Greg Rickaby

Greg Rickaby

Full-Stack Engineer / Photographer / Author

7 steps for gainful, long-lasting employment

Posted on | 2 minute read

Over the years I’ve learned some things “the hard way” – and here are my steps for gainful, long-lasting employment.


  1. Show up, every day.
  2. Take criticism. Be trainable.
  3. Be likable. Have a positive attitude. Small talk.
  4. Do your work. Communicate with managers/co-workers the status of your work.
  5. Make recommendations to managers on improving workflow or policy. Whether or not they agree, they will notice you.
  6. Offer to stay late, help others, and cover shifts.
  7. Get your hands into everything thing. The more roots you have, the harder it is to pull you out.

That’s pretty much it.

#1 Show up, every day.

I had perfect attendance in High School. That alone landed me my first job when I was 16. I remember the look on the face of the guy interviewing me when I told him. The interview basically stopped right there as we shook hands.

#2 Be trainable. Never stop learning.

The employee who is dependable plus takes direction well is going to climb the company ladder. Also, if you have areas of weakness (mine is Javascript) then put in the extra time to learn and master a new skill. Nothing shows a manager you’re dedicated by learning new skills on your own!

#3 Be likable.

The easiest way to do this is by saying “hi” every morning. Chime in when there is a conversation about the game/show/event on TV last night. Smile and crack jokes when you can. Share something personal now and then.

#4 Do your work. Talk to others about it.

I shouldn’t need to elaborate on this one. Get your work done. Communicate with co-workers and project managers about these tasks on a regular basis. Don’t leave people guessing!

#5  Speak up. Help the company/team grow.

If you’re in the “trenches” then nobody is better at spotting areas where policy could be improved. Don’t be afraid to speak up to your supervisor.

#6 Go the extra mile.

Nothing gets managers turned on quite like an employee stepping up and taking one on the chin. Plus, you’ll make a new friend or two and be able to call in “the favor” later on.

#7 Put down roots.

Do you love what you do and where you work? If so, put down roots. Get your hands in everything. Offer to help another team, or volunteer to do odd jobs. Once you become the residence “expert”, you become valuable. Valuable people are hard to replace.


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