Originally Posted by dtmt
- be sure to toot your own horn. There are no grades at work, so management isn't going to know about your accomplishments unless you tell them
- always be on the lookout for a better gig (internal or external), your career is your responsibility, not the company's
- max out retirement funds and live well below your means, beware of "lifestyle creep"
I agree whole-heartedly on all points, less so on point 3 simply because I don't feel I'm far enough in my career that I am qualified to comment so much on that. But I can still see it is sound advice. To add:
-Veterans in the industry are absolutely invaluable as sounding boards and sources of industry knowledge and experience. Recognize what they do well, and after a while you will also be able to recognize what they do not do so well, you can learn from both. Try to incorporate as much of what you can into your career "life".
-Mold your position to reflect your strengths, and then learn to delegate responsibilities early on. There is a fine line between working hard and working inefficiently. Hard work is rarely viewed as a bad thing but who wants to work hard for the rest of their lives? The bullet points of "job functions" that you see when you first apply for a position shouldn't dictate what you do for the rest of your career. Focusing on the points that best flatter your strengths and shedding the rest onto others can show both ambition, entrepreneurship and foresight if done diplomatically. There's also a fine line between delegation (I personally have started to hate this word but I use it for lack of anything more suitable) and simply passing the buck. Nobody likes the "not-my-job" attitude, and trying to push things off your plate and onto others' without sound business justification is not a good thing to be recognized for. Yes, there is a lot of personal opinion in this point and some may disagree or simply feel this is not applicable for all industries or people, I can understand that and I know SF is not known for holding back on criticism.
-Finally, I don't think dtmt's first point can be emphasized enough. Its not bragging or being boastful, its about pointing things out to the people who are benefitting from your performance and who are in a position to compensate you. Everyone has their own style of doing this and its easier for some than others (personally I am an extremely humble person so this has been a long, hard lesson for me to learn) but the sooner you find a way you're comfortable doing this, the quicker you'll find yourself progressing to where you want to be in your career.