|The competition is stiff in every arena in NYC.|
New York City is a gladiator stadium for anyone in pursuit of a successful career. Unless your ultimate goal is to be a perfume spritzer at Bloomingdale’s, you will eventually find yourself in this metaphorical arena, facing some stiff competition. Climbing your way to the top, however, isn’t always about being the biggest or most intimidating person out there. Think of your professional life as a game of chess in the sense that strategy is your best friend. Want to be on the fast track to success? Here are some tips to get ahead faster in NYC.
Put In Extra Hours
As a rule of thumb, you should keep in mind that there’s always somebody out there who is working twice as hard to reach the same goal as you. Winners work while others sleep. This doesn’t mean you should overdo it to the point of compromising your health or anything to that extent, but you do need to willingly sacrifice extra snooze time and parts of your personal life.
Hint: If you’re someone who ever says “I’m bored,” then you’re taking the wrong approach. There’s always something productive that needs doing.
|Winners work while others sleep.|
Know Your Industry
Regardless of your chosen career path, you must always be up to date with the latest happenings. Knowledge really is power, my lovelies. My friend Bekki, who works in finance, begins each morning by listening to the news and checking the latest updates on anything related to the economy, trading, and foreign exchange markets.
When I worked for a fashion designer in London, I’d constantly page through Vogue and take notes – not because I necessarily cared about Roberto Cavalli’s latest leopard print dress (that’s a lie… I love all of his animal print creations), but because I was working in that industry. If you’re not aware of what’s going on, then you’re not relevant.
Be Nice, But Smart
The whole “nice guys finish last” cliché would be true, except for the fact that it’s completely false. You don’t have to be a conniving, heartless, self-entitled asshole who steps on others in order to move up. In fact, your personal likability factor will often affect your success, simply because people will help you if they like you.
Don’t confuse being “nice” with being a pushover. If need be, you can always stick up for yourself while still maintaining a high level of respect for yourself and others.
Don’t Show Your Weaknesses
When you’re scrambling up the corporate ladder, any visible signs of weakness can be a red flag to those who decide whether or not you get that promotion or sign that deal with a high-profile client. Weaknesses can be anything from a lack of punctuality to being easily upset or fazed by a distressing situation.
Being in the entertainment industry, I always hear the phrase “Cry like a champion – into your pillow.” It’s all about mastering the art of the poker face. People need to know that you mean business and that you can handle the pressure of being number one. Of course, I’m human and have had my moments when I was so overwhelmed and frustrated that I broke down crying (and undoubtedly, I will have more of those). But I do that in the privacy of my bedroom when nobody else is around. Once I leave my room, the Super Girl disguise goes back on.
|Don’t show your weaknesses if you want to rise to the top.|
Know How Much Money You Should Earn
You can’t have a successful career if you don’t know what you’re worth. A lot of people miss out on opportunities, and even large chunks of cash, simply because they didn’t understand how much they should be making – or they were too afraid to speak up. Are you severely underpaid? Say something. Do you have concrete proof to show that you deserve a raise? Ask for it. When you’re in a competitive city like New York, timidity is not a luxury that you can afford.
Did you know that the musician, PSY, only collected a fraction of what he could’ve earned for the song “Gangnam Style?” That video was one of the most popular in all of YouTube history, but without knowing how much cash he should’ve pocketed, he was shorted when it came to royalties. He still made several million dollars, but the principle remains the same.
Up Your Sales Game
The term “salesperson” gets a bad rep, but we all have to sell a very important commodity at some point – ourselves. If you’re at an interview, you’re selling your capabilities and credentials. If you’re at a meeting with a client, you’re selling them a reason they should invest their time or money with you.
I tend to have an “I don’t have to prove myself to anyone” kind of attitude when it comes to my personal life. But in terms of my career, I constantly have to prove that I have what it takes to be successful in the cutthroat world of the music industry. If I can’t sell myself, nobody is going to “buy” me.
There’s a reason living in NYC isn’t for everyone. In the professional realm, I am replaceable; you are replaceable, and if we don’t have that competitive edge, we will be replaced. There’s always someone younger, smarter, prettier, and hungrier who is ready to do whatever it takes to get to where we want to go. So when I feel like the odds are stacked against me, I put on my big girl panties and fight even harder to show that I’ve got what it takes to win and “make it here.”
|New York is a competitive place. You have to fight to win.|