The workplace can be an intimidating, competitive environment, making it almost impossible to be heard. That’s why it’s important to be confident in your talents and to assert yourself when necessary. Easier said than done, right?! Check out our expert career advice on getting what you want in the workplace.
6 Ways to get what you want in the workplace
Find your office “shepherd”
Who’s your office “shepherd?” Caroline Ceniza-Levine, founding partner of career coaching company SixFigureStart LLC, recommends you figure out fast. “This is the person who knows the ins and outs of the organization,” Ceniza-Levine explained. “They don’t necessarily have to be a senior person, but they typically have a wide social reach. They tend to hear about news or upcoming projects earlier than most. They have institutional knowledge and a good sense of the culture. Make friends with the shepherd at your office so you have a go-to person to float ideas and strategies.”
According to Sunny K. Lurie, PhD, CEO and founder of Fast Focus Careers, it’s important to post your goals on the wall and look at them often. “Visual messages will help you stay focused,” she said. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have your boss view your ambitions whenever he or she walks by your desk.
Pay your dues
Do you really want to attend another boring networking breakfast? No, but you will. According to Danny Cahill, president and CEO of recruiting firm Hobson Associates and author of Harper’s Rules: A Recruiters Guide to Finding a Dream Job and the Right Relationship, you should plan on spending two years paying your dues. “For two years, you volunteer for everything,” he explained. “Then, one fine day, when they’ve grown accustomed to these efforts and have seen the value, you ask to take your boss to lunch. Ask him or her where your career is going, and if they recommend you leave or stay. Pick up the check. Within a few days, you’ll have leveraged your career.” For more risky but rewarding career moves, check out this article.
Create a vault
Become a trusted confidant to co-workers. According to Cahill, knowing how to keep a secret is as marketable a skill in a corporate environment as an MBA or the ability to write code. Playing this important role will help you subtly spread your influence and, ultimately, get what you want in the workplace.
Set one or two major career goals that get you excited
Lurie recommends thinking of a strength you’d like to use more. “Using strengths leads to powerful performance,” she said. Plus, your co-workers and executives will appreciate your enthusiasm and forward-thinking mentality.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, challenge your co-workers and assert yourself. Speaking your mind in a concise, respectful way will demonstrate your knowledge, confidence and leadership skills. Get ahead in the workplace with the help of this article about the art of bragging — tastefully, of course!
Plus, for more tips on becoming a leader in your career, check out this article.