Want to make a good impression at work? Follow these tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
You're a tireless worker. You get your work finished, and you accomplish a lot for your company. But here's a question for you: Does the big boss know your name?
You may think that your boss doesn't like you. Why else would they skip you for that promotion? Yet, what if it's not about disliking you, but actually they just don't notice you? Maybe, your boss may know your name and that's about it. No matter how good you are at your job, it is hard to move your career ahead if your boss isn't taking notice of you and the things you do.
The good news is that there is something you can do about it. Take action and make sure that you are on the boss's radar — in a good way. Here are some easy tips to help you stand out at work for all the right reasons.
1. Be early to work.
That's right. Don't just be on time, but be early. If you can find a way to get up, get your java, and get into the office at least 10 minutes before most of your co-workers show up, there's a good chance you'll be noticed. Most bosses didn't get to their position by strolling in late every day. If your boss is in early, they'll notice your dedication, and you may even get some alone time together for casual conversation.
If that doesn't happen, there are still a lot of reasons why being early to work is good for your career. Give it a try for one month and see how it goes.
2. Make the first move.
Why not? It can be as simple as looking your boss in the eye and just saying “Hi” or “How is your day going?” as you pass in the hall. Better yet, make an effort to chat with them in a casual atmosphere. Talk while in the break room or at an office event.
When chatting, be sure to ask questions and really listen to the answers. What does your boss really care about? Family? Sports? A particular project that's happening in the office? Once you know where your boss' focus is, you can relate to them on that level. Don't try to talk yourself up. Just converse, listen well, and keep things positive. Only bring up a work problem if you are prepared to also suggest a solution.
Once you've had a few conversations with your boss, regardless of the topic, you're on their radar. Now you can start building yourself up little by little, and start talking about your work and successes.
3. Speak up at team meetings.
Employees who are silent in team meetings are looked at as employees who have little to contribute. That's not fair, you say? Perhaps you're an introvert. Regardless, be prepared to start providing input at work meetings. Let your team know when your projects are going well and offer suggestions to problems that come up. Every boss loves a problem solver.
By speaking up at team meetings you're sure to get the boss's attention simply by putting yourself out there. If you are consistently offering smart solutions or talking about successful projects, you're going to leave a great impression.
Related: Interview Tips for Introverts
4. Be involved at work.
How can you be more involved at work? Think about philanthropic or team-building events (or both!). These types of events take a fair amount of effort to set up and execute. By volunteering to be a part of them, you will come across as a person who is more than a punch in, punch out employee. You're engaged with the company.
If you really want to stand out and impress your boss, volunteer a new idea. Can you think of a fun way to raise money for the company's main charity? Have you seen a cool new activity that would make for a fun team-building event? Take the lead and volunteer to organize something new. Too often companies will find themselves in a rut with these kinds of things because doing something new takes extra work. Be that person who's not afraid to put in the effort to expand their horizons.
5. Branch out to other departments.
Find ways to use your talents and skills to help out departments other than your own at work. If you are able to spare a little time here and there, you can benefit yourself in many ways by working cross-departmentally. You will have the chance to help others while probably learning some new things along the way.
You'll also be able to boost your resume, better understand your company as a whole, and boost your reputation throughout the company. Think the boss won't notice that? Think again. If you can get people from multiple departments to comment on how you've helped them, the boss is going to recognize you as a versatile and valuable person.
Related: How to Build a Positive Reputation at Work
6. Be fun.
Happy, outgoing, and slightly playful people at work not only show their own happiness, but increase it in others. No boss wants to see employees who act like they're grinding away at a job that makes them miserable. If you can do your work, do it well, and have fun at the same time, you are a force that will definitely impress.
There are many simple things you can do to create more fun for yourself and others at work without coming across as silly or juvenile. Find a few ideas that you think would work in your office and start integrating them into the culture.
If the fun approach is too bold for you, simply focus on being happy. Try to smile and keep your tone upbeat, even when you're tackling big issues. It's not always easy, but it is effective.
If you want to keep your career trajectory moving forward, you need those at the top to notice you and the work that you do. It's not always about self-promotion (which is not a bad thing either) as it is about getting noticed. Even great bosses may not find the time to get to know every person working under her chain of command. It's up to you to find simple ways to make sure that you stand out in great ways that make you impossible to ignore. Once you have the boss's attention, then it's up to you to do fantastic work. These simple work tips can help you get the boss looking your way. The rest is up to you.
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