Thursday, May 27, 2010

7 Rules to Succeed in Your Career

An article at Yahoo Finance, 7 New Rules For Getting Ahead, listed the following rules to keep in mind to stay ahead of the game in today's world:

Rule 1. You don't deserve a job.
Rule 2. You don't know enough.
Rule 3. Less stuff equals more freedom.
Rule 4. Prepare for many turns.
Rule 5. Entrepreneurs have an advantage.
Rule 6. Don't get addicted to your paycheck.
Rule 7. Loving what you do pays off.

Here my take on these:

Rule 1 - This hasn't seemed to change.  The best and brightest overachievers always get hired first...who would want to hire the underachievers first?

Rule 2 - Keeping yourself educated is so important since technology is changing things every day.

Rule 3 - The more stuff you own, the more maintenance requirements you take on.  Although I'm not an avid minimalist, it is just common sense that you will bogged down less if you own less stuff.

Rule 4 - Hardly anyone stays in the same job for their whole working life anymore.  Sometimes that is by choice and sometimes it's not.  Being prepared and staying qualified is essential for career survival.

Rule 5 - The article stated that entrepreneurs not only have the classic advantages of being their own boss, but even have the creative advantage of the entrepreneurial mindset when working for someone else.  I think this boils down to saying that creative thinking is appreciated no matter what your situation.

Rule 6 - This is the rule that trips me up.  It's hard not to "settle" for a paycheck.  As the article suggests, living below your means will give you the flexibility to take chances to better your working life.

Rule 7 - Obviously, finding a job you enjoy can be the difference between night and day.  As I've heard a hundred times before, it's not work if you enjoy it.  This is another rule that I break since I have settled into a position that isn't my passion.  Based on the millions of job reviews you can find online, it seems that this rule is the hardest to follow for quite a few people like me.

What rules above do you follow?  Which ones do you disagree with?


  1. I think the wording could be different for number 1 - You don't deserve a job.

    I do agree you need to be on your toes and not settle for mediocrity. But I just don't like the negative connotation to feeling like you don't deserve the job you have. To me, it would have been better if they said 'Always be at your best'. There is a lot of foreign competition that is cheaper. I worked for a company to wholly believed in using overseas talent and cutting the US workforce. People knew they had to make themselves invaluable to keep their job here. For some that meant going back to school. However, it is a real downer for the workplace.

    Our economy is definitely changing and I do agree the worker mentality needs to shift along with it.

    Interesting post!

  2. The rule I follow is when a job is no longer challenging, I can do it with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back and there is nothing left to learn, I have acquired all the skills the job can offer--it is time to move on to bigger and better things.

    'If I can't grow, it's time to go' is my motto. Either promote me or I must take my talents to another company.

  3. Hubby & I work for the government. You have not seen underachievers until you go to work with us. That being said, I have my own rule that if the job interferes with our family time, it has to go. The job I am in currently is the one I compare other offers to. It is very stable, great benefits, and I get home by 4pm almost every day. I also have the benefit of loving what I do. I have been offered more than twice my current salary to go work as a consultant in my field. I turned it down because they could not guarantee me the family time I wanted.

    What is priceless is the time I get to spend with my children.

    See the above sentence as to why I am NOT an entrepreneur. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My parents, aunts and uncles from both sides, and grandparents back are all entrepreneurs. I have seen the good and the bad. I find that most people who preach this either haven't lived it or got really lucky.

    Young Mogul - I used to have the same motto before I had kids. Now, I apply it to moving between government jobs. If my current area won't promote me, there are other parts of the government that will. Plus, the jobs are usually pretty cushy ;)

  4. All great points. I try to always work as if I am a new employee trying to make a great impression. That means not slacking off on the little things most people do once they are there for a while. Or making a few extra spreadsheets to better get your point across. Things like that I think help me to stand out...or, hopefully stand out:)

  5. Everyday Tips, I thought the article was worded pretty harshly too. My best guess is this is targeted to recent graduates and this was supposed to sound "cool".

  6. Young Mogul, you are a much more motivated person then me. Good luck with your future career!

  7. Julie, I think I want to work with you...any openings in the Houston area? Seriously though, all I look for in a job is something I can excel at and allows me to have a great home life.

  8. myfinancialobjectives, that works for me too. Everybody I work with is experienced, but I'm more detail-oriented. I know my bosses appreciate it.