20 tips that got me an IT promotion

IT promotion11 months ago I almost quit my IT support job with a large Accounting company. Jay, the owner of Dumb Little Man, and my best friend, told me to list 25 things I could personally do to get ahead. I was skeptical because I seriously hated this place but I made the list because I had nothing to lose but time and I didn’t want to start to job search.

I couldn’t come up with 25 so we settled on 20.

He then tweaked it a little saying that it was too easy to fulfill. Anyway, I took the list and posted it on my cubicle wall. I read that damn thing every morning when I got into the office. To this day, I still have it practically memorized.

Last Friday, I was promoted and I actually moved up 2 spots so I am now earning an extra $15K year. Kind of nice if you ask me.

Here are the missions we put together:

    • I will work and think as if I were the SVP of my IT group. This will include how I interact in meetings, with co-workers in the hall, etc. This will train me for the future. 
  • If I ever decide I don’t like the company I work for, I will still act like the SVP because that is the position I want. I will not become a complaining, gossiping troll because my reputation will follow me. 
  • I will look for areas that my company fails. One day I will fix that failure by starting my own company. 
  • I will be the guy to speak out with new ideas in meetings. If it’s going to save money or increase revenues, I will never be out of line. 
  • I will lead others and show my strengths because someday I may want these people to work for me. 
  • I will finish everything I start. I am not going to mentally bail on a project. 
  • I will shut up and listen when I don’t know 110%. 
  • I will study new trends so I am the guy with the good idea. 
  • Regardless of what my boss says, I will review myself each month and then ask for help where I need it. My company can train me so that I can move on. 
  • If they ask for 132 TPS reports, I will do them. One day I may ask an employee of mine for similar reports (even though it’s repulsive to think). 
  • I will speak my mind in the face of rejection when I am confident that my idea is a winner. 
  • I will know how competitors do things so I can suggest better solutions in meetings. 
  • I will not bend to process bureaucracy. If the customer needs it, we have to figure it out. 
  • I will learn as much as possible about the roles people play in my company. One day I will have to fill those roles. 
  • I am able to recite my 5-year goal at any time. 
  • Resume builders are nice but I am pushing for seminars that will train ME. 
  • I will dress more professionally then the rest on casual Friday. 
  • On internal conference calls, I will ask questions. Not dumb annoying ones, but questions that pertain to the company’s EPS or EBITDA. 
  • I will be in the office before my boss’ boss 90% of the time. 
  • I will leave the office after my boss 100% of the time.

A lot of Jay’s list irritated me but in 30 days things got a helluva lot better. In retrospect, it wasn’t the job making me upset, I just had an ego problem – I felt like I was better than everyone else. After I followed through on my list, I proved I was better.

I know a lot of you may call some of this ass kissing but I was pretty blunt in these meetings and it wasn’t my boss that promoted me – it was his boss. The job was never even officially posted. I am now a firm believer that leaders are winners. This list is coming with me wherever I go.

Take it or leave it.

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