Are you working in a "no stretch" organization? To succeed at work, you need to "stretch" your capabilities. You need to perform tasks above your skill level, tasks you've never done before. In a no stretch organization, workers are assigned only tasks they've done before.
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Success at Work : Techniques : Get Ahead by Faking It

Are you working in a "no stretch" organization? To succeed at work, you need to "stretch" your capabilities. You need to perform tasks above your skill level, tasks you've never done before. In a no stretch organization, workers are assigned only tasks they've done before.

Because you have no experience in a task, you're not assigned that task. Because you're not assigned that task, you have no experience in that task. Because you have no experience in that task ...

- Well run organizations make a deliberate effort to give their employees assignments that require them to stretch. If you work in such an organization, there's no need to continue reading this article.

You can break the cycle of stagnation by faking it. When your boss asks if you've done a task before, mumble something ambiguous like "yeh - easy shot". That's right, outright lie to your boss.

- Disclaimer: I am not recommending this technique to doctors or airline pilots (although I have no doubt they use it).

You say you would never lie at work? But you did lie. The first time you entered the door for the job interview, you pretended to be interested in the "work" when in reality you just wanted to know how much they pay and how much vacation you would get, didn't you?

- The ultimate fake; hundreds of people in corporate executive positions were discovered to have fake degrees.

If you accept an assignment above your capabilities and fail to produce results, you could be fired. But in most cases, you will be able to "stretch" your skills and complete the task successfully. As a result, you will advance in your career. In any case, if you're in a "no stretch" organization, what do you have to lose?

- In this article, you'll learn techniques to succeed by faking it.

- It's very common for freelancers and experts to take on tasks beyond their capability. They don't consider it to be faking, they call it "confidence".

Recognize When NOT to Fake It

How much do you have to stretch to accomplish the task? Is the task so far beyond your skill level that there is no way you could stretch enough to perform even a minimally acceptable job? If so, wait for a different opportunity to fake it.

What are the possible consequences for the organization if you fail to perform the task adequately. Would they be exposed to a high level of liability? Might they lose a multi-million dollar contract? If so, wait for a different opportunity to fake it.

How to Fake It

Faking it can mean learning to use a complicated computer application or technology that you have no experience with. For example, you might accept an assignment that requires you to use a Computer Automated Drafting system (CAD). Don't start by attempting the assigned task. First design a few smaller practice projects.

Faking it can require an understanding your organization's processes. For example, you accept an assignment that requires you to write a specification. You'll need to get a copy of the appropriate procedures manual. Sometimes the most surreptitious source for this is a clerk or secretary.

- When attempting to conceal the fact that you're faking it, one of your best sources of information may be a clerk or secretary. You would be surprised how knowledgeable these people are about how things get done in the organization.

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