Whether you realize it or not, everyday at your job is an opportunity to “market” yourself to your colleagues, superiors, clients and others. Frequently, and I know I do this myself, we can get in a rut working in the same office environment day in and day out, and it is hard to stay or even sometimes get motivated to “stand out”. But by understanding that the way you present and handle yourself in the workplace is what defines the type of worker people see you as and taking little steps to present yourself as a serious, confident, and capable worker and leader, you will increase your opportunities in the future for promotion and a higher salary.
Don’t be a clock puncher- Even if you don’t pay attention to when people come to work and when they leave, rest assured someone, probably one of your superiors, does. Arriving at work 5 or 10 minutes late everyday and leaving 5 or 10 minutes early tells those around you that you don’t take your job all that seriously. By coming in just a few minutes early, and not running for the door at 4:55 p.m., but staying 10 or 15 minutes later, you will become someone who cares about getting work done and not ready to “fly out the door” when 5:00 p.m. comes.
Take responsibility-don’t play the “blame game”- If you make a mistake with something, own up to it, be honest, and move on. Everyone makes mistakes. Be honest when you “screw up”, and learn from the experience.
Don’t be a “yes man”- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind or give your opinion when you are asked by others. You will be respected for your honesty.
Don’t rock the boat, either.- On the other end of the spectrum, however, you also do not want to be known as a complainer or a pessimist, always disagreeing with others and the way the may be donig things. There is a differnece between constructive criticism and plain old criticism.
Network relentlessly-Even if you are a shy person, it is to your benefit to meet and talk with as many people as possible within your company and professional field. You never know when an opportunity for yourself or your company is going to present itself just because you decided to be friendly with someone and talk with them. Make it a habit yo seek out new people and develop relationships with them.
Be a self starter- Don’t waste time thinking how you are going to start a project, just go ahead and
start it. If you waste too much time pontificating different approaches or thinking about something instead of actually doing it, you will set yourself up for trouble. Start a task right away, and seek feedback on your approach or results.
Use your strengths, but work on improving your weaknesses.- Are you not so good at managing people but proficient technically? Then shine with your technical ability, while working to improve your management skills.
Keep a list of your accomplishments, accolades, etc.- Be ready when review time comes, and don’t be
afraid to toot your own horn. Your boss may have forgotten how well you completed that project back in February,
as he probably has other things on his mind while he is doing your performance review. (possibly even his own review with his boss).
Delegate to Others- Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean you always should. A good leader knows what to delegate, when to delegate, and who to delegate tasks to.
Assist others, within reasonable limits, whenever possible. Don’t let your work suffer as a result, however. No when to say “no”.
Dress for Sucess- This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but dressing nice and keeping your appearance clean and neat helps you promote a professional image.
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