Anyone who has ever worked with an overbearing self-promoter knows there is a big difference between a show-off and a superstar with a quiet pride in their work. While finding the balance between sharing and bragging can be an intimidating task, downplaying your skillset won’t do much for your reputation and comes at a serious opportunity cost.
The key to shining in the office is to focus more on being helpful, collaborative, organized and prepared than just seeming so, and using these traits as a source of inspiration for colleagues, never as a weapon.
Today, we are sharing five ways to step into your spotlight in the office (without turning everyone off).
Make an effort to connect.
While small talk on Zoom and socially-distanced water cooler chat may not be your thing, not taking the time to say hello or showing interest in the lives of those you work with will backfire in the long run. There is truth in the saying that people will never forget how you made them feel. Instead of rushing to your desk and disengaging in video calls, make an effort to get to know the people you work with. Resist the urge to make “jokes” that might make someone feel bad and watch for a passive aggression tone in your emails. Making small efforts will help to diffuse any misinformed projections, build relationships with your team that will inevitably boost productivity and set yourself apart from those who only acknowledge those who can help them in some way.
Proactive, Prepared and Polite
Take a few moments each morning to understand what you want the outcome of your day to be. After you have a clear picture, identify the most important tasks to take on in order to achieve it. Look at your diary and make a few notes for each meeting you have and gather any additional materials you may need and set them aside. It’s important to remember that you are a part of a larger landscape and the more prepared you are, the more seamless the process will be for others.
This sounds obvious, but how many people know someone who is always running late, shows up to meetings without notes or always has an excuse for a missed deadline or sloppy work? Maybe they show up on time but never go the extra mile, send links for files they want you to look at or make you chase them for information in long email chains instead of presenting a quick and effective one sheet. As “nice” as you may be, if you are constantly challenging other’s expertise or generally making more work for colleagues, you’ll quickly lose credibility.
Update Your Team
Give weekly updates and take it upon yourself to lead the charge when it comes to following up on projects (before they are due). Information exchange offers a great benefit to those who are opening the lines of communication. Not only are you showing the work you have done in a non-aggressive way, but you are also leading team members who may have needed a reminder or a little guidance as to how to get things done. A little update here and there will do wonders for trust-building.
Be Helpful, but Stay In Your Lane.
This doesn’t mean to play the “that is not in my job title” card, but more a reminder to step up and give 100% but don’t take on other people’s duties to show off or play the martyr. You want to share your knowledge and wisdom without stepping on anyone’s toes or disempowering them. Teach them how to fish and hold them accountable but don’t throw them under the bus, and make all suggestions for improvement privately in a 1-1.