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Now as you sit in the chair and deliberate over your career perhaps some thoughts begin to take shape. What action should I take, how much exertion will be required, should I be bold, venturesome or await to see  what others do? How do I measure reaction of my peers and superiors? Factors used at Fortune 500 companies for determining advancement and merit increases do not vary much. One needs to be aware of the personnel reviews and prepare for this annual event.  Yes, think how you would conduct the interview and attempt to lead the discussion to what you wish to discuss. The comments that follow will assist in these decisions and lead to the path of corporate leadership or career satisfaction. Large companies, the military or the Federal government do not differ significantly. Small companies, under 500 employees cannot afford the staff to conduct in depth personnel reviews. One must assume the competence level of all near the same level. Educational background of everyone very similar. Now you need to learn how to advance or manage your career to achieve your goals or level of satisfaction.​ 

Remember all large companies classify employees in a very similar fashion. Working within the confine of a large organization produces a clone able to change employers and immediately adjust to the new surroundings. Do not fall into a sense of false security or become naive. The boss (all bosses) protect themselves first. Be aware of the statements below.



  • When given an assignment you will be judged on compliance but  be aware that possibly all information to complete the project may be not specified nor full authority awarded either. Thus you must tactfully return with your progress and request a review of work accomplished and indicate the requirement for additional data, guidance or knowledge. Good managers give constructive feedback.
  • Being right does not necessarily indicate the desired result. Recall past proposals not approved even though all facts confirmed ratification. Do not overlook this  very important statement — "being  right is not always sufficient”.  Being  effective many times significantly better than being right. Specifically analyze why merit did not receive the deserved recognition.

  • The boss makes all the difference. A great boss will allow you to excel beyond your expectations. At the same time look for a manager who will not be threatened by you and will push you ahead.


  • Generally all employees can fall into three rather broad categories defined as follows. Be very conscious of employees ranking as: show horses, work horses or horses's behinds.
  • Show horses receive recognition and rewards to a large degree. This category needs to be recognized and understood. Too many people just thinking about the next job.



  ​Many supervisors do not pay enough attention to their subordinates differences or troubles. Many managers promote those who silently do what they are told and what always done. They do not wish to be annoyed by complaints and flawed practices or new ideas.

  • Be aware of your supervisor. Categorize him (her) as detailed oriented, specialist, delegates, prefers frequent reviews of assignments, recognizes accomplishments, etc. 

  • ​Discover knowledge of supervisor extracurricular activities such as sports, hobbies, family, etc., in order for you to develop a rapport.
  • Develop skills in a variety of fields. Being able to make verbal presentations fluidly, report preparation, graphic presentations, proper use of grammar, conversing with management. Ability in these areas will separate you from your peers.

  • Accept a variety of assignments. Do not permit yourself to become a specialist in a defined area or not to see "the big picture".

  • Show commitment to the assignment so act as though you care deeply for it.
  • Observe from which departments the majority of promotions originate or receive the most corporate attention and also produce the largest share of profit.
  • ​Remember one of the most important relaxed factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with others. Your peers besides being competitors qualify as friends also.  Break your daily routine with some sort of distraction for a feel good atmosphere. This will improve your performance. 
  • ​At your job you will be evaluated and rewarded for performance. Do not become captivated by the thought that your boss is just  tossing you peanuts. If you leave work with the task undone you possibly do receive demerits. But also if you cancel a family or friendship event you shirk relationships. Delicate balance is a requirement to achieve satisfaction plus happiness. Smiling faces are contagious and they increase productivity plus teamwork.
  • Do not work too hard at being great. Being great involves luck as well as other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think of being great the more likely it may occur. Being solid will bring positive results.

  • Mistakes will occur and immediately recognize the error, admit, correct and proceed.
  • Do not try to be better than your competitors, try to be different. You may find someone smarter than you but very likely not as imaginative.
  • A mentor is very necessary. Seek this person and of course evaluate his skills that will assist you.  Ask questions to superiors and observe their response and willingness to help. Many times a mentor will find you due to your diligence and talents. A mentor may not always be your boss. 

  • Historically companies assume that "corporate heroes" are those that arrive early and leave late besides appear to be hard at work. In truth many are poorly organized or spending hours on the wrong item. Measuring results require more attention on the part of management - not the number of hours "put in" but what produces results. Show horses excel at this.

  • ​Face time? What is this? Why is it necessary to be seen in the office at unusual hours or attend functions where no business discussions are underway? Again another area where show horses excel.
  • ​Definitely spend a part of each day in idleness or on personal project. Many either work too hard or are worked too hard for no purpose other than someone else' gain.


Careers usually consist of periods with exceptional satisfying experiences followed by some disappointments and or let downs. Look for career counseling and or who can be a career coach. You must temper both extremes. Remember to play the game. When you combine a knowledge of what the company needs with an ability to get things done you will benefit.

If your career stops gushing do not fear, several recourses are available to follow. Large corporations not only need but protect (work horses) good sound employees with varied skills. 

Salary protection exists and more free time becomes available to dedicate time to money management, spend additional happy hours with family, enjoy less stress and work regular hours. 

Also never overlook browsing financial sites for low fees or retirement suggestions. The site listed receives high reviews and should frequently be visited:

Seek another position within the corporation. Remember to look for opportunities in operations over staff positions. Within operations lies the the keys to a company's success. Early in your career diligently improve your abilities with power point presentations and verbal presentations. 

Learn how to be a team player and not a disrupter. Even when you sure your boss not taking the best direction quickly join with him and the majority and act without hesitation or doubt. Be the first to congratulate the promoted. Elitism has its drawbacks. Companies can and do miss potential stars. Stars can become too full of themselves. Stay flexible and always be seen with a happy face.

Now go forth with confidence and reach for your goals to enjoy your career. 




Keep In Your Thoughts

One final thought. As you complete a day's work ask yourself "what did I do to produce another barrel of oil today". This applies regardless of industry.