This is it! Your first day of work. Soon, you’ll be the boss of this place. You’re a go-getter! You’re a jet-setter! There’s no one better!
Except, you’re none of those things. You’ve cheated your way through the job interview by simply quoting passages from Glengarry Glen Ross and Jerry Maguire. Your CV is just a printout of the first image that came up after you typed “Successful people CV how it looks need asap today lol” into Google.
Oh God, you’re a fraud! In a matter of days, they’ll uncover your clever ruse and find out that you don’t even know what a “Harvard” or a “university” is.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Following these simple tips for a successful career will help even a complete amateur like you climb the career ladder, one sham at time.
Successful career tip #1: Always wear a suit
It’s age-old wisdom that no person has built a successful career while being suit-less. From fictional characters like Frank Underwood to real people like Barney Stinson, every stellar career begins with a tailor-made suit.
Name a single person alive today who is both successful and ever seen in public without a suit on? Donald Trump wears suits, and he can afford to have live dancers performing at his political rallies. Mark Zuckerberg wears ugly jeans and T-shirts, and he’s achieved nothing. You probably haven’t even heard his name until just now.
Plus, there’s a law out there that says you can’t fire anyone wearing a suit. Probably.
So go out and buy yourself a couple of suits. When you show up to your first day of work as a Florida lifeguard in an impeccable Armani suit, your colleagues will instantly know you’re destined for greatness.
Successful career tip #2: Master the business lingo
What separates CEOs and other types of EOs from losers who think their work speaks for itself is the ability to sound important. For that, you only need a couple of phrases. The trick is to always use more and complexier words than you actually need.
Where a simpleton will say trite stuff like “How can we help our customers?” a true leader knows the value of saying, “What organizational capabilities can we leverage in our pursuit of customer-centric value creation via engagement with our core end-user segment?”
Here are a few must-know buzzwords and sentences to help you get started:
- “Let’s get the finance team to run the numbers on this proposal!”
- EBITA margin
- “What ROI can we expect?”
- “Lunch, anyone?”
Successful career tip #3: Visible clutter is your friend
This is an incredibly easy-to-implement tip for a successful career.
Busy, important career people don’t have time to organize their things. That’s a luxury only the lazy can afford. If someone’s desk is neat and they can locate their keyboard in under five seconds, you know they’re paying more attention to keeping their work area clean than to getting any actual work done.
This is why your Outlook inbox should have no fewer than 374 unread emails at any given time. Do not use folders, unless you can make them sound important (e.g. “Holistic Prototyping: Phase 17 – for URGENT follow-up”).
Your Windows desktop should be a minefield of indecipherable icons and shortcuts. Ideally, it should look like a Picasso painting seen through a kaleidoscope. You don’t have to know what any of those folders and files are for.
Successful career tip #4: Meetings, meetings, and more meetings
The best career folk have lots of meetings. As Warren Buffet once famously said, “Leave me alone, I’m late for a meeting.” The more meetings you have, the better your reputation in the company.
What few people realize is that literally anything can be turned into a meeting with sufficient practice. Did someone ask you to send them an Excel sheet? Book them for a meeting to map out key delivery milestones and discuss potential bottlenecks. Colleagues asked if you’d like to join them for a cup of coffee? Schedule an all-day meeting to debate the pros and cons of various brands of coffee beans. Colleagues stopped talking to you because of your shenanigans? Plan a three-day workshop to brainstorm on how you can develop a more social work culture.
The key is to always be running in and out of meetings. You should constantly be seen inside conference rooms pointing at charts and making vigorous gestures with your arms. Your Outlook calendar should be fully booked up for the coming decade.
Once you’ve mastered these four basic tips for a successful career, your reputation should skyrocket almost instantly.
Good luck out there!