Why Do Some People Get Paid More And Promoted Faster?

Why Do Some People Get Paid More And Promoted Faster

Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who started their career as an entry-level worker and before you know it they were practically running their company?

I bet you know someone like that and you scratch your head at how they managed to do it, because well they seemed average.

But then I bet you know someone else who you thought was brilliant, but that person is still stuck at that entry-level job today.

What was the difference? Is it skill? Is it networking? Luck?

The difference is pretty simple – one person figured out how to play THE game and the other didn’t.

Here are 34 lessons from my 18-year career rise from intern to CEO:

Lessons From My 18-year Career Rise From Intern to CEO

  1. Early in your career, just say “yes” – it doesn’t matter the job even the dishes, just say “yes.”
  2. Attitude over aptitude – Grunt work sucks, but a positive attitude can do wonders.
  3. Forget about your major – the minute you graduate it DOES NOT matter.
  4. Focus on effectiveness, NOT efficiency – leverage the 80/20 principle to maximize time and effort.
  5. Hours DON’T matter – 60-hour weeks mean shit if you’re not working on the RIGHT things at the RIGHT time.
  6. Make your boss’s life easier – this is seriously the #1 thing you can do; if you prioritize them, they will prioritize you.
  7. Take constructive criticism – sometimes you do suck at something. Learn from it. Use it. Do better.
  8. Be a leader – you can lead from ANYWHERE in the company. Lead by example. Lead by serving your employees. Leaders are humble, but not passive.
  9. Delegate, delegate – delegate like crazy. Empower others by giving them responsibility.
  10. If you don’t ask, you don’t get – ask for more work, ask for a raise, and then ask for a promotion.
  11. Keep stacking skills – learn a process or skill that no one else in your company/division/group has!
  12. NEVER stop learning – read books & blogs, listen to podcasts, or watch YouTube videos.
  13. Network, network, network – go to industry events, lunch with people from other companies, find a mentor, and keep in touch with former co-workers. It will all pay dividends!
  14. Don’t be afraid to PIVOT – my major was in finance, my 1st job was in marketing, then I taught myself to code and became an engineer!
  15. Solve problems – Just solve problems. Get shit done. Sometimes that is all you need to get noticed.
  16. Give more than you take – be a team player by helping your co-workers, boss, employees, and peers.
  17. Take calculated risks – change jobs, start a business, push for a new system; take the risk!
  18. Get 7-9 hours of sleep – you’ll have more brain power, less sickness, and make better decisions.
  19. Vacations ARE necessary – you’ll come back energized and more productive.
  20. Seize opportunities – take on new projects, lead a team, jump on anything that can pay dividends.
  21. Show up and be reliable – an underrated skill is simply being a person who has a reputation for being reliable.
  22. Stick to your word – if you say you’ll do something by Wednesday. DO IT!
  23. Show up on time – I mean duh. But I’m often surprised by how many people show up late to work, meetings, or events.
  24. Get to know your co-workers – have lunch, happy hour, and generally get to know your team.
  25. Make small talk – sometimes it’s annoying, but small talk can help you build trust.
  26. Stay fit and healthy – you can’t perform at your mental peak when you feel like crap. It just isn’t possible.
  27. Know your worth – I once went in and asked for a 40% raise AND got it. Know what you are worth to the company and don’t be afraid to ask for it!
  28. Follow your heart – climbing the corporate world is useless if you don’t enjoy what you do in some way. If you don’t like it, get out and find something you do.
  29. Take ownership – mistakes inevitably happen. Own up to it. Fix it. Do better next time.
  30. Don’t gossip – What goes around, always comes back around. I promise.
  31. Hire the best – Create a method to hire the best A players you can find. Hire people smarter than you. And they’ll make you look damn good.
  32. Learn to sell – EVERYTHING is sales. Engineers need to sell. Managers need to sell. Employees need to sell. It’s ALL sales.
  33. Underpromise & overdeliver – this one is tremendously hard. But if you can consistently do this your career will thrive.
  34. Do HARD things – if it was easy everybody would do it. But because you did do it, you’ll reap the rewards.

So now you know.

If you want to take your career to the next level, really look at the list above and think through what you are doing and what you aren’t.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Where are you not performing? What are you not doing?

Once you have that knowledge it’s time to change things up.

Do you have anything you’d change or add to this list?

Let me know in the comments.

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