Outshine and Outwit Your Colleagues to Get Ahead!

Business has changed dramatically over the last twenty-five years, but a first impression never will. The chance to make one is still extremely important and can advance your visibility and perhaps lead to a promotion! Technology has advanced immeasurably and has brought us to levels few thought were possible. But not everything has changed. There are still eager new employees and graduates looking to make their mark and be seen. But as a new employee in an organization, how do you impress the boss and get noticed?

Business Rule Number One – You committed to your current job and the duties that go with it; therefore do every part of your job to the very best of your ability. Personally, I simply don’t understand why people complain about their jobs. No one is forcing you to keep your job and frankly – you picked it. Therefore, do your job in the most superior manner possible. If done with passion, you are sure to get noticed and eventually the boss will hear about it. Enthusiasm, attitude, and commitment really do work!

Business Rule Number Two - If an opportunity presents itself or someone needs assistance, volunteer your services. I don’t mean for tasks like getting lunch, but for projects, extra work, to stay late, to help the firm in any way. This will positively get you the recognition you seek. In addition, whenever possible, do more than asked. If you were asked to create a presentation, create the presentation and write a sample introduction to accompany it. This is of great value to your boss.

Business Rule Number Three – Find ways to save the company money. Review marketing collateral, internal programs, existing marketing projects, mailers, and figure out how to make them better. Decrease unnecessary spending or increase revenue for the company. I have seen administrative level personnel do this for their firm and generate thousands of dollars in savings, as well as promotions for themselves.

Business Rule Number Four - Dress the way you wish to project yourself. Even in a business casual environment, you must dress professionally to get serious recognition from top executives. In my opinion, very few people are taken seriously in anything other than corporate attire. Did you know that less than 10% of graduates entering into the workforce today dress professionally? That fact alone is worth bucking the system and standing out!

Business Rule Number Five - Use your computer and technology abilities. Take a plain looking presentation or document that is in use around the office and improve it. I hate to admit it, but new graduates really do seem to have an edge on the technology front. A few years ago I hired a twenty year old employee, who despite his youth continues to impress me daily with his computer savvy, technical knowledge and sophistication. Take these skills and put them to good use.

Business Rule Number Six - Be careful when using email and social medial platforms. Watch how you represent yourself as it reflects on you and your firm. Also watch your grammar and spelling when emailing and writing in the workplace. I have found that people who are used to IM and text messaging have carried abbreviations and slang words over to the corporate environment. Excellent grammar and proper punctuation will get you noticed as management is always impressed with good writing skills.

Business Rule Number Seven – Prior to leaving the office each day, ask your boss if there is anything else that you can do. As President of a busy firm, I can tell you that this comment is always greatly appreciated, and would only be accepted if a real pressing issue was at hand.

Business Rule Number Eight – Keep your priorities straight at work and keep your personal life private. By all means, interact with your work colleagues and don’t isolate yourself but keep it professional. Avoid office gossip, political games, and concern yourself with what is best for you in the long run. Be a listener, not a talker!

Business Rule Number Nine – If you are due for a promotion or there is an open opportunity that you are interested in, don’t be afraid to ask. Showing interest in advancement is appropriate. You will only fail if you make no attempt at all.

Business Rule Number Ten – People who complain and offer no solution are a drain on everyone around them. Don’t become the office whiner. If there is a problem that continues to crop up, think of a good solution and then bring the problem and solution together to the boss. If possible, once a solution is agreed upon, offer to implement it.

Here’s to outshining your colleagues and using your passion to get ahead!

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