"You don't get promoted because you work hard, or because you work long hours, and deliver superb result.. You have already been paid for that! But in order to achieve the highest level in a company you must work extra and able to distinguish yourself by volunteering and sacrificing your free time to deliver something outside your job description, to bring values for the company and people around you."
Most of us tend to believe that if we work hard then we will get noticed by the company one day and collect the rewards. That's not how it works anymore. When you are in a very competitive place, everyone works hard. Everyone works long hours. And everyone delivers superb results. So the question is: how to distinguish ourselves in order to be in the spotlight?
The answer is by doing something extra. We should do something outside our work time, to deliver something outside our scope, and willing to do so without any directions from the company. In other word, we should volunteer to do something extra. And there is no guarantee after all those things we do, we can get our reward.
What's the main point here? Do something extra for yourself and only because you like it. If you try to volunteer but expect to get something in the end, then be ready to get disappointed. Just do it for yourself. And do it because you really like it.
By the way, the advice above was from one of the few Cisco Advanced Services Distinguished Engineer. He got into what he is today because he applies this principle. And he is the living proof of his own words. Distinguished Engineer is not a position in Cisco that you can apply. Many people must recognize you and raise your name to the committee. And those people are not only from the team where you have been working with, but as well as from another team or from different organization. The only way to make people realize that you exist is by volunteering yourself to do something extra, and to deliver something outside your own scope.
So please remember next time you think that you have worked like hell, you have spent days and nights to deliver the best output, and you think you deserve to get into top notch position.
Well, think again. Everyone does the same.
And we all have already been paid for that.