If you follow me on Twitter, you know that working 50+ hours a week is a relatively new lifestyle for me. I was promoted about a month ago and although I’m very happy in my new position, it hasn’t exactly been stress free. I am incredibly grateful for all the past work and college experience that I’ve had because I don’t think many could have transitioned to this new position as seamlessly as I have. I take great pride in my work and I’m pretty sure my boss is impressed. No, I’m not going to run off on a narcissistic rant about how awesome I am, but I do have some pretty damn good career advice to share with my fellow young postgrads.
Working long hours is not for the faint of heart. I remember when I had my first job. It was part-time and I thought 4 hours was a lot. Now on some days I’m working 10-11 hours. Of course this is not back-breaking work. I’m sitting at a desk all day long, but it can still take a toll. I’m on this new diet called forgetting to eat. It’s working pretty well!
Rule #1 for getting promoted: be the first one in, and the last to leave. –Note, this doesn’t really apply for hourly employees with set shifts. This applies more for the jobs where you really can’t leave until the job or project is done.
I remember first hearing this phrase years ago from Suze Orman on one of her talk specials on PBS. It really resonated with me and my over-achieving self. I’ve always tried to stand out in school and work. I’ve always had a dream of having a successful career, and I’ve realized that by putting in more hours than others, you stand out quite easily.
By following this rule, you’re showing your employer that you’re a hard worker and take accountability in your work. But there are some limits to working these insane hours. Even for myself, I need to remember to take breaks. If you don’t, you’ll most definitely burn out and your work will start to slip. It really does a world of difference to step outside the office at least once during the day to give your mind a break. On the weekends I recharge completely. I’m a big fan of sleeping and watching TV/movies. Did I mention all in my PJs? Ah, the good life.
It’s also important to actually be productive at work while you’re there for so long. Don’t just stay to catch up on your personal emails or TMZ. If you aren’t accomplishing anything, you’re not making your company any money. High quality work is key too. Same with offering innovative ideas and smart opinions when you can. You will then be seen as a valuable member to the team. This will make you stand out and be remembered by the higher-ups. (Hello promotion!)
The road is tough, but I’m up for the challenge. I plan to be Young, Fabulous & not Broke!