And never share with your boss or supervisor when you do work nights and weekends. I worked for both schools and non-profits, always recording my extra work as “comp time.” Of the hundreds of hours I logged, I was allowed to take back two or thee days. What I really accomplished was:

  1. Signal my willingness to shoulder unreasonable assignments on top of my job description, and
  2. Piss off colleagues who thought my accomplishments were earned by collecting unfair favors. Thus, if I put in extra hours writing a grant for the resources the schools wouldn’t provide, my colleagues felt the benefits of the grant should be divided evenly with them even though the grant was for my projects. And the administrators agreed, diverting my grants to classes with ‘lower levels of performance.’
  3. Develop a reputation for being negative when I asked my assignments to be prioritized and projecting pitfalls of adding another layer of responsibility.

The employees rewarded and promoted most quickly? The ones who said, “I’ll get on it,” and promptly forgot.

Now they’re all working for the White House.

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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