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How To Get


In 10 Weeks

by Cheryl Lakes

March 20, 2018

Last year, I started a new job with eagerness and readiness.  I was recently divorced and recuperating from financial ruin. In ten short weeks, I went from a clerk making $8.50 an hour to an administrative assistant making $17.50 an hour.  Here’s how I did it.  I…

  • Became known for my flexibility.  My job was changed four times in one month and I never complained.
  • Showed a dedication to duty that went above and beyond the paycheck.  I wasn’t in a hurry to rush out the door, and I pinched in when needed.
  • Governed what I said and who I said what to.  I didn’t like the way my boss talked to others, but I never talked about it to anyone.
  • Acquired a reputation for honesty and kindness.  I smiled at everyone, regardless of their temperament.  There was one woman in the office who was especially mean, but I went out of my way to be nice to her, because I believed she was unhappy.
  • Showed calm in the most difficult of circumstances.  When the pressure was on, I whistled while I worked.
  • Admitted when I was wrong and took credit when I was right.  I was not afraid to make a mistake, or speak up for myself.
  • Always sought advice and direction from those I admired.  I made it a point to seek advice often from the big boss on my career goals, and other office matters.
  • Showed confidence in my ability to perform, and was always looking for an opportunity to shine.
  • Practiced being succinct and plain spoken, and I was respectful of higher authority…but not intimidated.
  • Was assertive, but not aggressive.  I spoke up when necessary, but made sure my comments and/or suggestions were non-critical and in the best interest of the company.
  • Stood to be corrected, though it was sometimes embarrassing, and apologized for the error.
  • Shared the glory and mentioned the slightest help or assistance that I received from others on any given project.
  • Ventured forth even when I was afraid that my ideas might be rejected, and most times they were not.
  • Never faked my importance even when my actions were constantly applauded.
  • Was open to criticism, regardless of the source.  I learned to say “Thank you for your input,” even when I didn’t agree.
  • Was tough-minded and didn’t fall over every time my hand got slapped, if I was misjudged or misunderstood.
  • Was efficient and results oriented.  I worked like I had part ownership in the business.


  • Was never late or absent.  I was Johnny on the spot to do what needed to be done…when it needed to be done.
  • Kept an open mind to ideas that were different from my own.
  • Wasn’t afraid to admit what I didn’t know.  I asked questions if I didn’t understand.
  • Accepted what I couldn’t change.  I spent no time and energy complaining about standards and procedures beyond my control.  I adapted to the rules, and played the game as it was expected of me.

And my actions paid off, because the bosses’ took notice when a highly-regarded manager left the company, and I was asked to fill her shoes.

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