It’s time for somebody to get a promotion. The boss has it narrowed down to two people with equal performance on paper. The difference is that one of the candidates greets co-workers each day with a smile. He is friendly to the people in the office and people look forward to seeing him. He is always open to constructive criticism and is the first one to speak up at meeting. The second candidate still produces good numbers, but he keeps to himself and gets very defensive when the boss tries to give him a critique. If you were the boss, whom would you promote? The answer is pretty clear.
So now you need to ask yourself what you can do to ensure that you are the guy that gets the promotion. Do your job and do it well. Then follow these five tips to get a leg up on your competition.
Socialize After Work
If your friends at work ask you to go out with them for a couple of drinks, you better say yes (even if you don’t actually drink). You don’t have to opt in every time, but make that connection on occasion. Building camaraderie leads to better communication at the office. Long term, that can make you more productive. As an added bonus, you may also be privy to valuable information that you would never have learned otherwise. Be sure to maintain appropriate boundaries and keep the party under control. You don’t want to say or do anything that might haunt you at work.
Gratitude can go a long way in the office, and it is something that many people forget. For example, after you have a big meeting with an executive, send them a quick email or handwritten note simply thanking them for their time and valuable insight. They will be surprised by the gesture and your name will likely be remembered.
Feed the Troops
Little things can make a big impact. Bringing in coffee and donuts after an all-nighter will bolster morale. If you’re collaborating on a project and in for a long night, be sure dinner gets delivered (and consumed) in a timely manner. Depending on your business, you may be able to charge the expense on your business credit card or get reimbursed. Be careful not to go too far and get a reputation as the den mother rather than a contributing member of the team.
Make Yourself Known
You do great things at work, and you know it. But does your boss know it? Make sure your work gets noticed. You don’t want to brag or anything, but it is important that your contributions are noticed. CareerBuilder suggests simply sending out a weekly email informing your boss of the progress you have made that week and how you have made it. This will not only let your boss know how hard you work, but it will also put your name in front of him weekly.
Ask for Advice
The final thing that you need to do to advance your career is to make it known that you are continuously seeking ways to improve. To do this, simply ask your boss where he sees opportunities for growth. If he knows you are open to constructive criticism, he will likely give it to you. As long as you take this criticism and actually do something with it, you are much more likely to be chosen for the next promotion.