Career Tips For Young People Who Want To Get Ahead

For so long I was the young man with potential.  Suddenly I’m the old guy!

Young people, this is going to happen to you too, so listen up!  Here’s my career advice for someone in the beginning stages of their work life:

Arrive early and leave late

Remember, this is if you want to get ahead.  On time is not the minute your shift starts.  On time is suited up and working when it’s time to clock in.

And don’t leave the minute work time is over.  Stay a bit, clean up, make yourself useful.  Show that you care more than everyone else does.

Don’t focus on the money

That’s the wrong thing to think about.  Instead, think about how you can make yourself indispensable.  Because if you can get that one right, the money will come all on its own.  As my friend Clayton says, “Be a salary maker, not a salary taker!”

Focus on personal growth

If you’re offered two jobs, one of which pays more and isn’t a challenge, take the one that pays less and will help you grow.   Anything that you learn stays with you your whole career.  Any book you read, podcast you listen to, experience you have, adds to your toolbelt that no one can take away from you.

Be the person who says, “Let me take care of that”

If you are that person, your value will be clear to everyone.  You boss will love you.

Make friends with the winners, not the whiners

When it’s time to socialize, focus on hanging out with the people who are positive and going somewhere themselves.  If you sit at the whiner table, you’ll be painted with the same brush as they are, and worse, some of their paint may rub off on you!

If you want to invest in yourself, consider joining the 9000 or so students who are developing their careers through my teaching at the Professional Leadership Institute.  You can find more information about that here:

Getting ahead is about getting started!


Trevor head shot in office

If you’d like Trevor to speak at your upcoming event, drop him a note at [email protected] for a no obligation discussion about what you’re looking to [email protected]

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here:

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