Friday, February 15, 2008

Best Advice of the Day

"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."

Amen, brother.

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.


Anonymous said...

errrm thats rubbish..

you've been brainwashed into the corporate mantra and you are getting squeezed (more output for less input) and your bosses are taking the rewards.. (yes not even the shareholders)

specifically its about probability.

and the number of successful people from following your advice is minimal. (ie. the odds, despite working extra in your own time, of getting ahead are not worth the effort - better spending your time on endeavours where the odds are more stacked in your favour to bring you the success you desire)

this is different to working extra and doing things because it is interesting, but one would think people do that naturally.

cheers (and hope its clear)

Anonymous said...

Hello, H.!

I wanted to say how much I like your writing and your blog. I have been reading it for almost over a year now, and it is still the best. But I do miss some new photos of CISCO devices.

I was wondering if you could post only the initials of "distinguished engineer" who gave you this advice. I would like to post this on the wall at work for everyone to see :)

Thank you and keep up the good work! CISCO rules forever! :)

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, the first person who tells this idea as "rubbish" is living in United States and the original advise is from Cisco Engineer that resides outside United States and N agrees because he is outside USA...

Want bet on me?

I was living outside USA. Actually the same island where N lives - Java(Look this is where the original Java coffee from, that name make fortune for Sun Microsystems and Starbucks - the farmers are proud and happy but they are still farmers). I was 100% agree with the advice and 100% did it. That's right, I got noticed and guess what, the company sponsored me come to USA because of my Cisco skill. Cool right? I had better go to USA tweaking cisco routes that seeing coffee farmers in my island. In the USA, I still did this advice and happy. (I love my parents that give me this advice since I was a little kid. Cool, they are not cisco engineers - not coffee farmers also but can give exactly similar advice.)

But wait until you can spell the word outsourcing and merger and analyst (the guy who wear tie and suit, and most of them working at Lehman Brother and Morgan Stanley). Your boss will tell you how great you are and give you the best job on earth, to train newbie and your boss will upgrade your old-almost broken laptop that has DB-9 pin serial port(your favorite one to configure cisco router) and give you the most update laptop with Hi-Def Widescreen and 6USB ports (6 USBs? Where is the bloody serial port? Damn, you need to buy gender bender, should you ask your boss for reimbursement or not? Yes-no-yes-no-yes-no, ah it is ok only 10 bucks, you are a good person, $10 is nothing and your give extra to the company)and software for you to make outstanding documentation. Cool right?, getting your laptop upgraded without being asked. What a good boss. You get noticed. It motivates you. With confidence and Smiley face you deliver outstanding training ever and you created the most comprehensive documentation (plus tricks and tips that you experienced during troubleshooting on the field - behind dusty cabinet and dark environtment, yeah, you have to tell your boss so that newbie do not need to re-invent the wheel and also you tell your boss the trick and tips from your cheat-sheet during exam that you can not remember during exam but can not forget after exam). Cool right? Wait until the training is over and your documentations are complete. Yes. You get noticed again. Your boss, (probably you get new boss already) will call you to his office, tell you how great you are and how happy he is because you did great job. Cool right? but wait, why there is HR person in the room? Oooh, she hands you paper to sign. You get package to leave the company. (is this good or bad? Bad you have to leave the company but good you have money up-front and you can find another job instantly because you are good person and smart)No matter good or bad, Thanks God. You still get a package. Imagine If you are working at MCI, (Bet so, you have dream to work at large telco with mammoth routing tables) or Enron, another great company to work with large campus network. (These two place are wonderful place for your creativity at least to try your 6USBs port to control 6 routers instead of using CommServer - don't smile, you have to think "outside the box" to get noticed.) Anyway, no matter how good you are, if you work with MCI or Enron, you lost your job in overnight.

With Lehman Brother and Morgan Stanley( The guys that tell your company what to do – but can not help themselves), as per October 15, 2008, thousands of great networking engineers will lost job and will not find similar job...and many other good guys are in tears because the saving(pension, stocks, bonds, houses price) is cut by 30% - 100%, The expenses (Heating Oil, Food, Cloth, electricity) is up by 30%-100%.

The first person who tell this idea
as "rubbish" actually giving you other side of thinking and I could confirm it is true. Let me copy paste(engineer way to say quote) “better spending your time on endeavours where the odds are more stacked in your favour to bring you the success you desire”