What follows are the 7 most crucial “On the Job tips”. They are frank and straight forward. They are for everyone who has a JOB, and a BOSS, and who has aspirations to climb the ladder in a high tech, corporate environment.
On The Job Tips - Part 1 of 2
Technical Skills – This is why you will have a job in the first place. So being technically sound and innovative on job will help you maintain your position or even help you grow to the higher positions.
Productivity – Everyone is hired to perform specific task and bosses usually have certain expectations when they hire someone. It is very important to start performing and producing in first 30 days to build initial impression. If you don’t start producing within 90 days you will lose an opportunity to create that first impression and initial trust with their immediate managers. Think about how to be productive from day one.
Communication – “Let us not be known as the generation which evolved communication but failed to communicate”. This one area which we all have to work on daily basis and we can only effectively communicate if we speak less and listen more in any discussions. Managers like people who can understand things without much explanation and are very professional in their overall communication.
Interpersonal Skills – This is one absolute we all must learn and keep refining. If you want to climb up the corporate ladder your interpersonal skills begin to outweigh your technical skills. Now it’s 80% people skills and 20% technical expertise. The good news is these soft skills can be acquired and practiced.
Visibility – Visibility is very important in a job world. Most techies don’t know how to make themselves visible in a workplace. They keep their heads down, go a great job, meet deadlines are low maintenance to their manager BUT fail to make themselves visible. Visibility is marketing yourself well enough so you are getting noticed in your team and immediate manager. Don't be shy. If you want praise, recognition, raises and advancement...just do it!
Dependency – Managers love wingmen. People they can depend on and trust. Your goal is to start creating this dependency in the first 90-180 days. You should be first person your manager thinks of when making a decision about projects, task, people, vendors, and new hires. Learn go have good judgement so that your opinions/advice is respected and sought after. Don't get impatient though, good judgement comes with experience and in experiencing both successes and failures.
Bulletproofing from Politics – The harsh reality of job world or is that there is Politics. It doesn't always matter that you are the smartest, kindest and best communicator in the room. You must know how to bulletproof yourself from politics. We will take a deeper dive into this topic in our next post.
Don't heed these tips and you will risk either being an unseen, unprompted, unrecognized (in praise & pay raises) or...worse.
Your thoughts? Did I miss any other "must dos"?
Thanks for reading.
Note: For classes on Communication Skills and Soft Skills for Techies, Vettanna's classes are now offered by The Bird Commission.