The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

by Gorick Ng
The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

by Gorick Ng


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Named one of 10 Best New Management Books for 2022 by Thinkers50

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

"...this guide provides readers with much more than just early careers advice; it can help everyone from interns to CEOs." — a Financial Times top title

You've landed a job. Now what?

No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted.

The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules—the certain ways of doing things that managers expect but don't explain and that top performers do but don't realize.

The problem is, these rules aren't taught in school. Instead, they get passed down over dinner or from mentor to mentee, making for an unlevel playing field, with the insiders getting ahead and the outsiders stumbling along through trial and error.

Until now.

In this practical guide, Gorick Ng, a first-generation college student and Harvard career adviser, demystifies the unspoken rules of work. Ng distills the wisdom he has gathered from over five hundred interviews with professionals across industries and job types about the biggest mistakes people make at work. Loaded with frameworks, checklists, and talking points, the book provides concrete strategies you can apply immediately to your own situation and will help you navigate inevitable questions, such as:

  • How do I manage my time in the face of conflicting priorities?
  • How do I build relationships when I’m working remotely?
  • How do I ask for help without looking incompetent or lazy?

The Unspoken Rules is the only book you need to perform your best, stand out from your peers, and set yourself up for a fulfilling career.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647820442
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 04/27/2021
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 237,148
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Gorick Ng is a career adviser at Harvard College, specializing in coaching first-generation, low-income students. He has managed new employees at Boston Consulting Group, has worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse, and is also a researcher with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard Business School. He has been featured in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the New York Post, World Journal, and on CBC. Gorick Ng, a first-generation college student, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

You can find the author at:

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction The Unspoken Rules 1

1 The Three Cs Competence, Commitment, Compatibility 9

Secrets to Getting Started

2 Think, "Let's Give This a Shot!" 21

3 Show Up Like a High Performer 31

4 Be Proactive 41

Secrets to Shaping Others' Perceptions

5 Know How to Tell Your Story 53

6 Manage Your Appearance 69

7 Send the Right Signals 79

Secrets to Getting the Job Done

8 Take Ownership 97

9 Manage Your Workload 119

Secrets to Getting Along With Everyone

10 Read between the People 141

11 Spark Relationships 151

Secrets to Getting Ahead

12 Master Meetings 171

13 Manage Feedback 189

14 Resolve Conflicts 205

15 Show Your Potential 223

Afterword 241

Notes 243

Index 245

Acknowledgments 253

About the Author 263

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