You want to get ahead, but when you look at your job description, you can’t figure out how. First piece of advice: Stop looking at your job description. If you want to get ahead, look at what your supervisors are doing. Look beyond what you’ve been asked to do and look for opportunities to show your managers (and their managers) that you are capable of much, much more.
Second piece of advice: Ask for feedback. Learn to take constructive criticism for what it’s intended to do — make you a valuable asset to your company — rather than as a personal attack. Just asking for constructive criticism, will set you apart from your peers. You’ll show maturity, stability and confidence. And that’s a good sign of leadership material. Here are a few ways you can advance your career, some that have nothing to do with your workstation.
Or croissants. Or a gluten-free substitute. Or…bacon! Whatever you decide to bring, don’t do it all the time, and don’t try to impress your peers with your AMEX business credit card on a lavish meal. This small, but meaningful gesture will a long way. Just don’t go fishing for compliments about it. If anything, downplay the act.
Act Calm in a Crisis
Whether it’s a business blowup or some out-of-control interoffice drama, you’ll find plenty of chances to show you can be cool under fire. That’s a quality that will make many managers want you to be on their team. It’s also a tactic that will peg you as leadership material more than just about any other quality.
Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to feel calm in order to act that way. Some people may think of that as “being fake.” But it’s one thing to profess you like a person when you actually don’t and quite another to pretend you’re calm on the outside when you’re feeling nervous inside. That’s not fake—that’s just calm self-control.
This “fake it till you make it” approach has the added advantage that it actually works! No amount of pretending can get you to like Betty in the next cubicle who’s always going on about her Chihuahua and her MIA boyfriend. But if you act calm in a few stressful situations, you’ll soon understand on a gut level that there is no reason to be anything but calm.
Acting calm will keep your blood pressure down at the very least. Eventually, it will also make you the person most able to take reasonable action during an office crisis.
Make Happy Hour!
They don’t call it “Happy Hour” for no reason. You can have a lot of fun with your co-workers at happy hour, even if you choose not to drink. Hanging out with your coworkers outside of work builds camaraderie and strengthens relationships. Better relationships mean better communication and more happiness at work, which equals greater productivity.
What do you do to get noticed?