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36 Career Tips No One Will Actually Tell You

Until now! Based on this Quora thread.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed
Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. Your college major is just a college major and nothing more.

Proven talent in other fields will speak for itself.

Christopher Craft, Author at OPENRoutine.com

2. Always be kind to the receptionist, especially at an interview.

AMC

This goes for anyone, no matter how far up the food chain they are. You never know who they know.

Ambra Benjamin, Engineering Recruiter at Facebook

3. The weaknesses that you’re unaware of will hurt you the most.

Use any roadblocks in your career to determine your hidden weaknesses. This might be hard, and involve asking people who didn’t hire you exactly why they didn’t—but it will help you in the long run.

David Osborne, President & Founder at Simmetry Solutions

4. The number one quality for getting hired is likability.

NBC

People want to hire other people that they want to spend time with. Assholes getting promoted are the exception, not the rule.

John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach

5. Study and work in whatever seemingly unrelated areas you are interested in, even if it’s just a hobby.

That way, when your dream job/business comes up, you’ll be perfectly and uniquely qualified for it.

Sarah Jansen, writer and editor

6. Learn how to properly use questions.

You can learn, get answers, give answers, mentor people and develop your reputation just by using questions. Learn to use questions in a non-threatening way and you will open up many doors.

Jan Theys, author and lawyer

7.
Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Anonymous

8. Don’t just look up for opportunities, look laterally.

People with diverse experience usually progress faster than people with more experience.

Vikrant Vaidya

9. Don’t be better, be different.

NBC

You might not have the exact experience listed on the job description, but if you can show how your unique skills would better suit the company, you have a better shot than someone who is a more technical match.

John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach

10. The best job for you won’t be ready at the exact time you are “ready.”

You have to be open to and searching for opportunity all the time.

John Fawkes, Blogger and Career Coach

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

11. Jobs are a marathon, not a sprint.

People who always work 80-hour weeks will have to compensate somehow and they’ll be slowed down in the long run.

Michael O. Church

12. Don’t complain about Mondays.

NBC

It’s like wearing a huge sign that says: “I hate my job and do not want to be here.” It’s fine to be looking forward to down time, but work time shouldn’t feel that bad. If you hate your career that much, you don’t have the right career.

John Smart

13. Sometimes it’s better to share credit for something even if you did most of the work.

You’l be building allies and creating a team.

Jane Chin

14. Do not underestimate the power of social rituals.

AMC

Always saying no to after-work drinks shouldn’t affect your career, but it probably will.

Jane Chin

15. Talk openly about your failures.

People will respect and trust you if they see that you’re taking risks and aren’t ashamed to learn from them.

Mira Zaslove

16. Give (deserved) praise to your coworkers.

It makes you both look good. Even (or especially) if they did something better than you.

Satvik Beri, Data Scientist

17. Ask your boss what their biggest problem is and make it go away.

ABC

That’s the quickest way to prove your importance.

Virginia Backaitis

18. Your main goal at work should be to learn and contribute.

Success and promotion will follow from there.

Laura Cooke

19.
Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Assume that everything you do will have an effect on your raise and promotion opportunities.

Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Vice President at Publicis Beehive

20. You can learn a lot hanging out by the printer.

Anonymous

21. The people you know who leave your current company are often more valuable to you than those still with your company.

AMC

Those connections can lead you to new opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Make sure to stay in touch.

James Schek

22. As an employee, you are essentially a small business of one.

Your employer is the customer, and you must focus on how to increase your skills to be more desirable.

David Osborne, President & Founder at Simmetry Solutions

23. Do everything you can to make your boss look good.

They will remember this when it is time for a promotion or a raise.

Jim Fletcher

24. Do NOT make enemies if you can avoid it.

AMC

In the end, most industries are small industries.

Jeff Kesselman

25. Never, ever cook fish in the office microwave.

Ryan Harvey, Institutional Investment Consultant

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

26. You don’t get ahead by doing your job well—you get ahead by making new things happen that weren’t a part of your job description.

Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG

27. Make sure people know when your work is successful.

NBC

Sometimes higher ups only see things that work, not who made them work. Make sure to get credit where it’s due.

Satvik Beri

28. When you get promoted, the majority of your work relationships are going to change.

People that were comfortable with who you were will now test you.

Rohan Light

29. Don’t look too busy.

NBC

Sometimes people aren’t asked to do bigger, more important tasks if it takes them a long time to complete their basic work.

Mira Zaslove

30. The way to get more responsibility is to build up trust with smaller things.

Anonymous

31. If you need to get in favor with someone, ask for their advice.

John Paul Filo / CBS

Ankur Gupta

32. But don’t take too much advice.

Too much advice, especially conflicting advice, will scare you from starting anything new or taking big risks.

Darren Beattie, Fitness Coach

33.
Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Anonymous

34. The qualities that got you your first promotion won’t always be the ones to get your next one.

At higher levels, employees are judged on their ability to deliver future value to the company in ways that are not taught or explained to them: most importantly, how much business are they are able to bring in.

Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG

35. Don’t confuse wealth with success.

Wealth means different things to different people, and it doesn’t mean someone is happy or content.

Christopher Moye, Attorney

36. Ultimately, your career is largely a concept that exists in your mind.

NBC

What you really have is a series of jobs, strung together, that form a story you are in charge of writing.

Blaine Lee Pardoe

Answers have been edited for length and clarity. For more great tips, see this Quora thread.

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