If you’re one of The Fortunate to secure employment in 2009, you must now focus on delivering for demanding clients and colleagues.
Here are proven techniques to immediately propel your career:
1. Be polite/nice to everyone: smile; start conversations; hold doors; say thank you often (tip: skim books on manners/etiquette).
2. Nail your assignments: remind yourself daily that only you are responsible for on-the-job results. But ask for assistance when stuck.
3. Take ownership for Little Stuff: arrive 10-minutes early for meetings; proofread every document before submitting; record professional voice mail messages; return client calls promptly; never use textspeak in formal correspondences.
4. Open your eyes: be observant of workplace habits/office politics; then adjust behaviors to fit company culture.
5. Unplug to be active listener: never listen to iPod around others; don’t obsessively check messages in staff meetings; limit Facebook time; never make/take calls in front of clients/boss.
6. Volunteer for extra projects (especially organization’s priorities).
7. Set short-term goals: write down three tangible goals that you’ll achieve during next 3-6 months; add more as you make progress. Read “The Secret” (Rhonda Byrne) about the Law of Attraction.
8. Spot problems: notice inefficiencies (e.g., operations, marketing); capture ideas in journal. Think through viable solutions; send supervisor brief memo with suggested actions. Follow-up to offer assistance.
9. Be a joiner (e.g., internal committees, PRSA’s Young Professionals, trade associations, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo).
10. Commit to lifelong learning: monitor current events; track industry trends via publications/e-zines/blogs; attend seminars/conferences, complete graduate courses as part-time student.
By focusing your efforts, you’ll impress influential executives.
Tim Conway operates Ignite Young Adults and teaches at DePaul University (Chicago).