In times of economic uncertainty, it’s wise to focus your energy on creating the right impression at work and staying on side with your boss.
This isn’t about 'sucking up' or being false. It’s about doing the best job possible and considering how you can add value to your company and cement your position as an invaluable part of the team. Confused? Don't be. We show you how…
It’s important to realise that working better doesn’t necessarily mean working harder. No one is suggesting that you have to get into work at the crack of dawn or that you can’t leave until the boss has gone home. Instead, why not try some of these simple tips that will work wonders for your professional profile.
Don't forget the basics
Most people are on their best behaviour when they start a new job, but over the years it’s easy to develop bad habits. This might mean regularly arriving a few minutes late or making less effort with your appearance. While behaviour like this might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, it can actually be a source of extreme annoyance to colleagues and line managers.
Sloppy time keeping or scruffiness can be taken as signs that you’re just not that bothered and may raise questions about your general level of commitment. Show that you take your job seriously by being conscientious and exuding an aura of professionalism at all times – after all, you are being paid to behave in a certain way.
Think for yourself
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking valid questions to which you genuinely don’t know the answer, it shows a lack of initiative if you constantly ask people things that you could easily find out for yourself. It may be that a quick internet search will provide the information you need or there may be specific company documents you could check.
Whatever the most appropriate route, you should at least attempt to find an answer before bothering a colleague or your boss. The fact that you’ve tried to work things out for yourself will show you in a positive light and people will be more inclined to give assistance when it’s really needed if you don’t bombard them with pointless requests.
Go beyond your job description
Your job description should be seen as a list of minimum requirements rather than the final word on your daily activities. There may be times when you’re asked to do something that’s not directly related to your specific role. Try to view these requests as opportunities to stretch yourself and demonstrate your flexibility rather than moaning that it’s not your responsibility. That way you will gain a reputation for being reliable and adaptable, which are highly desirable qualities in an employee.
Why not take things a step further by volunteering for projects outside of your team or department, or finding ways to fill existing gaps? While it is an unfortunate reality that no one is indispensable, some people have a natural ability to blur the edges of their official role until they become an almost integral part of the business.
It’s always better to surprise your boss or manager by delivering something earlier than expected than to make a promise you can’t keep. Where feasible, try to negotiate realistic deadlines and then do your best to complete the task in the shortest amount of time possible.
If you gain a reputation for handing things in early then people will trust you and be more understanding should you ever need more time due to circumstances beyond your control. Similarly, if you spot an opportunity to add value to a project in a cost or time effective way then you should grasp it with both hands.
Invest in your own development
The economic climate continues to cause financial problems for many organisations and it’s an unfortunate reality that training budgets have been slashed as a result. In fact, research conducted by our training partner Home Learning College shows that over a third of businesses haven’t allocated any money for training this year.
If you think your career would benefit from new knowledge or skills, and your employer can’t or won’t provide any financial assistance, then it could be worth investing your own money on further study. A targeted vocational qualification will show commitment to your chosen line of work, enhance your professional standing and give your CV a real boost should you decide that it’s time to move on.
As you can see, there are ways to enhance your status at work without compromising yourself or coming across as a teacher’s pet. By adopting a few simple habits you can show your boss that you are a consistent and dependable member of the team, and who doesn’t want someone like that by their side if the going gets tough?
For more information on Home Learning College’s range of professionally accredited, vocational distance learning courses visit: