I’m not going to lie; starting a new job is scary as hell! Especially if you’re a bright faced graduate who has spent the last three plus years in a classroom. You probably still don’t know what to expect, or if you can really do the job you were hired to do.
This was me a year ago. Thanks to some really good luck (and my totally awesome resume writing skills), I landed my first professional job straight out of Uni. I started out as a lowly Editorial Assistant in a magazine publishing company and on my first day, I was petrified. So petrified I spent most of the day thinking I would pass out from nerves.
There’s a lot of pressure to absolutely kill it on your first day. After all, first impressions do matter. That’s not to say you have to be an expert the minute you walk in the door, but you do need to show your wits and learn super fast!
Six months after my first day, I got my first promotion and I was stoked! How did I do it, you ask? Well that’s easy, I worked my ass off. Here, are my five proven ways to get noticed at work for all the right reasons.
If you don’t understand something, ask. If you fuck something up, own up to it. If your payroll officer accidentally overpays you, fess up. Bosses respect an honest worker, but most importantly, they trust an honest worker.
I was substantially overpaid over my Christmas break and I proceeded to spend my three weeks off tossing around the idea of not saying anything and pocketing the cash. However, the fear of being caught outweighed the thrill of a few extra bucks in my pocket.
On my first day back I fessed up. As it turns out, it was actually a Christmas bonus. Not only did I feel like a massive weight was lifted off my chest, my boss was humbled by my honesty.
Likewise, no boss wants you to tell them you’ll get the job done when you’re really looking at them wondering what the hell they’re talking about. You won’t look stupid for telling them you don’t understand. However, you will look like a moron if you smile, nod your head and then do the wrong thing. Honesty is literally the key!
Let your work do the talking
You can do as much ass kissing as you like, but at the end of the day, high-quality work completed on time that meets the brief you were given will make you look a lot better than all the carefully crafted compliments in the world.
Instead of sitting at your desk trying to figure out how to get noticed, do your job and do it well. An employee that does what is required without complaining will always get recognised (unless your boss is a dick).
The first time I met my boss, he told me point blank, he values workers who put their hand up for things. So from day one, that’s exactly what I did.
Allowing it was within my means, I would ask for extra work, offer to help co-workers who needed help and volunteer for any new projects.
This could be as simple as driving to the designers to pick up proofs or taking on a new long-term job when a co-worker leaves the company. Being proactive and actively participating in the workplace shows your employer that you care and that you are willing to put in the effort.
Make yourself part of the team
Whether you’re working in retail, or have landed your dream job as a lawyer, you should always be a team player.
Gossiping, refusing to help co-workers, or going out of your way to make someone else look bad, shows your boss and everyone around you that you don’t have the businesses best interests in mind, rather, you’re thinking about yourself.
You should be doing whatever you can to work with your colleagues to achieve the results your boss wants. Sure, if the girl sitting next to you fucks up and you don’t, you might look good in the short-term, however, stepping up and helping her so the job gets done will have a much bigger impact.
Think like a boss
Listen to the way your boss speaks, how to read his/her mood, and pay close attention to what their business goals are.
The most valued and noticeable trait you can possess as an employee is belief. Keep your boss’s goals in mind and do whatever you can to help them achieve them.
Also consider how they would approach a task, so you can ensure you’re completing your work in the manner they would want.
Reading their mood will also show you how they feel about certain things. For instance, my boss gets shitty when a magazine goes to print late. Why? Because a delayed magazine results in delayed revenue, delayed revenue could mean bills get paid late, or worse yet, wages are paid late.
These are the thoughts running through my boss’s head when work runs late. Understanding this, and knowing how this stresses him out, makes me understand how integral my role is in ensuring the magazines go to print, and therefore I work harder.
Doing these things doesn’t make you a suck up, it makes you a good worker, and at the end of the day, it’s the hard workers that get the promotions and earn the big bucks.
It won’t happen overnight, but consistently giving it your all will get you the best results and give you a sense of satisfaction that also translates into your personal life.