April 15, 2011
These are challenging times in every industry and the economy is seriously impacting job security. That’s why it’s more important than ever to position yourself as a valuable employee in your organization. Your manager’s perception is their reality. The higher your perceived value, the more secure you will be in your job.
Here are seven simple steps to gain positive notice by your boss and co-workers:
Exhibit a positive attitude at all times.
Attitude is a choice you make every morning when you roll out of bed. Walk into work every day with a smile. Be loyal to your co-workers, even those individuals you don’t like. Don’t ever gossip or criticize a co-worker. It will erode trust and damage your credibility. Don’t view work-related questions as interruptions of your work. Instead, greet your co-workers with warmth and a sincere willingness to help.
Increase your knowledge.
Actively participate in training classes and show enthusiasm about developing new skills. Keep up to date on industry and technology changes. Take classes outside of the workplace to learn skills that will help you to become more promotable in other areas of the organization.
Develop strong customer relationships.
Frankly, the more your customers love you, the more valuable you become. Most businesses want to keep their employees who build customer loyalty. Get to know your customers. Listen carefully to their requests and show them that you sincerely care about their concerns. When customers are singing your praises, your boss can see concrete evidence of how you are supporting the bottom line.
Stay-tuned to your manager’s priorities.
Don’t get hung up performing menial tasks that can take up large chunks of your valuable time. Find out what is most important to your manager and focus your energy on tasks that support his or her priorities.
Maintain a professional image.
Dress for success. Wear clean, pressed, appropriate clothing that reflects the image of the top people in your organization. A sloppy image sends a message of unreliability or apathy to your boss. Keep your work area well-organized and free of clutter.
Change is about the only thing you can count on in the workplace. Demonstrate your commitment to the future by embracing change, not criticizing or reluctantly accepting it. Give up old habits that are holding you back or making you appear outdated. Actively participate in changes by supporting even those initiatives with which you may not agree. (see “Exhibit a positive attitude…”)
Arrive early and leave late.
Always be on time for work and meetings. Better yet, arrive a few minutes early to demonstrate that you are enthusiastic about your job. Don’t race out the door at quitting time. Instead, stay an extra five or ten minutes to create a “to do” list for the next day, make some last minute calls and clear the clutter on your desk. It sends a highly professional signal to your boss and will help you to jump start your work the following day.