Katie Brenneman 4m 1,103 #leadership
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
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Unless you are an entrepreneur or already act as your own boss, if you want to evolve and grow within your company, then you will likely need to impress at least one person above you on the corporate ladder. There is no way around it. If you keep to yourself and do the minimum amount of work, then you are likely to be passed over, and you may be dispensable if the company ever needs to downsize.
With that said, even though you want to impress the higher-ups, that doesn’t mean that you should be working 80+ hours a week just to try and make a good impression. Instead, try to present your best self during your working hours, and you will make a difference. Use these tips to get started.
It is important to understand that while showing off every once in a while is okay, it is not necessary for you to constantly be the center of attention to impress your managers. By having pride in your job and showing your work ethic, you will make an impression, and your boss will take notice. That means making it a point to always be at work on time, show respect for your coworkers, and always complete your tasks to the best of your ability. Some management professionals believe that those with good work ethic are in short supply these days, so they love to promote those who truly care and understand the needs of the company.
Doing your best means not only completing your projects but also managing your time and resources accordingly so that you always hand in your assignments on or ahead of schedule and that your work is error-free.
To deliver your best work, you need to create a plan and set goals. At the beginning of your shift, plan out your day and determine what needs to be done and when to meet all of your deadlines. That way, you will deliver great work without missing any crucial details. If you start this routine now, it will be easier to follow if you are promoted, and you’ll continue to deliver great results when you work alongside management.
You also need to show your coworkers and managers that you can be as effective when you are working solo as you do when you are part of a team. Leadership needs to see that you play well with others because if you ever get promoted and join them, they will want to know that you work well in their current system and that you won’t create unnecessary drama or make things more difficult.
While you should always strive to handle your current assignments to the best of your ability, it is also a good idea to try to tackle new responsibilities when the opportunities present themselves. Of course, you should do a bit of research so you can determine if you will be able to handle a larger workload without sacrificing quality. You should also only take tasks if you understand how to complete them, or you have a way to learn the necessary skills so you can still do what is asked before the deadline.
When upper management looks for volunteers, and you raise your hand, you immediately become a person of interest because they know that you are not afraid of a new challenge. Beyond the instant recognition, there are other great benefits to taking on more responsibility at work, including improving relations with your current team, the chance to add more accomplishments to your resume, and an increased chance of future advancement opportunities. On top of that, if your new project involves the input of the higher-ups, then you can also widen your professional network, which is always a good thing.
Another way to earn the chance to take on more responsibilities around the office is to grow your knowledge by returning to school or taking classes on the side. You can either take classes that teach you more about your current area of business or you can learn about a totally different subject. By learning about a new topic, you can add to your resume, and tell your boss that you can tackle new projects in that area. The best part is that you can go to school while you work by taking online courses that provide the same great education that you would get at a brick-and-mortar institution.
There is almost no limit to the types of online courses you can take, with topics ranging from web design to HTML and everything in between. Search online to find classes that match your particular skill set.
When you want the higher-ups to acknowledge your existence, you need to speak up and make your voice heard whenever it is necessary and appropriate. A great way to make a good impression is to be a solution-oriented employee who is always looking for ways that your organization can improve and evolve. You can do that by constantly asking the “why” of every process and thinking about how your idea can streamline that task. Once you have a well-thought-out plan in mind, share it with your superiors.
You can also stand out by trying to influence company culture and contribute to a positive work environment. That means knowing how to communicate with and support your team members, learning how to be flexible when possible, and doing your part to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere. It is not totally up to you to create this environment, but management will likely recognize and appreciate your efforts.
While you may be a go-getter who wants to take on the world, it is necessary to also keep your physical and mental health in mind and not overdo it. You need to create a work-life balance where you give it your all when you’re at work, but you also take time for yourself and your family. Set a schedule and a time at the end of the day where you clock out, leave the office, and go do something that you enjoy. After all, if you go to the extremes to impress your boss, but you end up burning out, you won’t be helping yourself or your company.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can impress the higher-ups without overextending yourself. Consider the tactics mentioned here, work hard when you are on the clock, and you will get the recognition you deserve.
~ Katie Brenneman