As nice as it would be, simply showing up to work every day isn’t enough for you to get noticed by your coworkers or superiors. However, standing out doesn’t have to mean acing every single project and working late hours each day during the week. In fact, it’s the simplest acts that can instantly help you climb the corporate ladder. Keep these tips in the back of your mind to put yourself miles ahead of the others in your office:
Say thank you with a card
Whether your boss or a fellow coworker took you out to lunch or helped you out with a project, you should always take the time to say thank you. Sure, a verbal thank you is nice, but putting a greeting card on their desk with a sincere note of appreciation can really help you stand out. The fact that you took the time to handwrite a card demonstrates how much you care about the job and your reputation.
Search through our collection of thank you cards and pick out more than a few – it’s always good to have thank you cards on hand. You’ll never know when you need one! Keep a few somewhere in your desk just in case.
Do efficient work
Sometimes, it’s not the long hours that counts, it’s being efficient in your work. Staying productive, of course, can be easier said than done. It’s normal to get distracted during the day, but there are strategies you can rely on to help you stay on task. For instance, set aside a block of time for a recharge session. This could mean walking down the block to get a coffee with a coworker, taking a moment to check your Facebook and Twitter feeds or just browsing YouTube for the latest funny cat video (I can’t resist those). These small breaks can give you the energy you need to finish up your work in an efficient manner.
Be on time
It doesn’t matter if it’s a casual lunch with a coworker or an important business meeting, being punctual is an essential trait to have if you wish to keep up a professional reputation. You don’t want to be known as that person who’s late to everything because you won’t be relied on for anything. Always check your calendar in the morning to see what you have on tap for the day, and set reminders to alert you when a meeting is about to start or when you have a certain deadline.
You wouldn’t think that picking up a book would have a direct correlation with your performance at work, but in a way, it does. Reading can boost your intelligence and even improve your ability to empathize, helping you get along with all types of different people in the office. Successful business investor Warren Buffett offers reading as an advice for many to expand their horizons.
“Read 500 pages like this every day,” Buffett told Inc.com. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
It’s more than OK to offer criticism in a meeting, but if you do, frame it in a positive light. Start off with something positive, and offer helpful advice on how the particular problem or matter can be resolved. If you only speak negatively about ideas and issues, pretty soon you’re going to become associated with that negativity.
Make eye contact
Whether you’re saying hi to a coworker in passing or you’re having a brief conversation with a client, maintaining eye contact is a simple notion that makes a huge impact. Looking whoever you’re speaking with in the eye shows that you’re focused and present in the conversation. If you’re scanning around the room, however, this may show that you’re disinterested or that you don’t care.