You’ve outlined your career path and you know where you want to be. You just need to get there. It’s time to map out your plan to network so you can build the support team that will help you reach your goals.
First step: impress your boss.
First impressions are important and provide a strong foundation when working with your manager. When you are ready to uplevel though, you have to build upon your first impression and really prove your worth that you are ready for that next opportunity. There are several ways you can demonstrate your abilities and ensure your career progression and that’s what we are covering today.
1. Arrive Early
Don’t show up one minute before your start time and spend the next fifteen minutes chatting in the kitchen. Arrive early and get started directly on your most important tasks of the day. If you arrive early, you can even knock out the administrative items like email and paperwork so you are ready to move forward with your more important tasks right at starting time. You may not think your boss and co-workers are noticing but they are.
It’s also nice to get through a lot of work before the phones start ringing too!
2. Be Prepared
Read the agenda ahead of time and make any relevant notes so you’ll be ready to speak up with your feedback and thoughts. Check the minutes from any previous meetings and ensure you have completed your action items. Make a list of questions and points to raise during the meeting. Ensure you arrive promptly and have all the correct documentation for the meeting as well.
3. Be Professional In All Communications
Be professional in your all your communications, whether verbal or written. Find out the preferred format for reports and documentation for your company and make sure you adhere to these formats at all times. Tools such as the free APA Citation Machine for your references page will save you time. If your company requires you to use APA Citation for documentation, tools like this will create reference pages and bibliographies for you and then you can paste them directly into your reports.
Keep a balance between being warm and friendly in your communication and of course, always being professional. Follow this through in all communications, including emails. If your company has guidelines or a style sheet, make sure you follow it at all times. If they don’t have one, maybe it’s time for you to create one so your entire team is on the same page.
4. Be Organized
Before you leave the office each evening, write a list of work you need to complete the following day. This will ensure you know exactly where to start in the morning when the caffeine may have not set in yet. Writing your pending tasks you didn’t finish will also help you to switch off before you head home so you don’t have to keep thinking of all of your to-do items.
Keep your desk clear and keep up to date with all your filing. If the company doesn’t have an adequate filing system, suggest setting one up. Ensure every meeting and deadline is entered into your calendar immediately. Delegate tasks before moving onto your own work. Don’t be a bottleneck and have people waiting for you. Distribute tasks first and then get on with your work.
Companies have made tools to help you stay organized with your workload. Make the most of online tools such as Evernote, and Trello to help you plan and organize your tasks. If appropriate, share information with the team and encourage collaboration as much as possible.
5. Share Your Ideas
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Not all your ideas may come to fruition but if you don’t share them, none of them will. Don’t worry about sounding stupid. Sharing ideas will demonstrate your interest and willingness to be involved.
Also, be generous with your knowledge and help others as much as possible. Encourage a spirit of support and sharing.
6. Go The Extra Mile
Be willing to go the extra mile. Rather than meeting client expectations, find ways to exceed them. Be willing to stay behind and work late. But, be firm with your boundaries. If you’re staying late, set a deadline and leave at that time. Don’t work late every night.
7. Say No
Don’t be afraid to say no. People who say yes to everything run the risk of burnout. You can’t be productive if you’re doing everyone else’s work. Learn how to say no and be firm. Only take on what you can comfortably manage and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
8. Make Friends
Be friendly and approachable to all of your co-workers. Avoid gossip and keep a professional distance to people who are always gossiping and negative. Go to work outings and social events but don’t be the last to leave. Have fun and be friendly. But don’t be the one who drinks too much and over-shares.
9. Keep Calm
Sometimes things go wrong. Despite all your hard work and best efforts, things don’t always go according to plan. Don’t panic. Accept that things have gone wrong. Admit the problem and work out a way to resolve it. In most cases, people won’t remember exactly what went wrong. But, they will remember how you handled it. Keeping calm in a crisis will earn you respect.
10. Be Dependable
If you say you’ll do something by a certain time, make sure you do it. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. Your boss and co-workers should always know that you are dependable and reliable no matter what.
Being skilled at your job is important. But, you also need to consider how you manage your workload and how you collaborate with others. Follow these 10 steps and you’re sure to impress your boss and further your career in no time.
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