Non-Work-Related Ways to Get Ahead at Work
Jill and Tara were both hired by the same company, at the same time, five years ago. They’ve both work hard, meet and exceed their sales goals and work overtime when requested, so when a managerial spot opens up, who’ll get the job? Jill makes it a point to chat with the receptionist every morning, asks for constructive criticism from the boss and makes it a point to attend at least one social gathering each month despite having a family. Tara, on the other hand, comes to work not a minute too early, stays buried in tasks all day long and doesn’t even know some basic relational info about more than five colleagues. If all other things are equal, t’s pretty clear that the boss will choose Jill because of her interactions and reputation in the workplace. To help you be more of a Jill, and less of a Tara, here are six tips to help you better yourself so you’re in the running for the next promotion:
1. Go to Happy Hour
Not only do you get great food and drinks, you’ll likely be privy to inside information as well. After-work banter can provide you with news you might not hear around the coffee maker. But don’t feel obligated to take part on a weekly basis if you can’t, but do make it a point to be sociable and use this opportunity to build camaraderie with your co-workers. You’ll form a better relationship which will translate into a better work environment and increased productivity.
2. Bring in Breakfast
Wake up 20 minutes early and swing by the bakery on your way to work to pick up some pastries. This kind gesture puts you on the radar for all the right reasons. You don’t need to max out your best small business credit card to buy a couple dozen donuts and coffee. This simple act is well worth the $30 you’ll spend and your colleagues will love you for it.
3. Toot Your Own Horn
Start speaking up about your achievements in the workplace. There’s no reason to be obnoxious about it, but the next time you run into your boss, you can give him a status update by telling him that you’ve “finished the research and will be writing the annual report next week.” Do be sure to give credit where it’s due and praise your colleagues on their accomplishments as well.
4. Seek Constructive Criticism
Good leaders know and understand that they still have a lot to learn. When you fail, get back up, ask a higher-up what you should have done better and you’ll never make that mistake again. When you get negative feedback, don’t just brush it off; think about what you’ve done and how you could do better the next time.
5. Help Out the Newbies
When your company takes on new employees, demonstrate that you have what it takes to train someone. Reach out to a new hire, take them to lunch and teach them the ropes. Back at the office, help them out by giving them pointers that only “old” employees like yourself know such as how the boss likes emails to be addressed or where they should sit during meetings.
6. Single Task Your Work
While multi-tasking may be all the rage, an article from INC. says that switching tasks too often can make you function as though you’ve had a couple drinks too many. Every morning make a list of your top three to five priorities and then pick one to start with. Don’t stop working on it until it’s completed or at a natural stopping point. You’ll work faster knowing that you can’t do anything else until it’s done, and you’ll save time by not having to reorient yourself every time you start working on the project.
Implementing these tips don’t require much additional effort, but the results that they yield will certainly be worth it.