Just so you know, when I was a suck up? All day long I did not biddy-biddy-bum. That’s what I did when I was a wealthy man.
But now I’m a woman who is still in the process of becoming wealthy. And once I was a woman who had a day job and dreamed of going elsewhere. And when I did have a day job this is how I made the most of it.
I got my work done early and did my own thing with the rest of the day.
Be careful though, this can be dangerous. Even if your boss gives you permission to do non-company work on company time when you’re done with your regular work load, you have to think about how this makes you look. Your peers and their bosses might not like it. So you will have to overlap that with step number two.
I perfected the art of looking busy.
This is best achieved by actually being busy, though not necessarily at the work you’d be doing if it weren’t already done. The trick is to make it look like you’re still doing something your peers or your bosses bosses will think is important. My preference was to carry a clipboard or a stack of papers around and walk briskly. Nod/smile but don’t make eye contact, walk like you’re on your way somewhere. You can also do this with your computer, but get a privacy screen. Nosy people are the enemy.
I took advantage of the training I needed to get me to the next level.
At one place I worked we had $4000 of training every six months for free, we didn’t even have to do that whole reimbursement thing. And you could take this training on company time. So i found what I was interested in and when I got bored, I would train for new things. Sometimes, I’d take a pen and pad out and be writing my novel at my desk after studying. (This was always after I was done with my work – the idea is not to rob the company, just to time shift.) Everyone knew I was taking extra training so they’d assume I was studying. I always helped out when asked though.
I took every break allowed to me under the law, away from my desk.
The breaks are there for a reason. If you’re going to survive working for others, especially at a job you hate, you need to take those breaks. With people you enjoy hanging with if possible. Bonus: sometimes going out to stare at trees helps you relax enough to solve a problem.
I went out to lunch.
Even when I was saving money by bringing my own lunch, I would eat it at the park, or go to a cafe and buy a small drink to have with it. If I was close enough I’d actually go home. That brief change of scenery at lunch does more for you than that extra hour you may be able to get by working through lunch at your desk.
I mingled with higher-ups in other departments.
The managers and supervisors in your department think you want their job. And maybe they’re right. Or they don’t want to be partial if you ever need to be disciplined or considered for promotion. In other departments, or neighboring companies, they’re going to be more relaxed and willing to treat you as a peer. And later when you need references, boom. This worked like a charm when I was in tech support. To get new/better jobs, I’d get referrals from heads of departments whose computer issues I had fixed, or get the head of hardware instead of the head of the help desk. We were friends, so I could get them to say anything (truthful) I wanted them to, plus I’d be side-stepping the politics of my own department.
I spoke to a C level executive in a casual fashion, once a week.
Everyone is scared of the people with the most authority. Having been (and currently being) the person in the company with the most authority, let me tell you, people in authoritative positions who actually want to make things better hate that. (People on ego trips don’t but who wants to befriend them?)
It’s the same way most celebrities find it refreshing to meet someone who treats them like a peer and a regular person. People are afraid of them, so they lie to them, they have to work harder to get good information to make changes. Approach them, befriend them, inform them. Just be careful not to waste their time.
I gave myself a small reward at the end of every work day.
To keep from going crazy, I really had to program myself, Pavolonian style, to be happy about where I was. That included gifts to myself for a job well done.
I plotted my exit in my down time.
More often than not, an opportunity to get to where you want to go is here and gone before you know it. You have to know as much as possible about how to handle the situation before it comes up. It gives you an edge over the next guy, and gives you something to daydream about when someone starts droning on about TPS reports
I solved problems no one else wanted to touch.
Now this mights seem like it would get you further entrenched in the organization, or stuck in your position. Indispensable people don’t get promoted because they’re too valuable to the position they are in. But. When you solve an issue that’s related to uncollected revenue, you are the star of the show suddenly. No, you probably won’t get a kickback for that, but it makes a great conversation point with that C-level exec you just made friends with.
How do you know I’m an expert? I’m not on this topic, actually – this post is based on my personal experiences.