Here’s a list of things I’ve learned over the course of my career:
- Timelines are affected by vacation and sick days. Anticipate that as well.
- Say what you know instead of saying you know nothing. You always have some idea, communicate it so you can create a shared ground to start from together.
- Do your own work well always. Then involve yourself in further matters. Otherwise if things go south you have nothing to stand on.
- Never work for free, or in other words, always get buy in and approval before doing work. And make sure you get that buy in from the key stakeholders, not just anyone.
Say you don’t know the answer when you don’t know the answer. (Footnote 1)
Footnote 1 From Reddit:
I hire quite a bit and my biggest red flag is people who profess to know the answer to every question and never admit to not knowing something. I have a couple of really-too-advanced-for-the-role technical questions that I keep in my back pocket and use almost entirely to see what people will say when they DON’T know the answer. Being able to tell me how you find out information you don’t know (and showing me that you don’t mind admitting not being perfect/asking questions) is WAY more valuable than “acing” an interview quiz.
(This is also one of the most valuable traits of an employee – if you don’t know something/screw up, admitting it will win you WAY more points than you trying to hide it/cover your tracks. Coming clean about a screwup – assuming it’s not a habit, obviously – shows me you are both honest and confident.)