1. Rely on yourself, not your boss. Your boss is not your mommy or daddy. Your boss is not there to coddle you and look after your career. They are there to provide you with goals and resources to do your job. It’s up to you to take charge of your career and get clear on where you want to go and ask for them the resources and projects you need to be a part of to get there.
2. Shine the light on your success. Your hard work will not always get recognized. People are too busy and overwhelmed to notice good work, but they will certainly take note when something goes wrong. You can’t rely on others to notice your good work. You are your best advocate and champion. Focus on continuing to do your best work. Find ways to ensure your boss knows you are doing great work, instead of waiting for him or her to recognize it on their own.
3. Focus on doing a great job, not on loyalty. Your loyalty does not mean job security. Unlike others, you stuck around even when times were bad. That should count for something, right? Instead of focusing on job security, focus on doing a great job and growing your skill sets so you are ready should changes happen. Take control of your career destiny and ensure your skills are always marketable and in hot demand.
4. Give 100%. Commit to giving as much as you can to your job. Make your current projects an even bigger success, take extra initiative, reach out to coworkers, look for opportunities to improve your performance, and/or initiate new projects.
5. Take 100%. Get clear on what you need in return for what you give. Beyond a paycheck and benefits, define what you need in return for your hard work. This might include building new skills, establishing greater work / life balance, or perhaps a promotion.
Milo Sindell & Thuy Sindell are the founders of two software companies: Knowledge Genie and Hit The Ground Running. They are the co-authors or Sink or Swim: New Job. New Boss. 12 Weeks to Get it Right; Job Spa: 12 Weeks to Refresh, Refocus, and Recommit to Your Career; and the upcoming book, The End of Work as You Know It: Eight Strategies to Redefine Work in Your Terms.