1. Effort can sometimes lead to abuse.
Do you know why fresh graduates are very appealing to employers?
One, because they’re cheap. When you are a fresh graduate all you can think about is that you need to work, not because you need the salary but because your friends, family, and classmates expect you to do so.
Second, because fresh graduates are hardworking, no matter how much work an employer gives them, the fresh graduate will take it, go the extra mile, and try their best to impress their boss.
Third, because you can abuse them and they won’t actually complain as much as your senior employees will. Ask a fresh graduate to render overtime without pay, and that’s okay, they’ll accept it. Give them workloads equivalent to two senior personnel, it’s okay! They can do it.
Fresh graduates are there to impress. So yes, at the end of the day, the more you exert effort to do a job well done, the more you are giving some of the seniors the opportunity to abuse you, so be careful.
2. Sometimes your closest friends in the office are your biggest competition.
You need to choose your friends well, because at times, they could be the reason you are not getting the promotion you deserved.
Some people might get close to you because they need information that only you yourself could provide. They might get close to you because they want to be able to know and calculate the moves that you will make so they can do their work better than you without you even noticing.
Sometimes your ‘friends’ are the ones who know all your weaknesses and could use them against you.
In the end, you’ll realize they are not actually your friends. You just expected them to be because you wanted companionship at work to make your stress a little lighter.
3. Choose your position, and be sure to keep it.
In any organization, you will always have to choose whether you are pro-management, anti-management, or neutral.
If you become a pro-management employee, then be prepared to meet lots of enemies, because management will always think about what is best for the company — not for its employees.
But on a positive note, you will be receiving special treatment, no matter how minor it will be.
However if you chose the opposite, anything can happen. You will be able to win the heart of many, but getting a promotion or a salary increase might take lots of effort. You might also receive lots of complaints about you — but at least you can stand up for what you think is morally right for the employees.
If you choose to be neutral, most likely you will be a shadow. You won’t get noticed that much unless you are one of the best assets of the company, which is harder to achieve in this age as competition will make you easily replaceable.
4. The company will always think of you as economic good.
What identifies economic good vs non-economic good? It is both scarcity and utility, which is the qualification for you to be able to enter into a certain company.
Scarcity, I know you will debate on me with, because yes the population of humans is constantly increasing, so how can it be scarce? But no, every company requires certain achievements, skills, and attitudes that divide the large population into few special individuals, so yeah scarcity is non-debatable here as to us being an economic good.
Second is utility, in simple terms you need to be useful, you need to somehow provide the service that will be beneficial to the company, something that will produce results making the company alive and expand and progress.
If one of those two is not present, termination will always be an option. Labor Laws might protect you from it, but higher management will always find a way — it could be that they will push you to resign or they will come up with a “business simplification” idea and just send you for redundancy.
5. Promotion needs strategy and, yes, it can be just sheer luck.
We like to think that effort brings promotion. That hard work and great achievements will pave your way for your dream salary increase, a step-up into the ladder and yes, greater responsibilities, but no, it won’t always be true.
In order for you to get the promotion you need, you need to look into, one, organizational structure of the company. Is there a seat for you? Is there a room for you to grow?
Second, employee turnover for that company, if the organizational structure is not that great and doesn’t have much space how about seats that can easily be available?
Third, somehow you need to build the trust and confidence of the management, which means you might need to kiss a few asses.
Fourth, grab every opportunity that comes your way.
Never be tired of learning, and claim everything you can put your hands on, even if you are not sure that you know it. In the end you will be able to learn it through time.