How to Be Successful
While reading the WSJ on Sunday, I came on to this interesting article about success.
Scott Adams writes very useful tips for those who are figuring out the best way to climb the corporate ladder:
- Beware of advice about successful people and their methods
- Forget about passion
- Forget about goals
- Be systems oriented
- Your job is not your job; your job is to find a better job
- Stay in the game, until luck finds you
- Useful information never comes from upper management
The gofer conundrum
My favorite story is of him passing up the opportunity to be a gofer. The VP was impressed by his B.S. abilities. The VP wanted to champion him, and present him to other upper management who would be impressed with his B.S. But he passed up the opportunity. The VP hired someone else, and that someone else became the youngest VP ever.
When we are young, we think success is…
We grow up thinking success is a straight line for everybody. You get good grades in school, do some community service along the way, try to be an athletic or music star, ace your college entrance exams, get into a good college, ace your college exams, graduate with honors (or at least a 3.0 GPA+), get a good job (or at least one that pays), climb the ladder by being an awesome worker (because that’s how you aced everything else before), spend the money, and retire eventually.
I am a prime example
I used to think it was this way. I graduated as valedictorian in high school, graduated with honors from college, and then, earned two master’s. So now I look up at the corporate ladder, and wonder how am I going to climb this now? It should be easy right? All I have to do is work hard, and be a star. I’m a hard worker! I can do this.
Corporations are like pyramid schemes
The problem with working within a corporation is that generally hard work won’t get much of anywhere. This is how I see it. Hard workers become invaluable in their positions, and stay there. The political savvy ones, who know how to B.S. their work, are recruited to climb the corporate ladder. Not every single VP is full of B.S. They have to pretty smart to fool everyone with their B.S., right? But I often wonder if this is a sick cycle. The B.S. upper management hires other B.S. management. It’s a never ending cycle. Results? Sure, results matter, but if you have a good network, you can manipulate what you are getting by.
I know what your thinking. Already 23 and a cynic. Not a cynic. Very much a realist. I hope I can enlighten some kids who are slightly younger and about to join the pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are awesome as long as your on top and reaping all the rewards. Right now I’m at the bottom of the pyramid scheme. But I recognize it.
Am I the only one that recognizes B.S.? Sigh, sometimes I think so. I’ve started to treat my job as a job not a passion. It sucks a bit, but it also means I don’t come home frustrated by the inefficiency of my company (rant for another day). My next step: finding my next, better job. Always keeping my eyes on the lookout for something better.
What are your thoughts on success in a corporation?