Longtime reader here, left the biz in 2012. I thought I'd give back and post some good advice that was shared with me by an older mentor when I was younger. Learn it. Use it. Live it. Hope you find it helpful.
15 CAREER STEPS
1.) Perception is everything...act as if.
2.) Never give them a reason to fire you and they won't.
3.) Do everything that everyone doesn't want to do...do it better...and faster.
4.) If you don't ask for it you won't get it.
5.) Meet as many people as you can and learn as much as possible...the money will come later.
6.) Give more and you will receive more.
7.) They will always pay you just enough to keep you indifferent. (Your boss will likely never pay you more than what he/she made at your age...have a rich boss.)
8.) Treat your boss like you are in a heads up poker game with him/her: few tells, never show your hand if you don't have to, get as much information as you can, create low risk/high reward circumstances.
9.) The 3 most valuable commodities are relationships, time, and information. Probably in that order.
10.) Continuously innovate. Fixing an old problem is just as valuable as inventing a new idea.
11.) Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you. Don't fear young talent. Embrace them and make them your army of advocates.
12.) Always have a plan B....and C.
13.) Sales make the world go round. Everyone is a salesman/woman at the end of the day.
14.) You cannot partner with people who do not share your work ethic, tenacity, urgency, or resourcefulness. Align your expectations before you begin.
15.) It's not what you SAY, it's what people HEAR.
Mod Note (Andy): Best of 2016, this post ranks #5 for the past year