After the excruciating years of your academic career, it’s time to face the “real thing”. It’s time to put down your textbooks and start looking at your professional life and moving towards the career you have always dreamed of. Life, apparently, does not stop and wait for you to decide which career path to take. Life certainly does not give you an awesome career on a silver spoon.

Like every other successful and wealthy person in the Forbes list of the richest, a great career comes with a price. Don’t worry; the price is not that hard as long as you are inclined to give some effort. So here are some awesome tips to get you going on your career:

1. Get social

Make connections and use these connections. Always be in the know (in a good way, of course). Ask around and be nice to your co-workers. Remember, knowing who’s who have higher probabilities of promotion than those who do only what they are told to do and nothing else. Make friends in the workplace and take advantage of these connections to move up the ladder

2. Awareness and attitude

What nobody tells you about office protocol but something that you should always keep in mind is that superiors hate people with attitude. They might have a company policy of “nothing personal” but then, when is it ever not personal, right? Another thing is to always be aware. Know what’s going on. Ask questions even with the littlest gist of any change, but be mindful of knowing the difference between gathering useful information and office gossip.

3. Make an action plan

Your action plan is your to-do list on how you can attain your goals. In some cases, if you want to move up the ladder, you will need to have additional certifications. Going on a university is obviously out of the question, so you can try online learning. Keep your action plan realistic and systematic. The more tangible the actions are (even if it may look gradual) the faster you can accomplish your list and attain your goal.

4. Focus on work. Do not follow the money

Let’s be downright honest here. We all work for money. Everybody knows that. So you don’t have to rub it in everyone’s faces – especially your boss – that you are here for the money alone. A career means your passion and calling for a specific profession. All money and workload put aside, your enthusiasm in performing your task should be as constant as the air you breathe.

5. Financial situation

To clarify, this is not to contradict the 4th point, but to let you know where you should appropriately put money into play. For instance, before jumping into any career-move and decide to follow your heart’s calling – especially if it means being paid less than what you’re currently earning – take a look at your financial situation first. If your bank account screams a “no”, believe it. Otherwise, you will be doing exactly what we are dreading in the 4th point: when it becomes all about the money.

Conclusion

Moving on the right track of your professional life means better financial capacity, a strong possibility of landing your dream job (if you have not done it already) and increased job and self-satisfaction. It’s about working hard to earn that pride in your gut. Bottom line: you want a better career, you should work hard for it.