Young women are always asking how I, a successful CEO and a member on several boards, have made it so far in my career. And while it might seem impossible when you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, allow me to let you in on the secret to my success: every morning, I wake up at 6AM, make a strong cup of coffee, and just sort of bounce around tabs on my computer until around 6PM.
Here’s a glimpse of my day-to-day: I get to work no later than 8AM. Then I open some tabs: a calendar, a couple spreadsheets, and a Google doc or two. Sure, I’ll throw in Twitter, Instagram, and Fashion Nova once or twice an hour. Then, I just start clicking from one of those tabs to the other, depending on who is walking by and what they want from me. You see, the secret to work is giving the appearance of working.
And let me tell you, people are intimidated by my work ethic.
I started off over 15 years ago as a humble assistant, with tabs like “Jen’s Calendar” and “studentloans.gov.” But I got so fast and efficient-looking at just clicking about that I was quickly promoted from Administrator to Manager to VP. Now my tabs are things like “Quarterly Dividends” and “Postmates,” but the work I do is essentially the same: just clickin’ my mouse at random and sometimes diving into a long read about small but deadly cats.
I’d be lying if I said that some days I just don’t feel like opening up tabs and clicking around my computer like it’s a workplace-inspired video game until the day’s end. But no one ever said that being successful was easy. You have to have the willpower and stamina to arbitrarily open and close tabs for hours on end, or I’m sorry: you’re just not going to make it very far.
And your work doesn’t have to stop at clicking from tab to tab. You can do lots of other things to appear busy without actually engaging in any work. You can shout voice commands into your phone, patiently explain why something that happened wasn’t your fault to anyone who will listen, and lightly jog around the office to show how slammed you are. But mainly, it’s about the clicking. And if I hadn’t had the discipline to keep it up all these years, I wouldn’t be here in this corner office right now.
Hopefully, with my advice, you can climb the corporate ladder simply by selecting tabs at random. Next week, I’ll tell you my secret to successful parenting: rummaging around in a large cloth bag until the problem goes away.