The Secret To Success In The 'Real World'

This article was written by Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World, on behalf of the Happy Grad Project. What's the secret to success in the 'real world'? Find out... It was easy to promote yourself while you were interviewing because all eyes were on you and you had your superiors’ undivided attention. However, now that you are ensconced in a professional job, people are not as inclined to listen, and you have to compete with all kinds of noise to be heard. It’s no longer enough to keep your nose to the grindstone and turn in a solid day’s work. If you want people to take notice of you and consider you a serious player, you must make your accomplishments visible. Related: How To Build Positive Workplace Relationships This is not an easy thing to do, especially given what you were told over your 16 years of schooling. In high school and college, achievement was an individual endeavor. You were taught a lesson, you studied, you took a test, you got a score—and no one was the wiser. In fact, you were probably not encouraged to share your grades, particularly if they were good. You were equally successful, whether anyone realized it or not. The corporate world, however, is a whole different ball game. Your promotability depends not on what you do, but on who knows what you do. Being insular is most damaging at the lower levels of your career, when you are unknown to 99% of your company. You could be sitting at your cube churning out work like there’s no tomorrow, but unless someone in a position of authority is aware of it, you probably won’t get anywhere. So, how do you share your contributions without being perceived as arrogant or boastful? The key is enthusiasm. If you emphasize your passion when describing an achievement, people will think you’re just excited about it. An excited person appears earnest, and it’s hard to be critical of someone earnest. Practice on your boss. It’s okay if you mess up and start bragging uncontrollably, because your boss is supposed to know about everything you’re doing and can’t fault you for keeping him informed. But when informing everyone else of your successes, be as subtle as possible. For example, you might send an email to your whole department thanking your co-workers for the completion of a successful project. You might feel weird the first few times you do something like this. Unless you have a major ego, deliberately trying to make yourself look good is not going to feel natural. But trust me, you’ll get used to it, and the more you do it, the easier it will get. Remember to always strive to share your good ideas, but be prepared that many of your suggestions will not be implemented. This is because, in the corporate world, a lot of the important decisions are made at a high level. You should not consider your visibility efforts a failure if your ideas are nixed before they see the light of day. The goal is to show the higher-ups in your department that you consistently make worthwhile contributions.

Download Your FREE E-Book!

Graduating? Know someone who is? As a perk of the Happy Grad Project, we're offering a FREE download of our e-book, "The Recent Grad's Guide To Getting A Job." This e-book is JAM-PACKED with tips from experts and recruiters, videos, and additional help. Don't put off your job search any longer - Download our e-book today and get started!   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less