A step-by-step to cut promotion lines and be noticed at work
Forget spouting the 'right phrases' and walking the boss's dog. There are more solid ways to be noticed at work. And no, you don't have to stoop to sycophancy and late hours. If you really want to stand out at work, here are the things you should do:
1 Don't wait to be asked
Take the initiative and do little things that impact the team, without being asked. Preparing progress reports, putting back-ups in place or setting up reminders — it's a sure way to be noticed in a hurry. Very often, we only do as we are told and this turns the boss into a task-master. If you can see the logical conclusion of steps A and B, go ahead and do before being told to. You are acting like an adult, paying attention and displaying foresight. All good things.
2 Don't shut up
Meetings are black holes that gulp time, attention and energy. Very little gets done in them and the average drone is dozing off or checking up on Twitter during them. First off, don't sit in a corner or near the door which indicates you are anxious to buzz off or remain unseen. Sit up front and pay attention. Ask questions and voice opinions — but not too much. You don't want to be the person that extends meetings pointlessly and makes everyone groan. Don't be afraid to disagree, just do it in a way that address the issue and does not make it personal. And keep it short. You don't want to get into an argument.
3 Jot it down
It's a boring job, but the rewards make up for it. The reputation for being reliable is slowly built and start with small steps. Keeping all the visiting cards you collect handy, phone numbers in a file, pens in a stand, a calendar on your desk — and you become the goto guy for everything. Jot down every little deliverable, task, errand so that you can remember or bring it up when everyone else has forgotten.
4 Keep books around
Sure, you can find everything on the Internet, but books give you an air of intellect. They also indicate that you keep yourself updated, cross-check your knowledge and believe in reference. Keep reference books, dictionary, thesaurus and journals pertaining to your profession at hand in your cubicle or desk. People may laugh at first, but then they'll head your way to look-up a thing or two; then you can laugh back. A word to the wise: Keep bathroom reading at home.
5 Know the staff
Be kind and respectful to the staff you don't have to 'work' with — janitors, liftman, peons and watchmen. But don't be condescending. Know their names like you would your colleagues' and address them by it. Don't forget 'please' and 'thank yous' and never raise your voice at them. Treating people, from whom you have nothing to gain materialistically, with respect immediately gives you exemplary character traits. While you are at it, also know the names and a little information about your colleagues' spouses and children.