Adulting can be hard, especially when we’re talking about it in regards to the professional setting. The regular 9-5 grind (or 7-7 in my case!) can become monotonous, and aspirations and passions can become diluted and forgotten.
Lately, in my own professional life, I’ve been making a huge effort to get ahead at my work and in my career. No more drifting along and being one of thousands of employees, no! I’m really working to stand out, and be an asset to my department. My sudden professional epiphany sort of inspired this post, and I hope some of these tips help you to be the most badass employee you can be! We got this! *fist bump*
Ways to Get Ahead at Work
Do Some Soul Searching: First things first, find what it is that you want out of your work. Do you want to master what you’re already doing, or move up the ranks? Do you want to change positions or departments? Discovering what your goals are is the first step to pursuing them, and let’s face it- life is short! So, there’s no need to waste time pursing things for which you don’t have a genuine passion!
Speak up Regarding your Aspirations: Once you’ve set some goals you’re working to achieve, don’t be afraid to let your managers and/or directors know the trajectory you see for yourself and your career. If you’re aiming for management, or hoping to go back to school in order to assume a different position within the company, let them know! Your higher-ups are not only amazing resources for helping you reach your goals, they tend to love goal driven employees, and will no doubt be impressed with your plans!
Meet with Your Managers: Kind of piggy-backing off of my first point, actually meet with your managers! Make an active effort to set up meetings outside of the scheduled quarterly check-ins to find out ways you can improve, as well as steps you can take to better yourself in your position, and also steps that will help take you to the next level.
Set Yourself Apart: Branding is so, so important! It seems sort of weird to think of yourself as a “brand” but you totally are! You want your brand to represent you positively, and also to set you apart! For instance, I’d say my brand is definitely one that revolves around making myself available to others, flexibility, kindness, and also doing my best to build others up and help them to be the best they can be. I do things at work that match my brand, and help me to exercise my best qualities- I’m often used in a teaching capacity. So, what’s your brand!? Find out, and foster it.
Do Extra: If there are task forces you can join, projects you can volunteer for, or even extra shifts you can pick up…do it! Don’t burn yourself out, because you want to make sure even your extra effort is of the best quality, but let people know you don’t just settle for the minimum. Go a little above and beyond. A little definitely goes a long way! And, in the end, it can help you further improve your skills! After all, practice makes perfect.
Pursue Your Passions: This sort of harkens back to my first point, but it’s such an important point: do what lights a fire under your butt. The things you are passionate about, you are passionate about for a reason! Pursing things that you’re passionate about within your work makes your job feel less like a chore, and more fun! You’re more likely to enjoy what you do, and do a better job of it if you genuinely enjoy, and find interest in it. I know I’m passionate about teaching and orienting new hires, so I often volunteer to act as a preceptor!
Make a Change: There are people that complain and always find the negative in situations, and people that complain and find the negative in situations, but take it upon themselves to change it. Challenge yourself to make a change in your workplace. Your boss will be much more impressed if you bring up a problem and offer a solution, rather than just complain about something you have no intention of fixing. Be the change!