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There are certain things that you can do to improve your performance at your workplace and thus raise your “stock” in the eyes of the people in charge. If you are hungry to get a raise, to get promoted, or quite simply to increase your level of satisfaction at work, then this is a must-read article for you. Having been on both sides (as an employee and as a boss), I am offering you 10 tips that can dramatically turn your fortunes around at your job. Here they are:
Always do a little more than is expected of you. There is a saying in business, that the way to create strong, long lasting business relationships either with clients or partners, is to always deliver more value than what is expected. This same principle applies to your job. Provide more value than you are required. It doesn’t have to be very complicated, but little things to turn something good into something great. That can make a big difference in the quality of your work, which believe me does get noticed.
First in, last out mentality
What I mean by this is commitment. I remember one job I had, I was always the first person in the morning in the office and the last one to leave in the afternoon. In return, I became a very well respected part of the company and when it came time for a promotion or to be given an award for outstanding work, I was the front runner. When it comes time for a raise, you are pretty much guaranteed to get it, and from a management’s perspective, I would be very happy to give a raise to someone that shows this kind of commitment to their work. When you think about it, you are there for hours each and every day, might as well make all this time and energy that you are investing in this into something positive and meaningful. Like it or not, for all of us, our job is a big part of our life, so let’s make the most out of it while we are doing it.
Keep yourself busy
If you are always doing something, it will be very rare to get backed up and overwhelmed in your work. Instead of spending your time chatting online or procrastinating by surfing the web, focus on getting work done. Chatting and reading gossip websites will never give you a raise or increase your standing in the company you work for. Use your valuable time appropriately, and if you feel tired and unmotivated at some point during the day, have a look at this article I wrote about 7 ways to cure fatigue instantly which will help you get through the rest of your day. It’s ok to take breaks while you work, after all, we are not robots, but take the habit to do something that will be useful for you. For example reading this blog, which is full of useful content and information, is actually a meaningful way to procrastinate, because the information you gain can be extremely beneficial for you in your daily life at home and at work 😉
Help your co-workers
A company or an office is a group effort. It’s team work, even if you are paid on an individual basis. Being available to help out your peers is absolutely necessary if you want to appreciate your work more and if you want to be better at what you do. The better everyone does around you, the better you will do as well. Also, by becoming a helping hand for everyone around you, you are becoming indispensable to the team, which increases your value to the company. Again, this is great if you are eying a promotion or a raise.
As a manager, I view the social aspect of the office as being extremely important into assessing each employee’s worth. I have seen many horrible anti-social personalities completely destroy the growth potential of a company. It is very important for you to have a good rapport with your peers. I know that for some people, it doesn’t come as naturally to play the social game, but just work on being genuinely interested in your friends at work, and make a point not to exclude anyone in particular. Be the glue that keeps everyone together. Managers definitely look at social skills seriously when they think of promoting anyone, regardless of their work quality.
Participate in activities
Does your office plan a picnic? Does it plan an evening out for a drink, or a nice supper? Make sure that you are there. It is very important to show enthusiasm into anything that the company you work for is doing. These “out of the office” type of events are actually quite crucial, as this is a chance to continue to solidify your social game, as well as a great opportunity to mingle with your superiors, and show that you are a committed, likable, and serious individual. I can tell you that management notices who does and does not attend these activities.
Stay away from the “cancers”
In every workplace, I can guarantee you that these “cancers” exist. These are the people that complain about everything, and their main purpose is to bring everyone around them down to their level. They are bitter, frustrated, and unhappy about their own performance, and they do not want anyone else to succeed. Be savvy and notice such people. They are the ones that never have a positive thing to say. You can be friendly with these people, but make sure not to spend much time listening to them. Surround yourself with like-minded peers. This is very important, because I have seen it over and over again, where a few bad apples completely spoil some potentially very good employees, just with these negative talks. Be smart, and think about your paycheck and the value you bring to the company. Following these negative people’s lead will get you nowhere but the bottom.
Be curious and open to learn
Show that you are genuinely interested in the inner-workings of your job. Ask questions, and have a thirst for knowledge. Open your mind and be ready to absorb as much as you can about the company you work for. Knowledge is power, and the more of it you have, the further you can go. Don’t be shy to try to understand concepts that are even beyond your job requirements. I have found that the best employees are the ones that truly understand the company mission and what the goals and direction of the company are. These are the people that showed enormous curiosity about their job.
Assess your progress with your superiors
One trick I would do when I was employed, was that I would make it a point to schedule meetings with managers or supervisors to go over the quality of my work, ask for their opinion on what I should and shouldn’t do differently and ask them questions about which direction I should undertake. Managers absolutely love this. It shows sheer dedication and commitment to your work, which scores major points! Not only is it useful, as you do get valuable information out of these meetings, but it is a great opportunity to showcase your personality and other skills you may possess to help you get further ahead. Don’t be afraid to speak one on one with your superior. If you do your work appropriately, you have nothing to worry about, and you can dictate the pace of the conversation. Remember, companies need valuable employees, so the ball is in your court if you play your cards right 🙂
Be the one to initiate change when you see fit. This is an extension of being proactive which I talked about in my first point. When you notice that you can improve the efficiency of your work, a peer’s work, or the company as a whole, make sure that you mention it. This is something that you can also discuss in the meetings I mentioned in the point above. I love people that can think outside the box and that are able to see beyond the limitations with which they are “supposed” to work with. By showing that you are a visionary, you greatly increase your value and your importance to the company you work for, so when the time comes for a raise or a promotion, you can be pretty certain that you will be the one to get it.
If you apply these techniques to your every day routine at work, you can be guaranteed to experience increasing success at what you do, and at the same time, discover new ways to feel good about what you are doing. Frequently, we get so lost in the day-to-day grind that we forget the importance of what we are doing, and the difference we can actually make. These tips can hopefully remind you that the key to turning your fortunes around at work truly lies within you!