Let's get one thing straight. While first jobs and internships are meant to be a learning experience/networking exercise, if you want to get ahead and build a career for yourself, you have to think like a winner. Easier said than done? These five rules should get you very far – at work, and in life.
Don't outshine thy master
Never try to prove to the world that you are better than your supervisor. Even if you are more talented and knowledgeable than they are, stay humble and don't show off or worse, embarrass them in public. Remember, they can make or break your career.
Thou shalt aspire to become the perfect diplomat
Remember Varys from Game of Thrones? Yes, the cute round man with a cunning mind and a mouth that only speaks only what the listener wishes to listen. Start taking lessons from Varys, because he is really what you should aspire to be; the perfect diplomat. Refrain from voicing judgements that are unprofessional, resist the temptation to indulge in petty office gossip and most importantly, if a co-worker shares anything private with you about others, keep it to yourself and don't play Chinese whispers. Be careful about the toes you step on today, for they may be connected to the behinds you'll have to kiss tomorrow. Be nice to everyone, even if you don't need to.
Let thine actions do the talking
All the flattery and donkey-kissing in the world will not come of any use if it is not backed up by some solid, quality work. Unless you are trying your hand in politics, your words will not be enough to impress your boss. Ultimately, your superior is only looking for tangible results, which means, those assignments aren't going to do themselves. Anything else... well, there won't be anything else if you can't show results.
Own up to thy mistakes
Concede gracefully: people make mistakes, and some mistakes can cost a lot to an organisation. Making mistakes won't make your boss love you more, but claiming responsibilities for the consequences of your action makes you stand out as an individual; it shows integrity and maturity, virtues that are very much in demand. Furthermore, owning up to your mistakes is not a sign of weakness, but you can use the opportunity to disarm everyone with politeness and grace.
Devise thine plans wisely
The ability to be well organised in planning and thinking up multiple backup options will always help you cruise through any crisis. Bosses like efficient people on their team and those who are experts in crisis management. Have backup plans to backup plans, and pay attention to details. That way, you're always winning.