUT ANY HELP FROM MY BOSS. SHE USED TO HAVE MY POSTION AND WAS ELEVATED UP TO A HIGHER POSITION AND UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE THE SAME BACKGROUD AS FAR AS EDUCATION AND I THINK THAT SHE MY FEEL INTIMIDATED BY ME. I WAS DETERMINED TO BE NOT ONLY GOOD BUT THE BEST AT MY JOB AND I HAVE MANAGED TO EXCEL WITH HER HELP.

  • Many good things in this article – lots to cover. I think one of the most important messages here is that your boss doesn’t want to train you. Maybe they’d love to train you, they just don’t have the time. I remember my first job at Six Flags, my job duties consisted of being helpful to customers, cleaning, and selling merchandise, but why stop there? If the fridges needed to be stocked – I’d do it, if there was an emergency – I’d handle it, even if it wasn’t for my department.

    In the real world, it’s all about being prepared. If it’s your profession, you’re expected to be knowledgeable! I’m an Advertising major and if I were hiring, for example, I’d expect all employees to know how to use and troubleshoot different printers. If I were a hiring mechanic, I’d expect my employees to know how to do a basic oil change.

    Another factor is knowing your environment. I applied for a job at my college’s Journal publishing when I was just a freshman. I was one of their final two or three deciding applicants, but I lacked one important thing – knowledge of the Journal! I failed to do my research. I was still new to the area at the time, and I had no idea who I would contact for advertisement supporters for the paper. I had never really thought about it until the question came up in the interview. It’s important to know the company AND their competitors. Finding out what your company does best and how they expect to beat their competitors. A question I love to ask the interviewee is, “Why should I work for you and not your competitor?” or “How do you expect to beat your competitor ____?” The way they answer that question will reveal a lot about the company and what kind of work they expect out of you. If they look at people skills over technical skill, a sharp portfolio coupled with a poor interview won’t get you far.

    The final point I want to touch on is the “over priced employee”. It is true, you can graduate from any college with any degree and still “suck” at your job. If I were Albert Einstein, I could sleep through class and still get straight As in my Science and Math courses, but what does that say about work ethic? Some of the most important things I’ve learned were things NOT required by my school. I went to a vocational school and did volunteer work at the school, but outside of my graded material. This included designing banners and posters for food drives, screen printing shirts for the walk for MS, and printing for sale signs for a house our carpentry class built. There was a lot of technical skill involved, but also communications. I had to learn about all of the chemicals and safety of pulling emulsions and renewing screens in the dark room, I had to coordinate with the principles for specifications and last minute changes as well as dead lines, I had to make accurate work orders and follow them.

    Knowledge is powerful, but it is useless without the action and determination needed to execute plans successfully. Don’t be lazy, don’t wait to be told to do something – do it! If you see something that needs to be done – do it, don’t know how? Ask! Be proactive always and your boss will love you.

  • I could relate to the article. It is easy to suck at your job and even more when people think that because they have a higher position than you they can just do nothing. I worked for a toy company in a christmas season and while I was stacking the shelves a customer ask me for help so I helped her find what she wanted to buy but when a supervisor saw me helping her she shouted that I wasn’t doing what she ask me to do and told me to keep on stacking the shelves. All of this happen in front of the customer. Personally I’m a do it excelent or nothing person and I’m do agree that it doesn’t care where do you com from its what you do and how do you act in front of others that makes you suck or not suck.

  • I understand your comments in regards to working smart and the fact that leaders today do not want to take the proper amount of time to teach their employees. A huge part is that they have the mind-set that you were hired because it was believed that you knew what to do. What they fail to realize is that they have been in their position for, in most cases, several years and they loose perspective in understanding how difficult it is for someone who is new to the enviroment. I will say that through experience it is very difficult getting basic needs from your boss. Also appreciation is lacking, I am not saying that all leaders should give out gold stars when something is done but they should acknowledge the fact that there is progress.

  • I had a similar situation in which my own boss never checked up on her employees. I was working teenager, age 15, and I would need to ask my fellow employees. Every time I would try to go talk to my boss, she would always say, “oh you can go ask your fellow employees. They’ve been through it all.” During one of my shifts, I had to leave the hospital in order to help a handicap person to their car. As I was leaving, my boss comes up to me and tells me, “You aren’t allowed to walk patients to their cars. You ask security to do that.” I obviously didn’t say anything but it just didn’t make sense. Since then, I tried my best to “work smart’ on my own…

  • As a freshman in college studying music education, this article reminded me a lot of when in High School our choir department would recieve senior college students aspiring to become music educators, as student-teachers. They would observe my teacher and teach lessons on their own. The ones who stuck out to me and in turn inspired me to become a music teacher were the ones that had a lot of the same qualities you described. They loved what they did, were confident in what they knew and what they could teach, and worked hard at teaching. I even observed my teacher giving some of them pointers and tips on how to conduct and teach correctly, and it was obvious which ones really tried to understand and get better, and which ones didn’t like the constructive criticism. My teacher also never loved the “pet” characters very much either, because he thought your love for the subject, dedication, and talent at teaching should be all it takes to stand out and become noticed. This article reminds me of those teachers as i move into my teaching career, and inspires me to become a teacher like them.

  • This article has a lot of very valid points. I have had a steady career that I absolutely love for the past 10 years. I have always been a fan of working smarter not harder. I love that the article points out that you do not need to be the boss’s pet in order to achieve success. Your work should speak for itself. If you mind your business and do your job well and to the best of your ability, it will be noticed.

    As a manager, I have an identify far different from my fellow management peers. I dare to be different and I measure my success by the fulfillment of the members of my team. It is easy to suck at your job but if you set a goal each day to apply yourself completely to the task at hand, you will find much success!

  • This article has a lot of good tips. You really can’t rely on a career expert to give you advice when they may not be professional themselves. You need to distinguish yourself from others not by “branding” because “you are not a corporation or a cow”. Do make yourself smart, work hard, and show you are a good employee without being a nuisance. This article is very educational and I can’t wait to share it with friends and co-workers!

  • Wow! What an interesting article to read, with lots of useful information that isn’t boring and monotone. Being a freshman in college, a majority of my work experience comes from a part-time job at a grocery store I held during my last two years of high school. When I first started out, my training was very informal, and I felt like I had no idea what was expected of me. Of course, I was shy, and afraid to ask my boss exactly what I was supposed to be doing most of the time. However, some co-workers of mine stepped in and helped me see what tasks should be completed before anything else at the beginning of every shift and got me on the right track.

    I wouldn’t have known how much I sucked at my job during the first month or two if it hadn’t been pointed out by one of my supervisors. Because my college is about two hours away from my hometown, I was going to have to leave my job once classes began. On one of my last few nights, the friendly supervisor was being reminiscent and told me how much she would miss having me there.

    “When you first started out here, it was awful. I would see your name on the schedule and look forward to the night ten times less. But now, we just can’t bear to see you grow! You’ve really grown as an employee and become a huge asset to all of us.”

    Well, if that isn’t something to make you feel good about yourself! The manager of the store shared similar comments with me, and I realized something – I had learned how to do my job effectively. I had learned to understand what my boss wanted without having to ask a gazillion questions. Not only did I grow to feel comfortable at my workplace, but I really felt like my opinion began to matter, and I finally had some authority to share input on placement of products, effectiveness of processes, etc. I can honestly say that I have my manager to thank for my success in college so far. Without his guidance, I never would have learned how to read between the lines and understand the point of tasks at a deeper level. I never would have grown to learn that you can bend the rules a little, once you’ve learned what they are. And I never would have been able to walk into any situation confident and comfortable as I can now.

  • I like this post. I have been disabled for the past 8 years from military service, but I appreciate anything that can help with employment. I believe working is more than just something we all do to survive. It is instilled in everyone to WANT to work and better yourself for the future, Providing for a family requires a job, but providing for your mental sanity also requires one.
    Hopefully once I complete my degree in business I will be able to join the workforce again in a field that isn’t as physically demanding as my previous work. I am excited to get through my degree and get back in the saddle of employment again!

  • As a sophomore in college, I have not had much work experience. However, I can attest to the fact that one little detail mentioned in this article is very important in succeeding in a job. My job would be a Chemical Engineering research assistant, and my boss is a doctoral student conducting the research. The best tip that I found on this page regarding how to work smarter is to take notes.

    In my experience as a lab worker, keeping a notebook is very important. Because I am a younger student and have yet to learn all the lab techniques required of me to conduct the research, keeping good notes saves me from asking my boss twice on how to do a step. It is also very important for me to keep good notes in case a step in my procedure is every questioned. Like this article mentioned, keeping good notes is a way to provide proof of your work when it is being scrutinized.

  • Surprisingly, this article became motivational to myself. It makes me take to heart that doing what you love should become your occupation, and you should not quit until you are actually happy with your job. I want to enjoy my career and strive to be the best and get noticed by others.
    I would like to create a positive image that may rub off on others to be their best, as well. These tips were very helpful in being reminded of what a good employee looks like and acts like. I also will not be afraid to admit a mistake if I have made one. Others respect and appreciate honesty and in turn, you will respect yourself more. It is all about self-improvement.

  • This article is very relatable to me. As I enter my last few months as a college undergraduate, I’m beginning to realize that what I have learned in the classroom will not help me be a great employee. Experience at the job will, and I can use prior knowledge to help me become a great worker. My first job was at Burlington Coat Factory, a retail warehouse. At this time, I need nothing about retail, so I did not know what to expect. My boss showed me how to do the basics on my first day, and then left me. It was a huge store, and there was a lot to do so I did not blame her. I just hoped I’d be able to do a good job without her instruction and guidance. At first I was nervous. I didn’t want customers to ask me questions that I wouldn’t know the answers to. As the day went on it got easier. I built upon what my boss had initially taught me, and used common sense. When she came back to check on me, she was surprised at everything I had been able to accomplish. I felt proud of myself.

  • This article gives ones a great description of how to work smart and succeed at a great company. It opens with an example of leading by example. In my working experience I can relate to Michael’s work experience. My first job was a working progress; I just graduated from school and did not know much about clerical work. The most difficult task was multitasking duties for three managers. I had to meet deadlines for several projects. One of my supervisors met with me regarding meeting deadlines in a timely matter. What she didn’t realize is one person could not handle all duties for three managers.

    One of the managers told me if I organize each task by deadline dates it would help to get task done in an efficient matter. I listen & took notes on how to be efficient in completing task. Once I grasp the concept, I never had a problem with meeting deadlines. The advice that my supervisor gave me help to get promoted to higher positions. The article states, “It’s easy to suck at your job if you don’t know what your boss wants.” The key to the quote is to figure how to meet the needs of your boss to make your job easier.

    Throughout my working experience I had some great bosses that taught me a lot of things to work smart. The best key is not only education help but the best qualifications in some jobs are the skills and experience. It doesn’t matter what school you graduate it’s the outcome of your work ethics.

    Inclusion, this article was a great read that working smart can get you ahead in the workplace. The advice that supervisors give you to strengthen your job can lead you to a better future

  • High School students could really use this article! I’m currently a senior in high school and have submitted a few applications, but I haven’t considered the possibility of not knowing how to do my job.

    As high school students we only really think about the money we can earn from working a part time job and give little thought to weather we will suck at it or not. I mean if we suck, we may not get hours!

    I found this article extremely helpful! Once I am in the work force I will now choose to ‘work smart’ and avoid being a potential ‘pet.’

  • This article was very informative. I really like how the author explained that it doesn’t matter if you graduated from an Ivy League school. When it comes down to working, those credentials can only get you so far. You have to be a marketable person to get the job.

  • I think this article is extremely helpful. I have had a steady job for nearly a year now, but being a waitress isn’t the dream job I had in mind. I think these tips can be easily applied to life in general. It’s nice to know you can be great at your job without spending a million dollars on your education!

  • I like the words of “The problem with sucking at your job is that it gives you very little power to make changes.”
    To some extent, we all now searching a way to be happy, that’s why we really need a good job to make us happy, no matter the salary or coworkers. This article give some useful hint about how to avoid sucking in our jobs, so that we could enjoy our works and achieve a sense of happiness.
    I like those tips and feel it will work for me.

  • My first job was at a nursing home and I was so nerve racked and had no idea how to do my job. I was thrown in because they were short staffed and I did not want to mess anything up. However, I used the experiences my teachers taught me to get through this difficulty and I wish this article had been around for me to read before I started that job.

  • For years I’ve worked as a server and hostess in fast paced restaurants, dealing with snarky customers whom you have to bend over backwards to please. In the beginning, I was not used to the speed or customers. My manager and trainer didn’t tolerate asking questions, they wanted you to learn on the job. So I started out with the crappiest shifts because of my inexperience. But I thought if I was a hard-worker and could handle my own that the manager would notice and give me some better hours. However I quickly learned that working hard and working smart are not the same thing. Instead of multitasking, the right way, I was just running around trying to please everyone. This quickly made me angry and bitter, I began to resent my job and the industry I worked in.

    One evening, shortly after being chewed out by my manager, I went to a close friend for advice. They told me what it meant to work smart: be precise with the customers needs, keep a positive attitude, ask questions and take a note from those who are successful around you because the only way to improve is to learn. This advice has made all the difference. Soon I began to get better tips and better hours. My manager even began to comment on what a good job I was doing. My attitude completely changed and I began to feel comfortable at my job.

    My advice to others in the same position. Is to take the initiative! If you feel there is something you are doing wrong or you simply dislike what you are doing then change it. Ask questions, be positive, and if you don’t love what you do it is time for a change.

  • I have read many articles on being successful in your career and this is the most comprehensive one for me including the “20 things that your boss wants from you”. There are things that I have always done without knowing, and there are thing that I never realized that I needed to do. For instant messaging and email, I always did answer with correct format and quickly which I think is the most important thing but my boss always reminded me to write again which made him actually babysit me. I think that was the mistake I made from the issues addressed above. Another very important things was about how I need to be precise and blunt. I always tried to be precise but I never actually made it clear in the words I use as described in the article. I like the part that said you can still suck with Harvard, or Yale degree. I personally believe in that which is one of the reason I wanted to work before continuing my degree. Thanks for the great article and the list with details.

  • This article has opened my eyes to realities of the professional realm. What I learned most is that one needs to be serious about their job, but by no means should one be so serious that they are a pest to work with. My first job was my job at Chuck E. Cheese’s. It taught me so much about myself and others. I learned that patience is something that is learned and it takes time. I also learned that even though listening to my bosses can sometimes seem irritating, they teach my things that I need to know to work in the real world. This article has taught me so much and opened a whole new view og things I should look for in my future.

  • That is very true. I work mostly everyday, i am also a student and an athlete. sometimes it gets hard trying to do all three but i stil try to keep my head into the books. This article allowed me to compare how my job runs and how many other jobs also run.

  • During my first job I was expected to know how to use a scanner, even though it was my first time seeing one. I did not ask my boss how to use it I asked a fellow employee. This fellow employee gave me the run down on how to use the scanner. I did not want to bother my boss with a simple task as learning how to use the scanner.

  • This information would have been very helpful to me when I first graduated from high school and started looking for my first “real” job. It would have also helped when I graduated with my bachelor degree. When I got my first corporate job, I broke a lot of the rules that are listed above; namely, #2: don’t suck at instant messaging. I learned quickly that smiley faces and abbreviations were not appropriate.

  • I have owned my own photography business since 8th grade. Doing paid portraits for weddings and events, modeling portfolios, family, newborn, and senior portraits. Each photo shoot I do I gain a little more knowledge than the one before.

    The lesson I chose to reflect from my own work was “it’s easy to suck at your job if you don’t know what your boss wants”. Which, is 100% accurate. When doing a photo shoot for someone who dislikes the pictures but really isn’t sure what they want it can become extremely difficult to give them the outcome they are looking for.

  • “Millionaires find a way to make it work. Millionaires give 110% effort. Millionaires have zero excuse. Millionaires have an unwavering foundation. Millionaires just do. But I am not a millionaire. I am a billionaire.”

    My best friend is an entrepreneur. And at our age (early twenties), this, for most people, means you are unemployed. Typically, I see him playing with his two adorable puppies, blasting music, and watching movies. He goes wherever he wants, whenever he wants. On a crotch rocket. He goes to college part-time. Sounds like an unemployed entrepreneur to everyone else.

    My best friend defies odds. In the past two months, he earned more than both my parents did in the past year. Combined.

    I have known him for over 10 years. We have had many conversations that went late into the night about anything and everything. Strangely, I take business advice from a person who is my own age, rather than my parents or professors. My best friend has given me advice similar to what I read in this article. Work smart, work efficiently, be independent. But perhaps the two most important lessons I learned are these:

    1. Embody everything about who you WILL become. My best friend says he is a billionaire. His monetary net worth is much less than this. But his attitude, from the way he dresses and presents himself to the way he talks, and from his sense of resolve to the way he never settles for anything less than what he wants, is the attitude of a billionaire. My best friend never says, “I am going to be a billionaire.” He says, “I am a billionaire.” I have nothing to say in rebuttal.

    2. “The only tiny little difference between me and everyone else is they plan and I do.” Just do. If you want it, do it. If you feel like it, do it. Find a way and do it. Stop planning and do it. “If you put as much effort into DOING as you do into thinking and planning, imagine where you would be. You would be earning more than I do.” The most profound and simplest lesson I can extract from the years with my best friend is that you have to do something. Anything. Just do.

    I love school and I excel academically, much more than my best friend. But that man will be unbelievably successful. School has never taught me how to succeed in business or in the workplace. School gives me the training to do a job. But it is up to me to DO.

    • “The only tiny little difference between me and everyone else is they plan and I do.”

      That is very profound advice! I’m also someone who DOES.

  • The article is correct about everything especially when it stated that “your boss doesn’t want to teach you everything”. In order to maintain and be good at your job you have to work smart and have the drive and desire behind everything you do. I also believe that a big part of becoming successful in the workplace is have a the “I can do it” attitude. If you don’t think you can do the job you’re not going to end up being able to do it. The attitude is half of your drive to become a better worker and try hard to please your boss, coworkers, and yourself.

  • It was really nice to read something so honest and helpful, to the point. It gives me some added insight I can definitely use, and enlightens me on some topics that I unfortunately learned the hard way. I see now how I can get ahead in my career or company, by working smart. Good article.

    • This article is true that just because you graduated from an ivy league or with any college degree in general doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be good at your job. There is plenty of people that are more fit for that job who don’t need a degree. Its sad that some people go through the process to be qualified to have a certain job and someone who didnt even go to school for it could be a way better match but its true. I enjoyed this article, it says what everyone is thinking but no one dares to say

  • I think this article was very informative. It explains the hidden values a boss really seeks in an employee. Not only does this article teach you about how to be a better employee for your boss, but it actually explains in depth how to be your own boss. It was very helpful and I feel like I can apply everything I read in this article to my life.

  • I really enjoyed this article because I am in the working world and it is always frustrating to feel like I am not being taken seriously. The Article reminds me of how hard it is to start a new job being surrounded by people who have been working there much longer. It is easy to feel inferior and like the people around don’t take me seriously but this article presented ways to make this feeling go away.

    Being in the restaurant business makes changing places of employment very easy, this article although it is geared toward more professional jobs, can be very useful in the business I am in.

    Proving that you are professional, know what you are talking about, and consistently do what is expected is the best way to be taken seriously in any job.

  • This article makes a lot of sense to me; at my first job, as a host at IHOP during the summer after my junior year of high school. I found out that my manager expected us to work smart, but never taught us how. It took me a while to understand why this was so, but I came to the conclusion that he was teaching us teenagers a valuable lesson: the importance of taking initiative. The restaurant benefits significantly when all employees are working diligently and efficiently in their specialized departments within the restaurant. Therefore, the manager’s time would be better spent on her own duties than helping us with our more trivial tasks. Those who took initiative and made smart decisions for themselves about how to get the job done were appreciated, and those who didn’t do so were left to envy those who did (when they received raises).

  • This post reminds me of when I was in high school. In my leadership class that we offered, we were forced to be put through a full fledge interview. they made us dress up and go the whole nine yards. After my interview, my teacher made the comment to me not to be so uptight. I needed to relax and be confident and the rest will come. A couple months later I ended up having an interview at a grocery store. They said my interview went great and I’ve been working there since then.

  • I really like this article. It give us the perfect advice on how to succeed on our jobs. It is amazing that many people can relate their experiences to one or more of the scenarios presented. I remember when I was looking for my first job, I was looking for something easy where I can make money. I did not realize how important it is to get a job in something that you feel passionate about. Even though the managers were nice, it was my first job and I did not have any experience and for them it was a little bit inconvenient to be teaching me how to do my job because they had to be in charge on other things so it caused some tension between them and I. I did not last very long at this job because of the situation. After that experience, I decided to look for a job in something that I feel passionate for and that is how I started working with children with disabilities. It is the most amazing job, I am very thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to work with them and being able to give my best to help them and make an impact in their life.
    I recommend this post to all my friends and family members that are looking for a job because it will help them to make smart decisions about the job they looking for.

  • This article is very helpful in making decisions on what is right and wrong in the working field. I feel there is so much competition nowadays a degree just won’t make the cut for a certain job and building a career. I received an internship with the governor over the summer by my credentials, but what i didn’t know getting the internship was just one step. i had to deal with the competition, cattiness, and trying to balance my social life and working hard for my boss.

    My boss didn’t really care about the daily drama that went on at the job just as long as you do the job right. Almost the first week i was told on because i didn’t answer enough phone calls. I was relaxed too much, since that day during the summer i had my game face on and was ready for whatever. The article also points that being a boss’s pet is not always a good route. The work ethnic and availability speaks for the employer not who makes the most complaints. I find this to be very true my first internship and first time working for the governor i had many rewards and recommendation letters from mentors and bosses around me.

    What i learned from this article is in order to have a god career you have to have those great qualities such as learning how to search jobs that will interest you, willing to make a career, willing to learn from mistakes, have good and positive attitude about your job, and being honest will gain your bosses trust.

  • This is a fantastic article and a great help! I am a full-time college student with part-time job as a sales associate. I get a great amount of hours every week, but I find myself very stressed out when it is time to finish my homework. Somehow, I have managed to do it for two years; however, I haven’t exactly had the choice. I am 21-years-old, and I am on my own. A job is necessary, but so is school.

    I do everything I can and I work my hardest to be a good college student as well as a good sales associate. Retail can be a stress in itself, but proving to my boss that I can handle school and work while being an excellent associate is important.

    After graduating, I will have my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and I will have my dream job. All of this hard work will be worth it as well as great practice for my future. I absolutely agree with this article. It was a great read.

  • I found this article to be interesting and a flash back as well. When thinking about life and the funny jobs we acquired growing up, I remember my third job and how difficult it was,along with all the pressures around me that were being pushed on me by other co-workers. I could not do anything right, I messed up orders, I did not speak to people in a truly understanding matter? Flat out my boss wanted to fire me but, instead of firing me, he pulled me off to the side and told me I needed to up my game. I took that pep talk and did exactly what he wanted, and beyond.

    In a matter of 6 months I became the lead sales customer in our store and for the whole city. The other managers did not have faith, or even teach us what we needed to know and part of me knew that something was lacking in my work and that was motivation. My boss gave me that, scary as it was, but I found out while I was at that store, what I was capable of.

  • My first job was your typical, minimum wage service job. The work was so fast paced, that I was terrified and wanted to quit the first day. My job was to answer phones and take orders from the customer. I remember how terrified I was just to pick up that first phone call. My anxious fingers could barely type the names and adresses I needed. Because of the extremem anxiety, I would often make silly mistakes. With each little mistake, I would get this malicious stare from my boss, who usually sat in the office. He would roll out in a wheeled chair, park in the back of the store, and burn holes into the back of my head with his gaze. I could feel overwhelming pressure to improve, and I began to become better by fear of making mistakes. This method may not be very efficient, but It was what I had to do. I told myself that I had to work smarter, or I would no longer have this job. I spent hours each night memorizing my script for the phone orders: greetings, up-selling products, checking adresses and giving correct times for deliveries, and memorizing specials and coupon codes. The hard work paid off, and I finally became a smarter worker. Here I am today, two years later, as shift manager of the same store. The general manager is one of my best freinds now. I realize that it was really all about my attitude. I was a terrified little puppy walking down a road of Bull Mastiffs. I had to become stronger and more confident in myself so I wouldn`t become overwhelmed, and I`m happy to share this experience with you.

  • My first ‘real job’ was in the government as a student intern. I learned quickly how the work world works. People don’t like when you ask a lot of question or when they have to explain it more than once. The 20 things your boss wants from you – Entry Level, most of those are true but some of them are a little to extreme. Yes you do want to answer your email in a timely manner, but you do not need to answer it as soon as you get it. I would send emails to people and would not get a reply for hours sometimes not until the next day. I wish I had read this before I started working because it would have helped understand what was expected of me as a new employee.

  • Love the Article about having the employees being treated as people, I don’t get that at my current job. That’s why I’m pushing myself to go through college, and BE that better boss. I don’t see how hard it is to not work hard and treat people like they should.

    • I understand what you mean about not getting the treatment you deserve at work. Luckily for me my first job was as a flight assistant, I loved the idea that I got to earn a living doing what I liked. Over time though I wanted something that was more challenging. I had always wanted to have my first degree and while life had dealt me with blows of discouragements and disappointments from family and friends, I am so proud of myself, that I had always believed in myself that I deserve to do, and be a better person.
      No education is a waste at any point in life any knowledge gain can become useful. I have a few months to go in achieving this first goal of mine, and while I hope to be the best I can be in my profession, I would also prefer to be a boss that understand how to being out the best in my team and colleagues.

    • I work for the government and I personally do not feel appreciated. Our business is so large, they do not have any personal communication or social contact with the staff. We are a number and subject to governmental micromanagement environments. Businesses run much smoother if they would understand that without their employees, they will not survive.

  • I relate to this post about working smart because when I first started working at an ice cream shop @ age 17. I had no experience what so ever but either way my boss just expected me to be an expert the next day. I later found out that she had everything written down in an order form list. That relates to real life because in real life you have an agenda to go by day by day. You either wake up in the morning and go to work come back and run some errands. When the article mentions about have a goal in life and exceeding it, everyone is able to.

  • Nice! I found this article incredibly interesting; it is so relatable to everyone. Employers tend to expect everything and anything from employees, putting unbelievable stands on them – most without guidance or training! My first job was at a YMCA as an administrative assistant, where I was expected to perform at the highest level of customer service in a quick environment, along with performing several other important duties I had never done before, such as monitoring schedules, organizing events and keeping media relations with the community in check. It soon became second nature, but the beginning was a real struggle. It was hard to impress my boss and coworkers with the quality of work they wanted while I was under so much strain. I wish I would have had access to a site like this when I was younger so I would have had a better handle on my situation!

  • I haven’t started working yet, but that’s only because my parents have instilled in me the importance of doing well in school. They told me that I put in the requisite hours of work in the classroom and doing homework, and I will get paid accordingly in grades. The better I do, the more pay I will get.

    Now that I think about it, my teachers have been my bosses, and they act according to what Eric wrote.

    However, eventually I know that nothing substitutes for work experience and I have to be ready to work as hard as I can and learn as much as I can so I can get as much as I can out of what I will be doing for a living.

    I really enjoyed the article, and took a lot of what Eric said to heart

  • I found this article very interesting, as it can be relate-able to everyone. I agree that employers often expect unbelievable things from their employees, with little to no real time training. My first job was a cashier in a gift shop, where I was expected to deliver a friendly transaction in a fast paced manner, never forgetting to up-sell the product, whenever possible. With time it became second nature, however with limited initial training my first couple of weeks were a struggle, making it hard to impress my boss with the quality of work he expected. I wish I had known about a site like this so I could have known how to handle the situation better.

  • How true is all of this?! Oh my gosh. My uncle once told me that college teaches you how think, rather than what to think… and that thought crosses my mind every day. My favorite ‘point’ of this article is actually the last one:

    “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.”

    …YES! Exactly! You don’t need a super fancy degree… a person just needs to learn how to develop skills in the surroundings presented to him/her. College is all about experiences and learning how to think & problem solve. Those skills will follow you to the workplace and allow you to put everything to use.. from critical thinking to writing. Everything comes together with random connections.

    Thank you for this article. It’s perfect!

  • I enjoyed this article tremendously! This can definitely be a struggle for those “just graduated from college” adults looking for work. Work smart! But also remember to be passionate about what you do. You don’t want to wake up hating your job everyday, because then not only will the work be lousy, but there will be no motivation or care to better yourself or the work you do for the job you dislike. Great article. Definitely recommend it!

    • This article gave me new insight on how this threshold of a new era (the unlimited information at our fingertips due to the internet) has caused an increasing trend of people wanting to inform themselves on how to succeed in this cut throat world. There are many articles, be it from online magazines to newspapers to self-help books like Dr. Phil’s Life code that have gave me endless tips on how to be successful so I was satisfied with this article’s informative perspective on life as I will need to live by this wise advice after having attained my bachelor’s degree.

  • I absolutely loved this article! It was super interesting and it relates to the everyday employment world. I agree that people may not always posses the ability to be a super human at their job but we all posses the ability to work smart that way we can turn a good job into a great job. My first job was a cashier at a fast food restaurant, I was so focused on learning all the new material it was some what hard to concentrate on what my boss really wanted. I wish I had read this article before starting my job so I could’ve had my game face on before I went into to work.

    • I totally agree with that statement, everyone has the ability to succeed in life even if you didn’t go to some top notch school. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing and dedicate yourself to it you can achieve anything.

  • The most important thing that I have learned from my job as an account executive at advertising agencies is thinking independently, in other words, “decide yourself”. This philosophy applies to every job at any level and in every country, I believe. My former boss directly gave me a soft warning on my first day at job. “Ask less, think more, speak carefully”, he said. Ironically, I felt to have more freedom to comprehend the first assigned project, and room and courage to make decisions. I spent half of my first day reading the brief, researched any thing related to it, then listed all questions and possible answers or solutions that I could think of. Late in that night, I came to my boss’s desk and nicely asked for his time to talk about the project. We spent another 2 hours to discuss and solve the questions. Later on, when I asked what is my best characteristic in his opinion, he cited my critical thinking and reasoning impressed him most.
    Thus, it is always a wise thing to do it yourself in the workplace. It doesn’t mean to stop asking your boss or co-workers or isolating from your team. Doing or deciding yourself helps you stand out from your peers and assert your leadership potential.

  • I believe that if you do more you shall get more, when it comes to working a job there are always going to be things that are unliked. If life is not fair i really dont think there is a job out there that is fair. I work at panera for 2 year and was always scheduled to do dining room ( washing dishes) for 3 months stright i was doing dishes, and was told that i was told that iwas very good at it. The manegers had no idea that i had taught my self how to cahier, make sandwhiches and do prep in the morning.
    One morning i was scheduled to come in at 8 in the morning and i came in at 6 in the morning. te maneger was running around try to find some how do prep for that morning because the young lady that was supposed to do prep did not show up. So i offered to do prep ( prepare food for the rest of the day) , not knowing that i had already taught my slef they look sirprised and let me do it.. 1 month after that i was given a raise and became an assoicate trianer as well being certified in everything. Sometimes you have to take control of what you want, i wanted to learn other things in the cafe so i took control and taught myself!

  • This post reminds me of my Interviewing course that I took over just this past summer. Basically Professor Norris told us that if we do not take anything away from her course we should take this: “Employers want to know two things: Are you smart enough to do the job & are you pleasant enough to work with…” Basically, that is what entry level (and many other levels) all boil down to.

    Sure there are many other very important pieces of pertinent info that you must know or super stellar talents that you must possess, but the bottom line rests on those two facts. Something else that she told us that really came to mind when I read this post was a tid-bit of advice that her younger brother gave to her, “Someone MUST do this job… or else, if otherwise, the company would not be asking… So why not let it be you…” With those two facts, my mind was put at ease when I thought about life after college.

    I now know that having the “credentials” of a degree, references, etc, is not all that it takes. You must be an individual of substance; a person of character. I am someone who will protect the brand of the company; ultimately supporting what once was one persons dream. I aspire to have entry level employees who will choose to do the same for me as I do for my employers.

  • I haven’t started working yet, but that’s only because my parents have instilled in me the importance of doing well in school. They told me that I put in the requisite hours of work in the classroom and doing homework, and I will get paid accordingly in grades. The better I do, the more pay I will get.

    Now that I think about it, my teachers have been my bosses, and they act according to what Eric wrote.

    However, eventually I know that nothing substitutes for work experience and I have to be ready to work as hard as I can and learn as much as I can so I can get as much as I can out of what I will be doing for a living.

    I really enjoyed the article, and took a lot of what Eric said to heart.

  • It is a shame when the boss does not take the time to teach the new people who would have great potential to learn and to grow. It is no wonder why there is such a big turnaround when it comes to “fast food places.” I guess that the bosses can get anyone to do the job with very little effort being spent on the new employees. One thing I have learned is that if you want something bad enough you can achieve it. I always say, “The person who believes he/she can, and the person who believes that they can’t, well you are both right!

  • I have had a job, pretty much since I was 15 years old. Yes, working can be difficult, and it takes a long time to get into the “swing,” or the “feel” of a new company or family owned business; however having work experience in my opinion has been crucial to my success in the real world. I can honestly say it would be extremely difficult to isolate just one instance or lesson I have taken away from my jobs that I would stress as being vital to any future career in my desired field. If I had not had to work when I was younger, I feel that I would not be able to do basic functions that any boss would expect and employee to be able to perform; I would not work quite as well with other people, even sports teams do not provide the same level of experience in working together as a job does, where you must rely on others in order to be compensated for your work appropriately; and how to please a boss.

    Faxing papers, returning emails and messages in a timely manner, answering a company phone, transferring and holding said phone, taking messages for a boss, and covering for your peers are not basic functions that come naturally to people. I found that working at a restaurant, a big corporate company, as a nanny, and at a doctors office all teach you these skills, but in different ways. You also have to learn to be liable for yourself, and no when to take the blame when you mess up. This is where working and gaining experience is so important, especially when combined with a college education. College gives the you the knowledge you need to succeed in life, while as experience in the real world, particularly entry level jobs, gives you an edge on only college educated kids. You learn all the above skills, are are more desirable than someone who has never had to be on the bottom and work their way up a company.

    Coworkers are funny in a way that you need them to succeed in the company, but they can also drag you down. In reference to my sports team comparison above, you are only as strong as the weakest player; however in a professional setting, I do not find that statement to be accurate. In an office setting, you have to work together, and you teach the other people. Athletic skill is typically a natural ability to succeed in your sport, and if your natural ability is low, then you can at least fall back on conditioning; however the star on the team is always obvious. In a job setting, star players do exist, but they are relied on more so if one “teammate” failing; I have learned more about my jobs from veteran coworkers than I ever have from my bosses, and that is just the way that it works in a professional setting. Your boss does not have time to sit and teach you every minute detail. They are your boss for a reason. They superseded the entry level positions, and although it may not seem that they do much around the store, they have larger responsibilities than the other employees, and a higher stress position. Working together requires that you find others on your level that can teach you the ropes, and also you will eventually be that veteran employee. Eventually you will need to teach the new hire everything that you the employee you befriended months or years ago taught you. Being a follower, a leader, and a part of a team is an essential thing that college alone does not teach you. Learning to be marketable alone or in a team is a vital part of being an attractive higher. Along with a college degree that is.

    The last thing I find to be vastly important in success at a job is knowing how to treat your boss. If you do not know how to behave around a boss, then it is very important that you learn quickly. Your boss is your largest help in the company (alongside the other people on your level) and he or she is there to make sure you succeed, however they will not hold your hand the entire time. Restated, even if it looks like they do not do much, I can guarantee that they work harder and have more stress than any other employee you see (except maybe their boss). Learning to adopt a “help me help you” quality is necessary. Knowing when to ask versus when to just take initiative is important. It shows that you are self sufficient but also know how to help them perform and make the company/business as successful as possible. Showing that you care without smothering them is so important on working your way up.

  • I have had many jobs in my career and diferent types of bosses and they all basically want you to do your job and do it well. Admit when you screw up and take responsibility for the mistakes, learn from them and do not do it again. I have learned to predict my bosses and stay ahead of them so when they ask for something I have it ready for them.

  • i always believe ” you give respect to get one”. yes-he is the boss but i feel like showing people respected will not only give you the respect that you need but they will enjoy doing things for you regardless of it difficulty or challenge.

  • I have seen these examples many times and I barely have entered the workforce. With the internships I have had, I have seen different students that have gone to well-known and prestigious universities and they have a hard time with the work. They cannot answer phones, return emails, and talk with customers or consumers. They might look the best for the job on paper but when it comes time to get the work done, they fail at their jobs. It is the colleges that prepare their students with internships and real-world experience that succeed in the work place. Today, these students are becoming hired more often than the others. The world today is more efficient and so the people that are working must meet these demands. This is why I chose a liberal college that let me study abroad and make it mandatory to do internships in my field. I know that when it comes time for graduation, I will have the skills I need to succeed in the work place.

  • College is suppose to be a place where people learn new skills. Skills that will help them contribute to society and make a name for themselves. But the reality is, most college student spend their four year drinking and socializing. It has become a word triggering reminiscing amongst friends about the nights they can barley remember and mistakes they can now laugh about. The truth is, most people graduate college with no actual knowledge of the degree they graduated with. All they have is pocket full of loans and a twin bed in their parents basements.

    During my college years, the most information I have absorbed is by spending my summers in the hospital as an intern. There I learn my skill of being a nurse. I get to experience the real life of a nursing, rather than what my textbook says it is like. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned a brain full of information from my 10 pound textbooks, but the amount I pay for that textbook plus the teach to go a long with it, doesn’t seem to be worth the money. The hospitals don’t hire 4.0 students that can recite every bone in the body in under 60 seconds. Hospitals want nurses with experience in the field, but in order to have experience you must have a degree. It is a never ending cycle.

  • One of my first long-term jobs was in the photo lab of a local Walgreens. It was a position with a lot of responsibilities all over the store.

    I had to help unload and unpack truck shipments of stock each week, keep roducts on shelves stocked and tidy, ensure all items were in their correct locations, proactively assist customers with their shopping, all while maintaining a presence in the photo lab and ensuring customer orders were processed printed and packaged by the promised time.

    The ideal of “working smart” was a gigantic help to me. Organized time management, keeping mental track of my daily task lists, and setting realistic expectations with customers regarding photo processing, while maintaining a positive helpful attitude, did a lot for me in my time with Walgreens, and I feel will continue to be a positive factor for me as I now pursue higher education and my masters degree.

  • This really helped me realize that life isnt easy and always has obstacles to overcome. Just because you have a college degree doesnt mean success at a future job, you have to be driven and committed to it. Because of this, i view my job differently and am going to make sure to be the best employee that i can be. It motivates me to work hard to earn my degree and to never give up when times get tough.

  • I am able to say that I have only had one real job other than helping with my aunt when I was younger. Although I haven’t had a lot of experience I absolutely love what I do. I work as an aide to teachers inside classrooms. I always refer to them and assist in whatever they need help with. Working with kids is what helped me decide that I wanted to earn my degree in Education.

  • I think this article answers a lot of questions that people are confused about. In high school I always thought if I didn’t get into a great college I would be doomed once it was time to find a job, but this article has proved to me that it’s not only about the name of the school you went to, it’s more about your work ethic and your determination to succeed. If you are great at what you do that will be more impressive to employers than any college degree.

  • I completely agree with the tips stated above. When I first started working at my university’s admissions office, I was at the bottom of the bottom. I was sent to the basement to open mail, for minimum wage, each day until the last day of class that year. However, I was always positive, proved I was quick to learn, and asked questions and took initiative to take care of tasks I already knew how to do. Before I knew it, I was promoted to a serious position working in graduate admissions, dealing directly with the public as well as making major decisions for applicant’s futures. My hard work and determination to be stellar at my job DEFINITELY paid off-even in a job I thought I would always hate!

  • I liked the very first section. “It’s hard to suck at your job.” That is so true and I like that its says not to worry about branding yourself. I totally agree that being your self will get you where your meant to be.

  • Five out of the the seven jobs I have had in my life all began with being thrown into the fire. It all starts off so confusing. You learn not by someone training you but by watching others and observing what is right and wrong. With reading this article it brought light to the concept that I had been preforming every time I got a job. Some one that can work smart can learn on the fly, learn quickly and be professional at all times. It is common knowledge and respect of people.

    My favorite part of this article is the paragraph about Harvard or Yale. You could be the smartest person in the world when it comes to books and writing papers. But, just as the article says, “they don’t teach you how to work smart.” You need that extra knowledge of organization and what your boss wants. You need to have the want to succeed in your position or else you just another individual that hates their job and everything that comes with it. There are ways to succeed on the job force, but to do that you jut got to be smart about it.

    I’ve learned that just because I won’t be graduating from an upper level college like Yale doesn’t mean they would get the job over me. I know that as long as I look better on paper in my application, the college I graduated from is not going to be a deciding factor. I am going to be smart not just on the job but in my job search. I’m a determined individual that will do everything in my power to get that job and be smart when pursuing it.

  • Having been in a work for since the age of 16 I now have
    made the decision to go back and obtain my degree. The experience versus education
    scenario is sort of a double edged sword. A degree obtain from a strong school
    will prepare you not to have an answer for each problem that arises but the
    knowledge on how to lead and tack the problem with success. On the other hand,
    the more experience you gain the more second hand nature this will become.

    In the jobseeker market the catch-22 can present itself
    where you want a position but either do not have the degree for it or the
    experience. The biggest struggle I have noticed is that college grads get dinged
    for not having enough work experience and working professionals get dinged on
    further advancements for not having a degree. There is a fine line between the
    two.

  • I have worked at a place where a less experienced less educated worker had a better work ethic and was better recognized, proving that education isn’t everything.

  • The last point was something that I really learned after my first semester of college. When I was in the application process I was aiming more to get into the school that would have the most value. I like to say now that my “academic ego” clouded my judgement of schools. I ended up going to a small school that no one has heard of and going in I thought it would be horrible. After the first week of talking to so many people and learning about how prestigious the school’s programs really was I know I made the right decision. Now when people ask me what school I attend I say it proud.

  • I have been
    working ever since I could legally at the age of 14 with a permit in WA State.
    I have held many jobs since then from customer service to restaurant jobs. I am
    almost 27 now and I have learned that being able to become successful at a job
    you need to have more well-rounded people skills as well as skills that pertain
    to your job description. For me being bilingual was always an advantage I had
    above others but I want more that to be bilingual. I want to be able to aid
    others in any way I can to help them become successful. Having a degree in a
    certain field doesn’t guarantee you a position in that field. Now a day’s
    people seek experience and look for volunteer work in resumes. A resumes format
    shows a lot about the person behind the paper. If you don’t know how to make a
    resume or a cover letter I would advise you to learn to do so before you seek
    or apply for jobs. Appearance is also a big plus when it comes to working. No
    matter what anyone says we all judge others by a first impression on looks and professionalism.
    By the way you dress you are being watched, people tend to take you more
    serious if you are dressed in professional attire.

    No matter what job you have or wish to pursue you
    need to be well rounded with skills that will help your boss benefit from your
    work or your presence. Also communication and the way you communicate with your
    co-workers can make a big difference too. Being able to talk and communicate without
    emotions is hard but doable. I am a
    working on my AA-Transfer Degree and I am working on my second year academically
    at my local community college. From holding work-study positions I have learned
    that not everyone around you have the common sense as other have naturally. It
    was difficult for me to work with people who did not understand how to do their
    own job description.

    People need to be well prepared to do a job
    well but where ever you go you will run into people who you do not like or
    agree with. I have learned that listening to others and being open minded with
    others opinions has taught me to work better with others. Being respectful to
    others and the simple rule of treating others how you want to be treated definitely
    works! I have run into my share of problems and I believe I have learned to
    overcome problems by the way I communicate with others. Communication to me is
    very important to understand anything. From teachers to coworkers I have also
    learned to read peoples body behavior and facial expressions to detect their feelings
    or their personality. A simple smile and hi can change people’s moods. So it
    also pays off to be friendly and kind at the same time.

    One thing I defiantly learned quickly is if you
    don’t love what you do you will never be happy doing what you do. Some people
    take a job for pay or for a status in society which is okay but I would rather
    have a job where I love to show up to work every day and wake up in the morning
    knowing I can make a difference in someone’s life. A career to me is very much
    different than a day to day job. I do not want to live from pay check to pay
    check. I want to enjoy my job and know that my degree has helped me get paid
    well. With hard work and determination I believe anyone can do anything they
    put their mind to. Success is earned and hard work does pay off.

    Asking questions never hurts either! I would
    rather ask a question to make sure I am doing my job correctly and done the
    right way the first time then to mess up and be looked down to. Not just a job
    but life itself is hard and never easy but the way we choose to pursue our life
    shows others what we are made of. Some advice I give to others is believe in
    yourself and you can be anyone you want to be. Listen to your gut feeling and
    never give up or quit! Someone once told me we all have dream catchers and dream
    crushers. Some people might tell you, you can’t do something but ignore them.
    Only you can give yourself a bright future with hard work and patience because
    nothing is easy in life, well at least for me! I hope everyone the best in their
    direction in life and I hope we all can learn from this article and the
    comments that other have posted.

  • Although I haven’t had an actual job yet, I can observe the usefulness of this article. I know if this article is used effectively, a person can have unlimited success on a job. I am looking for a job this semester at my university, and if I am hired I will use these tips. These tips will help me now, and in the future with other jobs and my career.
    It’s greatly appreciated when tips like these are shared via internet to everyone. Many people know ways to succeed, but they do not want to share the wealth with others. I’m grateful to those who will lend a helping hand. No sense in holding knowledge and wisdom to yourself because then how will people know you’re knowledgeable and wise? The knowledge and wisdom a person leaves behind is apart of their legacy to the world. This article will provide a great legacy for this author because these tips will be used for years to come, and they will bring success to many people.

  • When I started my first job, I felt like a fish out of water. I was of course worried about doing a good job. I wanted to make an impression and I most certainly wanted to make it past the dreaded ninety-day period. The fact that I was a foreigner also compounded the adjustment. I was worried about violating cultural norms, performing my job differently than do Americans, and just not fitting in at my workplace. With good advise and and encouragement from my co-workers and supervisor, I successfully became a full-time employee. At the end of the day, one must be willing to put in hard work, to be flexible and to accommodate one’s employer and co-workers in the best interest of the company and the individuals who work there.

  • When I started my first job, I was really bad at it as well. But, with experience I became a smarter worker. I got better with communication and worked hard and my boss promoted me to a leadership position
    . In any new job, there will be an adjustment period but the key to success that I have learned is work hard learn as much as you can.In the long run, this puts any employee in the best position to move forward.
    Learning also means learning your environment and the employees around you. The best way to succeed in from my experiences is to know as much as you can and evaluate the best course of action.

  • I learned that you cannot slide by in the real world. If you want to be good at you job, you have to do it the best you can. My first job was working at a grocery store and I thought that I was doing well at it. However, all my coworkers were getting angry at me because the customers would not go to their check out lines. I should have them read this article!

  • The point this article makes that I can relate with the most is under “Ironically, your boss doesn’t want to take the time to teach you.” I worked at Panera Bread for 3 and a half years. In the time that I was there, there wasn’t a single time one of my managers asked me if I wanted to learn a new position in the store. As soon as I was certified and mastered one field, I pushed myself into learning another. By the time I ended my career at Panera Bread, I was an Associate Trainer and certified in almost all possible modules including cashier, bakery, salads, sandwiches, consolidation, dish, and dining room. I feel very strongly that people won’t get very far if they don’t push themselves in whatever work environment you’re in. Don’t wait for someone to offer you an opportunity when you can make one for yourself!

  • Working at my past job over the summer i realized that if i wanted to keep this job I had to think ahead of my boss and do things before she asked. I was first hired as a hostess but after some time realized that i was expected to be way more than just a hostess. She had me doing jobs from being a waiter to cleaning the bathroom to To-Go orders. I had to pick up fast and learn all the jobs that our establishment offered to stay on top

  • As much as it sucks and thinking that this article doesn’t have “true facts”, it does. When you begin working it is crucial sometimes to establish a good relationship with the people around you, especially your boss. But when time goes by things will get better and you will learn to work in your given environment. Reading these tips made me laugh a bit but were also helpful in understanding how to give a “boost” to better improve your new job.

  • According to the information presented in this message one must understand that simply gaining knowledge of a subject does not necessarily afford him or her the skills required to complete an action. The first time I returned to school I discovered very quickly that what I was learning in class would only partially apply to the job I would seek out in the workforce. An insurance medical and billing specialist cannot possibly learn every system any company could use to submit claims, and considering the rules for every insurance company changes at least once a year, textbooks and instructors could not possibly stay abreast without enough funding to do so. Therein it is always important to remember to work with others, ask questions, and remember that ideas are always important to consider. Working with others requires the right amount of understanding and a willingness to listen. Certainly obtain every piece of information but remain open to new practices to complete actions required for success.

  • This guide explained the importance of honesty, but also people relations. This is great advice because I have learned throughout my co-op experiences that different supervisors will have different expectations. It takes time and effort to learn your supervisors expectations and build a relationship with them. I really felt that is article made it clear that exceeding in one’s career is not all about perfection, but trying your best to fulfill the given assignments you were assigned in a fashion that is acceptable.

  • The main theme I obtained from this was that simply getting a job and working for a certain company or corporation doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be good at that job. You have to work smart and know what your boss wants in order for you to accomplish the job perfectly. Not only that, but you must be honest and sincere with all that you do.

  • After reading this article, I became much more aware of what it will take to succeed in the work force after I receive my college degree. I go to a school that is not considered one of the most prestigious in the country, but now I know I have the same ability to succeed as graduates from those schools.

    Working smart has been a theme in my life without even realizing it. As a high school student, my first job was of course in the food industry. I worked at Chick-fil-A as a team member in the kitchen. Working there taught me a lot about what it takes to succeed, stand out, and work efficiently. The food industry is extremely fast paced, and if you don’t learn fast, you may find yourself short of a job. It taught me that it’s not about your g.p.a. or what you come to the job with, it’s about what tools you use and how you use them.

  • To get what you want most out of your life, career, and education all depends on the time and effort you put into completing your goals, and achievements. If you want to make it somewhere in this world, it is crucial that you work hard and never give up or let obstacles get in your way of reaching your goals or dreams. Life can take you far, as long as we are willing to work for it. Nothing in life worth having comes easy or is just handed to us. You should always take into consideration your strengths and faults and work towards better improving yourself so that you can have a brilliant and successful future.

  • I think that the meaning of this article is that there are many other factors besides having a degree that determine your success in a career and in life. You could hold a reputable degree but have no job experience, or communication skills, or personality. All of these things go into determining your success on the job and even in the interviewing process. Keep in mind being a well rounded person and although education is very important, especially in today’s economy, it is by far not the only factor taken into consideration and not the only thing needed to succeed.

  • I want to say thanks to Ancient benin shrine for everything so far. To everyone who doesn’t believe in spell, I was one of those ones at first. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do this since I’ve tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read through the testimonials of other people at this website and after I talked to Dr Ancient who answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my guy back. So my story is that I was at my office when the guy I am in love with told me that he wasn’t in love with me and never will be and that he didn’t want to speak or see me again, especially since he was talking to this other girl. When I talked to Dr Ancient, he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the ones that was to get him back to me and stay with me and want to marry me. As soon as he started on the spells, my guy came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful for that. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what Dr .Ancient the spell is done. I’m still waiting for the spells to completely manifest, but with all that has happened so far I’m very happy because given only nine months ago in September, if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! Jackson . To contact him : ancientbeninshrine@gmail.com

  • I find that I’m often amazed by people who earn degrees and get great jobs, but seem to have no idea how to succeed afterwards. This article is useful because it points out behavior that many may not realize they exhibit.

    Communication is invaluable, and I feel that the best thing you can do to establish rapport with your boss in the early days of a new job is to ask questions! It’s so much better to admit that you are still learning than to let time pass and continue to be ignorant to details related to your job.

    As the author points out, keeping detailed records generally makes everyone’s life easier all around, and can be a life saver at times. I have never regretted saving too much information!

  • Team management is extremely important. I go to college online and we do learning teams, it teachs us to work with others on team assignments and making deadlines. Sometimes co team members do their parts other times they are lacking, this apply the same way in work places as well. Like the article says, it easy to suck at your job. However, knowing what the boss would want will allow us to be a better leader. Making sure we know what the boss and company expects will allow someone to be able to grow with the company. Having experience and gaining experience is important as well.

  • This article reminds me once again of why I want to become a teacher. I could just earn my college degree and just do it. However, I feel that I need to be the right kind of teacher to pursue this degree. I have to be happy, willing, and have the right communication and want for the children I will teach. I don’t just want to be any teacher, I want to be the best teacher I can be.

  • Its not about where you come from or what kind of degree you have its all about how you grow from those things and apply them. What I gathered from this article was that you have to “work smart” which isn’t being a student who graduated college with a 4.0, but a student who may not have received a 4.0 but just may not have been strong in mathematics but did all they could like went to see their professors after class.

    While doing work its not about completing 10 steps to solve a solution, but if there is a way to combine those 10 steps into 5 steps that is the smarter choice. Its not also about a person getting a job done but can also be about how they got it done. At my recent job my boss gave me and my coworker an assignment to put all the new merchandise out on display. My co worker decided to take each box and put it away one at a time. While I decided to take each box sit them down in the aisle and then come back to them so that I didn’t have to search for where each item went every time, I just decided to do it first. I worked smart, not hard

  • This Career Guide is a wonderful lesson. The importance of “working smart” should not be overlooked. When I accepted my first job after high school, I was very intimidated by my supervisor so rarely asked if I was doing my job as an administrative assistant well. As the article
    states, bosses simply want their employees to be honest and sincere. After a few months I wanted to show my workplace who I truly was – not a lethargic or insincere worker. So I began to ask more and more questions and offered to take on additional tasks that I was truly interested in. It paid off and I made great friendships during my time there.

  • This article has a lot of great information to finding and keeping a job that you love. I find it very useful because even though I am only a sophomore in college, I will be graduating before I know it and I will be on my own looking for a job. It shows that even if I have a degree from a college, that does not mean I am guaranteed a job. I have to work for my job, just like I am working for my degree. The article comes into play with my family because my mother is currently trying to make her new job last and move up into the company. She always tells me that hard work pays off and I get to see it first hand as she is moving up in her company very quickly.

  • This is very true. The job market is not at all what it was like twenty years ago. Having a college degree does not mean much because everyone else applying for your job has the same degree. One must make themselves stand out by having determination, great work ethic, and a willingness to do whatever is asked.

  • Great article and I really love the honesty. You really made the little people feel like someone understands us. Most people love to be the top boss in the company by my perspective is a little different. I rather work with a innovative, problems solving, communicating team. I believe that if we have different perspectives included towards the ending product, businesses will be successful. I have noticed with my job they take customer, employee, and polices into effect and try to make everyone happy. I agree with this strategy because and love being apart of my work team for the many reasons above and it create a chance for promotion, or increased incentives.

  • The article focuses on the importance
    of morals and values. They can build a strong relationship between
    the employer and employee so that the business can be prosperous. An
    employee who has a good-standing morale is trusted by the employer
    and most of the times the employee is rewarded in many ways such as,
    a wage raise or a higher position. Morals and values are admired by
    the employer because they ensure the success of the business. Ethics
    are not the only factors ruling an exemplar employee because skills
    are becoming more crucial with the development of technology.

    In our current society, employees who
    have fresh skills are more likely to survive or remain in the
    business world. With technology advancing every day, an employee must
    learn many modern things such as, sending an e-mail, using the
    internet, etc. Employers look for employees who can put in practice
    new skills. Skills as well as heart are necessary to work
    effectively.

    If an employee works with the heart,
    not only for money, an employee is more likely to succeed in the
    workplace. From my past experiences, I have seen many people who work
    only for money. These types of employees are less likely to remain in
    a job. The employer takes into account the enthusiasm an employee
    puts into the job, the key to remain in as a trusted worker. The job
    quality these employees demonstrate is perceived not only by the
    employer but also by the customers. Heart in the job will bring
    profitability to the business because customers appreciate these
    little things. The business will profit along with the employee.

    To sum up, morals and values are
    essential factors that an employee must have in order for the
    business to be successful. In addition, human capital or knowledge on
    modern things are becoming more crucial to survive in this developing
    society. Lastly, heart in the job also benefit the person and
    business. These help establish the strong relationship between the
    employee and employer and at the same time, make a business
    prosperous.

    I would recommend this article to
    other students who also work because they will learn how to be better
    workers. Also, they will know how to build a strong relationship with
    the employer.

  • This lesson has really established a basis of what I need to acquire before I enter the real world work force. The idea of “working smart” can be applied to every aspect of our daily lives as if it was the ability of “common sense”! Anyone can achieve great things in their lifetime; you just have to be efficient, smart, prepared, etc. You can still make an impact at your job without being a push-over. Don’t be afraid to break the rules, state your opposing opinion, or even make mistakes; they will all make you a better person and employee (and eventually maybe boss) in the future!

  • Sometimes you have to swollow your pride and admit you don’t know everything . Its ok to get help so you understand and can become a better worker and do what it takes to give it 100% and get the job done. Having a degree is useless if you don’t apply what you learnt to everyday life and situations . It also shows life isn’t fair what we expect sometimes doesn’t happen that way and may seem unfair but its up to you to make the best out of whatever is thrown you way instead of doing the easiest thing giving up

  • The moral of this article is that RELATIONSHIPS are IMPORTANT. Having good communication techniques and good conflict management skills is key in the workplace. From experience, being a good communicator can get you many perks and will help you broaden your network in the long run. Good relationships will get you extremely far in life, whatever you may be doing in the workforce. Very happy I read this.

  • I can say I have a main professional goal, and
    that all I have done and all I am doing today is oriented toward achieving that
    goal. Before stating it is necessary for me to explain that as a Colombian I
    believe music in particular and the arts in general can contribute to solving my
    country’s internal conflicts because the more knowledge about ourselves we can
    obtain, the more conscious we can be about others and this means tolerance.

    I believe as well, the arts can bring the Colombian people the opportunity to
    think about themselves, to recognize their lives and history as a community and
    to be aware of other ways to think about and to understand differences. Also,
    arts can provide a long term goal and a life project irrespective of financial
    circumstances for young Colombians.

    Those are the main reasons that I have chosen
    this specific path in arts administration and my main professional goal: to own
    and manage an organization dedicated to promoting Colombian arts both at the
    national and international levels. That organization has been already started
    with “Ruta Libertadora,” a non-profit organization I have founded.

    It is clear to me as a musician and as a teacher that it is not enough to have an artistic background or research experience in order to work in the arts administration field. There are lots of aspects to consider when working as a project leader or as a company manager;
    financial, administrative, management and legal skills related to procedures
    are required to manage artistic projects. All those aspects are part of the
    proficiency I want to acquire during my graduate studies because they are
    essential to achieve my future goals.

    On the other hand, thanks to Just Jobs I
    have realized that I need to be effective, and to align what I do with who I
    am, it is simple but I am sure that those advices will make the difference.

  • To be selected as a top employee at any job or career, you must always be a team player. No workload is too much, and never judge your fellow employees. Do the best you can do, be respectful and courteous and you shall, in return, receive the same from your co-workers.

  • I have learnt a lot from ethics and engineering management. The learning curve continues in both professional and personal life. Grades do matter for job seekers but to me its the morality, learning about your professional obligations and serving the purpose of code of ethics is true service to your objectives in life.

  • I love this: People are in charge of their own lives, don’t blame others or God, and take responsibility for making good choices, having a good attitude and for good behavior!!! Words to live by!! You cannot blame others for choices you make in life regardless!!! I have met many individuals in my lifetime who do not accept responsibility for his or her choices, and think the easy way out is to blame others. You need to have a good attitude, communicate, and always be honest!!!

  • I wish I had stumbled upon this earlier on in my college career. Let me paint a scene for you: as a sophomore, I’m wide-eyed and heading to my first engineering career fair. I’m dressed like I belong in a bond movie, I have everything shined from my head to my toes. Carrying a brand new portfolio with brand new resumes still hot from the printer, sporting a fancy new tie clip even! I walk into the career fair with the confidence of a lion stalking it’s prey. All the companies had been researched the week leading up to the fair, I knew exactly which ones were there that I wanted to speak with. I even jotted down talking points about them so that the conversation wouldn’t run dry. I walk straight up to Rolls Royce, shake the representative’s hand, and hand them a copy of my resume. Then…I forget every piece of information I ever knew about the company.

    I completely blanked, and I was kicking myself for not thinking of going to a company that I didn’t care about first, that way I didn’t look like an idiot in front of the company that I did want to impress. After the handshake, there was a really awkward silence before he finally broke it by asking me a question that I’d answered a million times in my head, “So why are you interested in Rolls Royce?”. I’d rehearsed it a million times, “Well, I’ve been following your company recently and have been more interested in the alternative energy aspect that you guys have been pursuing and investing more into. I think that it would be really interesting as well as an educational experience to work with some top engineers in that field.” But in reality I said something along the lines of, “Well, I know that you guys do much much more than make cars.”

    After the meeting ended (very shortly after my response to his question) I was just disheartened for the rest of the fair, and I just was not capable of performing as well as I hoped. It seemed I forgot everything and could only remember bits and pieces for the remaining companies there that I was interested in. But, if I could redo it all over again, I think I would reread “Show up ready for battle” before hand, there were some really interesting tips in there.

    I know for a fact I didn’t get my full 8 hours of sleep, I averaged about 6 per night the week leading up to it. I probably should have ate a more filling breakfast before the fair too, and my fear definitely paralyzed me. If I had gone through all of the scenarios (instead of just the ones where they threw job offers at me, and my hardest choice was picking one), then I might have been more prepared and looked less like a “Frosh”.

    But thank you for posting such excellent information, I’ve bookmarked it so that I may return next year before the career fair so that I can read up on a couple more tips, and maybe I’ll be able to put some to use if I get an internship then.

  • This article is a great and informational article. I think everyone should access this article and read it. It makes thing in the job place a little bit more understandable. Things are not always what they seem at the work place. A lot of things get over look when working and having a great degree, only thing left to be said is find a job that makes you happy to where you can be at your full potential in your field.

  • This is a very informative site. What I got form the information is you need to have a positive attitude and be effective at your job. There is a lot of competition out there, and how you present yourself will really affect your everyday performance. It is not just about show up, and putting in your hours anymore. There is a lot of competition and you need to stand out and be resourceful.

  • I take profuse notes at work in a consistent and concise manner. I have a notebook and everyday I write the date at the top of the page. I write the individual’s name of whom I will be speaking with and a list of items in black ink I need to go over with that individual. I leave a space between each item so that if I am given a task for that item I can write it in below (in blue ink). I put an empty check box next to my actions items. This way when I go back through my notebook empty check boxes really stand out. Also, when I review the info I know that black ink is what I wanted to discuss and the blue is what the other person said.

  • Having a College Degree does not guarantee success in the work place. You have to develop your personal skills as well as your professional skills in order to be successful in life

  • In today’s world I think too many young adults are power hungry and forget what it means to be a successful employee. In part, this also has to do with having an innate work ethic and understanding for what an employer wants. This article gave great insight into what a career means. To obtain a lifelong, successful career you have to earn the promotions. Being a good employee has everything to do with this.

  • I agree with everything that was said in the article. When I worked for directv My boss just wanted me to get the job done. At that point is was either sink or swim. All of the training that I received in the class room helped but it only taught the logic. A lot of the guys that did well in the class room ended up quiting after a few weeks because they didn’t understand how to work smart. The only reason why I was able to last a year with directv before moving on to bigger and better things was because I came up with a plan. I applied the information that I learned in the class room to the job and developed a few strategies that helped me get the job done faster and with less stress. Working smart is the key to success not only in the job market but in life. :*)

  • Reading this really gave me some insight on things I can do to get a great job in the future. Although having a college degree isn’t everything, it will definitely help in getting a better job. And just like the article says, you’re expected to do better than if you don’t have a degree. So it gives you a reason to push on and be the best, no matter which position you’re in.

  • The article has helpful information to assist a person with his or her career. If he or she has great communication skills and has a passion in what he or she is doing, the person will have a great career. Just know having a degree does not mean you have a career in that field if everything is not in order. Overall great information, thanks for sharing.

  • This article brought about many key points that I agree with and have realized as I entered the work field. I believe that with the rise in unemployment and the decrease in available jobs, individuals seeking employment must have the complete package. It is no longer just about the education an individual possesses. He or she must also have experience, the personality, and a can do attitude. It is important for the applicant to find a way to positively set themselves apart from other applicants in order to increase their chances of getting the desired job.

  • A college degree does not make a person. A person developes skills through motivation and action. With experience, people will naturally become stronger workers if they are motivated to do so. A degree will only enhance a persons knowledge of work ethics and classify them in a higher educational category then someone who does not have a degree. Ultimately, self motivation is what will heighten your abilities to apply your degree to your job and evolve into a better employee.

  • I remember the first job I ever had. I was a waitress in a resturant. I was horrible. I did not know how to put orders in correctly. I forgot about some of my customers. One day the General Manager came in to eat; I was assigned to his table. It was my third day. He asked me so what kind of deserts do you have? Which do you think I should order? I almost wet myself. I knew some of the deserts because I ate them all the time, but some of the desserts I did not eat or know anything about. So I told him about the different cookies and pies that were on the menu that I knew about. He said I need something that is low-fat. I did not have a clue about the low-fat desserts on the menu so I suggested a slice of cherry cheesecake. He looked at me as if I was crazy. He asked me how long have I been working. When he found out that I had only been there for three days he went off on me. He was telling me that before I got on the floor I should have known the menu backwards and foward with my eyes closed. I was so embarressed. The moral of the story is that before you begin to work, you should know as much as possible about the company and what they offer so that you will not have an incedent such as the one I experienced.

  • What I gathered from this essay is that no matter how smart you are or how many years you have gone to school, you must still have good people skills as well as communication skills in order to succeed at your job. Also, a person must be the right fit for the job or else they will always be miserable and will only be working for a paycheck instead of loving what they do for a living.

  • This artcile was informative and entertaining. I gathered that just because you have a college degree, while a positive attribute, does not always mean that you will suceed in the work world. I have learned that I need to make myself stand out in a positive way and have good communication and people skills. I really like that this article is straight forward and doesnt sugar coat what work outside of college will be like.

  • This is in line with a previous boss of mine. Her favorite saying was “work smart, not hard”. I took that to heart and made sure I prepared everything I needed before I needed it. I was teaching basic computer to employees at a medical facility. They did not want to use computers for medical records since that is “not the way it has always been done”.

    I prepared my powerpoint and my workbooks with as much information as I thought could possibly be needed. And it turned out that at some time or another, someone asked about every bit of that information. By working smarter and having it all ready ahead of time, it saved problems and time during the classes.
    I have always tried to use the same idea in everything since then.

  • I also enjoyed reading this article. I was a supervisor for several months, and I can remember having some of the same misconceptions about my employees. It took some tome for me to understand that the only difference between me and my team was a title. When I stepped down from management, it was very hard to work with individuals who were once my employees. But, it was even harder to work under an individual I once supervised.

    I was lucky to have good relationships with everyone I worked with, so I was eventually able to adjust to my new position, and enjoyed a job that was far less stressful. It is important to be fair and equal with everyone, because life can throw you for a loop and the situation can change drastically, quickly!

  • I have never worked for anything other than a small, family-owned business, and as such I have been nervous about searching for a job with a larger corporation. This article gave valuable information about smart ways to search for that job and how to go in with skills that will make me an asset to any company.

    These tools will be invaluable to me in the future. Simply earning my degree will not be enough: I need to work on the skills that employers look for in a potential employee.

  • I see this as learning on your career. Just because you have a degree or a fancy title does not mean you are better qualified. Lucky I have a boss who loves me. I never ask questions my work is always done neatly and on time. He did not need to teach me much because I read what was required and worked hard to master what I do everyday. When it is time for my promotion in my company I will take this advise and make it useful. The people that I have meet respect me and see me doing my best at all times. Hopefully that is going to become a hiring factor as well.

  • My first job was as an assistant at Essence of Beauty Salon in 2005. I was 15 years old and I was very excited about getting the job, but my boss was very judgmental and pushy. If your beliefs did not match hers you were always wrong. To make a long story short I quit. I could not take it, but as I have matured over the years I realized that I should have stayed focused on the prize. Just because your boss may be hard on you doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want you there. It could just be their way of molding you into a success. Every expierience you have is a learning one.

  • This article was intersting to read. it makes you think about a lot of things related to employment after graduation. It makes us realize that having the degree alone is not enough to prepare you for a job in the real world. It will also make you stop and realize that you need to listen to your coworkers when it comes down to doing the actual job. You may hav more education or what you consider a better education but they may know more about the job and be able to teach you new skills. Overall a great read

  • I had finally landed my first real corporate job. Life was great. I was freshly nineteen, no high school diploma replaced with a GED, no college degree, and no previous work experience somewhere professional. I was thinking I must have accidentally did God a favor. That, or did something wrong and it was some sick punishment.

    The company I began working for (who shall remain nameless) was, in fact, a “corporate”, only it was ran like a mom and pop shop. It ran like a very rusted and prehistoric machine. It wasn’t glamorous, professional, and organized as I always thought it would be in real life. I didn’t think I was that lucky, did I? You have to start somewhere, right?

    Reading over “The Complete Career Guide to Working Smart” is almost a bible that’s already instilled into my brain. Because I am a man of integrity, professionalism, and accountability; I quickly climbed through the ranks of career pathing the company had to offer. It was a cake walk compared to the lack of enthusiasm and passion that infested the place. Since I was my own individual, I always maintained a positive upbeat attitude and spoke, acted, and wrote professional; even though everyone around me didn’t. People actually noticed. Those people were my bosses. You know what they wanted me to do? Work harder.

    I quickly ran through the chains and skipped through three positions within six months. I finally landed a supervisor position.

    As a supervisor and knowing my staff from working with them in their rankings, I know exactly what type of workers they were. They did not need a supervisor to dictate and scare them into making them do things. They were an angry mob! One person can’t attack an angry mob. So you join their side and lead that angry mob! You lead that angry mob into doing exactly what you need them to do. Mission Accomplished. Bosses are amazed of what I did compared to the last supervisor (this also includes the creativity and innovation I brought to make the job more streamline to allow more tasks for myself) in little under a quarter and I get a kick-butt raise.

    This article is word-for-word what I followed the first time I entered a job. I would recommend this to EVERYONE because it is absolutely nothing but truth.

  • “Until you can match up what you do with who you are as a person, you’re unlikely to find happiness at work”.

    This quote hit home for me. I recently quit a perfectly decent job in which I was well-established, had received promotions, and which looked promising in terms of longevity…simply because I wasn’t happy.

    I went back to school, working as a nanny to make ends meet, and began leading art projects in the pediatric oncology ward of my local hospital. I’ve recently been accepted into a grad school program which will allow me to become a licensed Art Therapist.

    This path is more difficult, less certain — and for the time being, far less profitable. There are days I am exhausted, days when I’m terrified that I won’t succeed, won’t make ends meet. There are days when I’m humbled, days I’m heartbroken, and days of wild hope — but there’s never been a day when I question whether I’m on the right path.

  • This article is packed full of great tips. When I recieve a job offer I go in with the attitude this is my career where can I move up. I put pride in my work whether it was cleaning hotel rooms or running a successful property management company.When hired I ask what they expect from me. I then take there expectations and give 200% of my self to them I have recieved a promotion within months everywhere I have worked. I believe your career makes you who you are it isn’t your title its the effort you put in. If you can go home with pride in your work you are accomplished.I am going to school to better my knowledge and expand the fields I am able to work in. My dream is to be a successful honest and trust worthy accountant. I would like to open my own firm.

  • This guide was full of extremely helpful information for job efficiency. I have a fast food job, but it is nowhere near as intensive on communication as a typical office job. Most of the tips for communication with one’s boss I will use in my future jobs. The advice on working smarter and being a better person in the workplace I will use in my current job. By applying the advice described, will help the restaurant work better and with less errors and it will make the working environment much more pleasant. Overall, these tips seem like a great rulebook for excelling in the workplace.

  • This helps a lot. I always thought that if I graduated from a well known school like an Ivy League school that I would have a better chance of getting a job. I may not graduate from Princeton University but I have useful skills and the determination to better myself that can make me a better worker than students that did graduate from Princeton.

    Being able to work smart is extremely help in today’s working enviroment. This will definitely be
    something I will keep in mind and improve on when I’m establishing my career.

  • first job is the hardest especially that it is always different from university learning in some way. my first job was as a teacher and i thought that is all about agreeing with the principal but actually they were waiting for much more innovation and initiative and that’;s what i started doing by trying to apply what i learned. it is true that managers don’t teach everything but they have a reason they sometimes are trying to give a space for creativity and self discovery process and it partly happened to me and was beneficial in a way but took more time to learn everything.

  • As a student who wants to manage engineers, this was helpful. I never really thought that I would want to hire engineers that are better engineers than myself, but it entirely makes sense. It also helpful to have a guideline of rules to master then break. I love the light vocabulary for a serious subject. Thank you. This is great.

  • I had a job once with a horrible boss, but once I got to know them, it really changed how they acted to me. A boss is normal person too, they just have more demands and higher stress usually, but once you can relate to them- they ease up. I’ve learned communication, understanding, and patience are the true ways to ease a work place.

  • This guide is a great read, and I appreciate the fact that it feels personal in writing style and is applicable to me as a college student.

    I share many of the same experiences as the author of the article. An excellent example is when I worked in the graphic design lab of the school where I took classes. Students would come rushing in the night before a project was due to finalize and print their work. Without fail, before every project, the printers would fail from over-use and I would have a lab full of irritable designers.

    It wasn’t until I had worked there a few months that I finally learned to “work smart.” I started by reminding students early about projects, letting them know about lab issues in a group discussion, and even designing and placing signs around the lab to encourage students to complete their work early and give suggestions on how to problem solve in a tense moment.

    The result of my learning to work smart was a much more efficient design lab, with significantly less frustrations and headaches for the students.

  • I really enjoyed this article posting. It gives excellent help to working in the workplace. The articles really give some great ideas on how to survive and make yourself a better employee. Right now i am a sophomore in college so every summer i must head out to work Not being able to find an easy job I began installing office furniture through a company named douron. I am basically the low man on the job so if there is any errand that needs to be done on the job site i get selected for it. But I learned to just go about the job and do everything I am told so when I give the call back next summer she will hire me back. This article shows me that what I am doing is actually really benefiting me by being a better employee and that in the long run I will be successful.

  • A college degree will get you in the door; however you need to walk several steps ahead to set yourself apart. It’s a competitive market, and that Harvard degree isn’t worth anything if your unable to adapt. As I’ve learned, you need to be open minded, positive, adaptable and willing to work outside your job description. A college degree is important as having those signature qualities, and with the combination of both; your success should be solid.

  • Working smart does not necessarily
    mean working hard. If you use your time wisely, plan outa plan of action, and
    zero in on the goals, the work isn’t hard. When a company hires you they
    already have an idea of what they want and need you to do. The best thing to do
    after the hiring practice is over is schedule a quick 10-15 minute meeting with
    your boss and who ever is over you and ask for simple objectives that will
    please them. After a month or two in, schedule another quick meeting and ask
    for constructive criticism. It will show them that you are serious about your
    job and are eager to evolve in your work place. Work smarter, not harder. Once
    you do all these your job will definitely feel more pleasant and not feel like
    a job!

    When I was hired to be the
    secretary to the Dean of Education at my school I made it a priority to develop
    a work relationship with the Dean as well as the professors and check all of
    these off my agenda. I sat down with everyone and they gave me specific goals
    on what the expected. So when I may have messed up a little or not performed
    adequately as they wanted, because I expressed eagerness to progress within my
    position disapproval or blame was to a minimum and it was more conversational
    pieces on how I can do better.

    Many people rely on their degree to
    speak for them but in this day in age if you do not know how to work efficiently
    your degree doesn’t mean crap! Employers rather have an employee who knows what
    they are doing than someone with a fancy degree.

    Ultimately you have to always be on
    your P’s and Q’s and be a gladiator in a suit. Do you job, do it well, do it
    right.

  • What I take away from this article is that a person can be the smartest person alive and have the best degree, but without good work skills, it means nothings. All the time during my college courses, I was told to be successful in landing a job, it matters how good you are It also matters how you communicate and document, your works skills, otherwise it is less likely to get a job. For an example, at my current job, me and my boss never really hit if off. So I figured I was doing something wrong and confronted him about it. He stated that I was not on the same page as him and his employees. So I asked what can I do to be on the same page? He wrote down what guidelines I should follow. From then on out it has been great. I think you just have to know what your boss wants from you.

  • I used to suck at my job also. My boss thought that I was a lost cause and never spent the time to teach me how to do my job. So I outsourced to other things and people to learn how to do my job better. I have now been at my job for 6 years and I am the next in line for the GM position. My boss and I now get along great!

  • The struggle we must all face is unavoidable. You can take two things from the struggle, either failure or gain knowledge to improve next time. With any job you will make mistakes, but how we choose to overcome them is the important part.
    My first full time job was at a car wash. It was hard and exhausting work, but I gave it my full effort everyday. Most of the other people did not care and with little guidance I had to teach myself; how to interact with costumer, how to up-sell washes, and what all we had to offer so I could explain to the costumers. It was a bit of homework, but after the long day of sales or detailing cars I came home satisfied. You have to work hard when you want to achieve something.
    When you work hard, you do get recognition. After working at the car wash for only a month I was promoted to shift manager. They recognized my responsibility, work ethic, and dedication to the work place. Life sometimes can be discouraging, but you have to keep pushing forward working harder than others to prove your worth it.

  • I can relate wholeheartedly to the experience of a supervisor who takes issue with your work but then is not willing to teach you how to improve. In fact, while writing my senior thesis for my major, I was continuously frustrated by my instructor’s perpetual negative criticism of my work, followed by her claim that it was simply ‘an issue with my writing style’. This left me perplexed, as her complaints about my research would fluctuate between an issue of writing style and an issue of thesis topic. Oftentimes, I would ask her what I could do to improve my writing style and she would wave me off with orders to visit the Writing Center (usually only for ESL students) or an automatic failure, for simply ‘not taking her course seriously’.

    Needless to say, sending me off to another resource for help left me even more confused, as the writing tutors with whom I met could not see exactly what my professor was taking issue with. This was the problem exactly-she could never seem to provide a direct response as to what she was looking for. In cases like this, as frustrated as one may become, I have learned that usually investing enough time and effort eventually pays off. At least in my situation, I earned a passing grade rather than a fail. I have heard that such occurrences continue into the workplace, where the form of authority goes from professor to supervisor. Sometimes such treatment will stem from a boss’s unexplained disapproval of you as a person-in which case the employee or student must learn to press on and not take this attitude personally. By and large, we have to realize that some people choose to use their position of power to make arbitrary decisions. Still, despite the glaring injustice of such instances, persistence and relentless dedication frequently pay off.

  • This is very helpful. I am currently a freshman in college but I know that this will help me whenever I decide to get a job. I had a job a few years ago. I was 16 years old and I did everything I thought I should. I never got in trouble but if I had questions I thought I was disturbing the other workers or my boss, even though they said they’d be more than glad to help me. I continued that summer doing what my boss had told me and by the time it was over, they said that they’d miss my help.

  • I agree with the first cartoon it’s easy to succeed when everyone likes you because in today’s workplace it seems that the brown nosers are commended no matter how bad they are at their jobs.

  • This article gave me important insight into what it takes to succeed in the workplace. I have a job in fast food, so this article will help me there and in the future years. Just attaining my degree does not make me a good worker; therefore using the tips in this article and in the linked article will help me work better in my current job and with practice, in the years after graduation.

  • After reading this guide I have acquired
    some new information and was reminded of information I have already learned.
    The tips given in this reading are important to me, being that I am studying business,
    and may just work for a company in the near future. My professor mentioned many
    of the things in this guide to my “Introduction to Business” course. I realize
    that there is a lot of competition when it comes to seeking a career and that I
    am not the only one who will have a degree in the next three years. I
    understand that I need to be different and stand out from others; I need to
    bring something to new to the table in my career. This guide has made me
    realize that I need to already have mastered every skill and task needed in my
    career so I can be great at what I do. After reading this information, I will never
    forget the fact that I not only need to work HARD, but I need to work SMART.

  • Life lessons are learned through experience and paying attention. Assert yourself to what needs to be done and strive for it. Jobseekers are not concerned on your GPA or your grades. They are concerned on how you will achieve the goals they set out for you and follow the rules. Competition is huge now and the workforce is a growing company. Being educated will always further your career.

  • This relates to an experience of mine because at work I’m like a robot. I work as a cashier, so all I do is greet customers, smile, and check out their items. I also don’t really talk with my bosses and therefore never get on a personal level with them. I realize that I don’t enjoy going to work because of the lack of relationship between me and my coworkers. The lesson is that I should develop a good relationship with my boss so I could use them as future references.

  • Interesting article. When determining your destiny in life the only driver is yourself. The guides can be helpful but the ultimate person in charge of the change is you. It is a matter if you have the hunger for wanting more.

    I have worked several jobs in my lifetime and each has taught me something but none satisfied my feeling of contentment. Looking back, had I not left and moved on I would not be in the position I am today. Today, I am working in a field I enjoy and on my terms.

  • This article shows how cut throat the real world really is. As a sales associate at Victoria’s Secret, I work in a friendly and supportive enviroment. The girls are great, our boss is supportive, and the company assures that everyone has equal opportunity to succeed. There is no sabotage or favortism. In a company, it is important to be individual, and not everyone is going to be just alike.
    After reading this article, I realized that to be successful, I have to be more stern and adaptable. Graduating from a Jesuit college is not going to guarantee me the connections I need to move forward in life. I have to be independent when moving forward to my career. Spring Hill College is giving me all of the tools to succeed and get a job. It is now up to me to stand out, to make a name for myself, to be strong.
    Being Native American and a woman, some would say that i’m already at a disadvantage in the business world. Needless to say i’m ready for it! Bring on the challenges!

  • This is a really good article! A lot of the pointers I knew already, but some were very very helpful! I wish these were the kinds of things we were taught in high school, because these are the lessons we need to learn out of the starting gate. I really enjoyed the “follow your bliss” message. I went to school for years lying to myself about what I really wanted to do in life, and it seemed to affect my performance whether it be job or school or social situations. Now, I’m on my way to doing what I want to do with my life, and I’ve grown so much as a person. I’m not afraid of getting a job now, one that I will enjoy and work hard at, not just tolerate to bring home the paycheck.

  • I enjoyed this article. It gives great insight with a comical undertone. This was a great way for me to learn something new, refresh what I already know, and all in a fun yet rewarding manner.

  • I was once told that it is better to be nice than smart. When it came to a job, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that saying. This post really does show that it is important for you to get along with people (especially your boss). I am currently 18 years old, and I have had the same job for the past 2 years. I, luckily, have a really cool boss, but she is cool to me because I do what I am told. This post really shows that you can be the smartest person in the world, but still suck at your job. I wasn’t always the happiest person to be at work, but I pretended like I was. I made sure people liked me from the start because if people like you, then it becomes A LOT easier. This post really shows that you aren’t going to get anywhere being the quiet person in the corner. You have to be able to put yourself in situation which your boss will notice you. Then, when the time comes and you screw up, admit to it. Explain to your boss that you were wrong and it won’t happen again because they rather see someone take responsibility for their actions than someone who just makes excuses all day. I really enjoyed this post because it shows that it really is sometimes better to be nice than smart. It is even better if you are both.

  • The lesson in this article really spoke to me about the the job that I held this previous summer. I was working in a small factory, and I had never done any factory work before this job. Working with all the equipment was such untraveled territory for me that many times I would not know at all what I was doing. To start off with, I would try to figure out all my tasks by myself, when there were clearly employees that had much more experience and knowledge than myself.
    Whenever I’d try to be brave, it would end up terribly. Either a part wouldn’t pass inspection, or the machine would jam, or any other conceivable outcome. Eventually, I learned the lesson the hard way and started asking for help so I could “work smart.” I found my supervisors were incredibly patient and were willing to work with my inexperience as long as I put forward the smartest work I could. In the end, it turned out to be a very enjoyable and rewarding summer of work for this great company.

  • I enjoyed reading this article and
    realizing there are people in the world who go through somewhat of the same
    experiences I’ve had. In my entire life I’ve only had two job, both in retail
    helping customers create trendy outfits. But the first day on the jobs are
    always the worse, I go in trying to do my absolute best and stand out as a good
    hire but end up “sucking at my job”. I always felt my boss wanted me
    to personally brand my self along with being their pet at every command. But
    after gaining experience and knowledge about the field I was in, I realized
    personal branding comes naturally; and being the bosses’ pet on the other hand
    isn’t what all employers are looking to hire. Great Article..!!

  • This article was really helpful! It’s always good to review the do’s and don’ts to be successful, specially when you’re about to enter the job force as I am.

  • This article is very helpful. I just started an internship and need the advice. I’ve been in the retail world for 10 years which is great for building teamwork and people skills but doesn’t prepare me for the professional world. It is very intimidating to be the new girl and I don’t want to “suck” at my job. This article gave clear and precise instructions on how to navigate those scary and exciting waters.

  • I can truthfully say the best advice in working smart is to leave your outside life away from the work place when you step into the office, you are the job and the job has to become a part of you this is especially essential in customer service positions. Customers love some genuine and excited to help assist them and your boss will appreciate you being such a great asset to their business as well. This will lead to raises and help you climb the ladder in your place of work

  • I am really glad that I read these articles. It really gave me insight on what really happens during office hours. I work in the medical profession and you really have to be on your game in order to take care of another person. I am one of the few minorities at my job. And I have learned to keep my ears open and to keep my opinions to myself. I have learned to let my work ethics speak for me, rather than trying to get my point across verbally. Taking care of the patients have become a priority for me. It was always a priority but in the past few years I have taken it a lot more seriously. Thanks for the article it was truly and eye opener.

  • I absolutely love this article because I can relate perfectly to it! I, too had a first job I didn’t like at first. My boss was very strict and if you did one thing wrong, you would be punished. Since I never knew what he wanted because he assumed everyone already knew, I just asked him. It was great when I got a response that I could actually work with! Knowing what to do to in a job can help you and make employees around you happy.