Getting a payrise and promotion starts with raising your skill exponential, and letting bosses see that value.
With unconventional ideas, graphics, and practical tips that work (and which we have personally tested), adulting doesn't have to be that hard. Seriously.
Stop struggling. Succeed in your 20s.
We interviewed bus drivers. Bankrupts. Because we knew that there were many books that talked about successful people. But not many who were real.
Adulting is tough.
I've been there. Done that. I know how it feels to not know what you're doing with your life.
You don't really know what to do in life.
See those selfies your friends post of their new jobs? Or the LinkedIn posts offering another vacancy? Deep down, you don't really know what you want to do, or what you can even do.
You don't even know how to deal with toxic people.
So you've gotten a job. But what do you do with the bad bosses? Or the toxic colleagues that talk behind your back, or backstab you? What can you even do with them?
You can't tell when you should quit.
Your greatest fantasy is that you would throw your resignation letter on your boss' table, and walk out into something you love. Really love. And that you're really good at. But you don't know if that's even wise. Especially in this economy.
Most of the advice out there doesn't work.
Many career books were built for a different economy. Not one where there was just COVID. Or inflation. Or even a possible recession.
Get more qualifications... really?
Well-meaning people might tell you to get a Master's degree or even a PHD to distinguish yourself in the competitive market. That's probably going to set you back more in terms of cost, and time spent studying, rather than understanding the real world by working.
Chase your passion... seriously?
Hear people like Steve Jobs saying, 'Love what you do, and you will never work another day in your life.' Sure. What happens when you stop loving what you do?
Just suck up to bad bosses? Come on!
Surely there's much more than just sucking up? There's a better way that can involve you just distancing yourself from your boss, taking calls rather than face to face meetings.
I've been there.
I'm John Lim.
In my first part-time job, I was so bad that I got sacked.
In my first full-time job, I was issued with a Performance Improvement Plan. This was despite me having scored the first-class honours in my degree, and then later getting awards for being a "Global Graduate". Whatever that meant.
I thought good grades meant a good job.
It didn't turn out that way. Wanting to do better, I started interviewing others who had succeeded in their careers.
Unconventional wisdom that we learnt
Some of these advice just doesn't seem that conventional.
Don't chase your passion.
For months, I sat trying to figure out what my passion was, and what I 'loved'. Until I got depressed and suicidal. Because I didn't know what I really loved.
Then in 2021, I quit my job and started writing, and writing. And the rest is history.
You can stay in 1 company.
Sascha, who has worked 14 years in a MNC, is a classic example of how one can develop one's career at one company.
As long as one is growth-minded and willing to constantly seize opportunities, one can take bigger and bigger opportunities.
It's not the connections that matter.
It's fancy to have many connections on LinkedIn today. But what we've seen in people like Adeline, is that it's not just the connections that matter.
It's the conversations that do.
Bad bosses just need distance.
SUTD lecturer Grace Teo shared research that found that sometimes, distance makes the difference.
Find yourself struggling with a boss? Take calls rather than live meetings.
Nah, we're tired of boring books.
Yes, you know that bestseller that everyone talks about, that you just leave on your shelf. That's not going to help you, is it. That's why we wrote this differently.
You really don't want to be spammed with more words. That's why we encapsulated some of the best ideas through graphics.
Exercises to try
We want to make things real for you too. We didn't just want you to read, chuck the book aside, and not really take anything away. That's why we built exercises for you.
A sneak peek of the people we interviewed
"Instead, set yourself up broadly. Because if you start your career and you are too focused, your direction is already predetermined."
Head of finance, smart infrastructure regional solutions and services asean
Many are stuck because they are scared of uncertainty. Then reduce the uncertainty! That’s why I went to do 9 internships! I wanted to know what was in the different industries.
Always, whenever I look at a career decision, I look at my chance of success.
At the local start-up, I had the chance to increase my visibility.
Do you want to feel regret or remorse?
Dr Stéphanie Say
Time to get your payrise.
Nah, don't wait. Just buy it now.