We’re all faking it in some form or fashion. Some of us, like me, are better at it than others. To avoid being the try-hard that is clearly putting on a show, I’ve provided a few guidelines that should help you ascend the corporate ladder.
Dress The Part
First, and easily the most important. I’m not going to say that you can’t impress the true players in the company with hard work and Jos A Banks suits that you picked up at their bi-annual buy one get 21 free sale, but let’s be honest with each other — we’re all shallow scum bags. When I see a new hire walk in on day one looking like he robbed Nordstrom, I immediately give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I’m even a little threatened. It makes no sense, but it’s true.
It should be common knowledge by now that you need at least one very high-quality suit in your arsenal, but a lesser known commodity that just exudes high performance is owning your own tux. When the inevitable happens, and you’re asked to be in a wedding, you will need a tux. I was in four (FUCKING FOUR) weddings in 2015, and I wore my own tux to every one of them. You’ll occasionally run into a scenario where the bride will unreasonably request that all groomsmen rent tuxes from Al’s Formal Wear or some shit, but everyone will respect you for hitting “Reply All” and asking if you can just wear your own. Boom. Bridesmaids put on notice.
Drive A Lincoln
When I first put pen to paper on this, I wasn’t nearly as specific. Then I saw McConaughey show up on my Sony Bravia and it changed everything. If you’re in your twenties or thirties, and you roll up anywhere in a fucking Lincoln, people will think you’re a boss.
“Who’s that dude in the Lincoln?”
“I bet he has a high stakes poker game to attend tonight.”
“Is he with that Instagram model?”
Luxury Sedans put out the mature vibe that a Tahoe just can’t compete with. While a Tahoe says, “Hey, I’m either a well-off college kid or a dude that just graduated and has a 500 dollar monthly payment,” a luxury sedan or SUV says, “I’m booked all afternoon with out of office meetings but let’s do drinks next week.”
Read To Obtain Baseline Knowledge About Everything
It’s important to cast a wide net. Interest rate hikes on the horizon? You saw this coming months ago. Civil War in Syria? We shouldn’t be shocked that Putin has taken the lead. Square’s IPO? A lot of people were wrong on that one.
An often overlooked part of faking it is being well-versed in high level discussion. So your knowledge is only surface level, and anything beyond talking points will expose you– that’s all you need. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a conference room and offering up a big bag of nothing when the conversation turns from business to geopolitics. Being a guy that can do his job well and shoot the shit about a vast array of topics? That will get you ahead.
Hide Your Substance Abuse Problem
Do you routinely blackout on weekends? Fine, assuming that you’re not with your coworkers. Everyone loves the guy that goes hard at company events, but is that dude really working his way up the ladder? Unfortunately for all of us, the guy that’s buying a tray full of Jose Cuervo shots isn’t gaining respect.
Hide your inner-Belushi until the weekend rolls around, then go hard. Once you’re a VP, you can pretty much do whatever you want.
Relationship Status? You Just Don’t Have Time
If you’re single in your mid-to-late twenties, people will want to know why. In reality, the answer is probably that you do stupid things when drunk, you have commitment issues, or you’re just a fucking morally reprehensible person, but for the purposes of faking it, you need to have one go-to response:
“I just don’t have time right now.”
Ohhhh, bruh. You’re just so swamped with your career that you can’t take a breather to meet somebody. That’s how you get some respect. Sure, you’ll have to deal with follow-ups telling you to try dating apps (as if you haven’t already exhausted that option), but playing the “career-focused” card is always a good move. It’s so much better than complaining about being single.
Be A Young Professional
Do you know what that means? I don’t know what that means. Is it on my resume currently? Yes, it is. Generic networking events are the bane of my existence. Everyone tries so. damn. hard. But if you volunteer, or say that you’re involved in something other than a weekend golf group that shows up to the course still hammered from the night before, you’ll be in good shape. Yes, you’ll take a thrashing for going to the occasional Young Men’s Business League event, but it’ll be worth it the first time you have to tell your boss you can’t attend happy hour because you have to go volunteer. .
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