Most of us are striving to be seen and heard at work, hoping that leadership will recognize our wonderful working habits and give us the promotion we dreamed of. But, there are tons of ways to get noticed at work. Some are good and some are really bad. If you’re looking to advance your career, I highly suggest you focus on the good ways. Here are the do’s and don’ts of getting noticed at work to help you get acknowledged for all of the right things, and not for a cringeworthy faux pas.
Do dress professionally. Depending on your office, this may be business casual, slightly more formal, or slightly less formal. Whatever it is, always make sure to look respectable, clean, and well put together.
Don’t take advantage of casual Friday. I love casual Friday as much as the next person, but just because the policy says jeans are allowed doesn’t give you free reign to wear any outfit you choose. Avoid anything that is ripped, stained, or too revealing.
Do get to work on time. That means being at your cubicle, office, or whatever space you work at on time. That doesn’t mean pulling into the parking garage at the start of your clock time.
Don’t mosey in late without telling anyone. I understand that life happens and sometimes you’ll be a little behind schedule. If you’re stuck in traffic or something has come up, give a quick call so your supervisor knows where you’re at.
Do complete your work efficiently and correctly. Make sure everything is done to the best of your abilities and before the deadline.
Don’t compromise quality for speed. Sometimes projects are really hard and it’s just not possible to finish them in the timeframe given. If you really do need extra time, discuss this with your supervisor.
Do ask for help if you need it. Businesses don’t run in a vacuum. If you’re struggling and need a bit of assistance, ask your colleagues for some help!
Don’t guess about what you think needs to be done. Everyone wants to look like they know everything, but it’s never good to guess if the directions on a project are unclear. We all know what happens when you assume (it makes an a** out of you and me) and you really don’t want that.
Do ask for additional projects or projects outside of your normal job scope. The best way to get noticed is to actively take on new projects. Not only will you learn even more, leadership will see you as confident, competent, and if you do really well, it could very well mean a step up the ladder in the future.
Don’t limit yourself and your abilities by turning down important projects or assisting your colleagues with things you wouldn’t normally do. Sometimes people like to say things like “that’s not in my job description.” This makes you seem lazy, unhelpful, and not a team player. Don’t limit your abilities by refusing extra work if you have the time to do it. However, if you are sincerely overwhelmed, politely decline and say you would be interested in a new project in the future.
Do attend meetings and actually pay attention and participate. Sit at the table. I mean physically sit at the table. Many women like to attend meetings and find a cozy spot on the outskirts. This limits their ability to actively participate. However, one good idea at a meeting can get you noticed by a few important people.
Don’t sit on your cell phone, even if it’s a work phone. Nothing is more rude than catching someone texting or playing Candy Crush during an important meeting. Just don’t do it!
Do make friends with your boss. Just make sure it stays professional.
Don’t talk badly about your boss, even if you don’t particularly get along. I don’t care if your boss is the most awful person on the face of this earth. Don’t slander them behind their back. If you truly have an issue, bring it up with your HR team so that you can get it all taken care of.
Do be polite to everyone. You never know who will open the next door for you.
Don’t be rude, pompous, or that annoying worker who talks on the phone and chomps loudly all day. No one likes that one co-worker who thinks they’re the best thing since sliced bread or who spends their entire day on the phone having girl talk. This is an office, not your house.
Do send respectful e-mails and memos. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to, or choose not to, write in a respectful manner. This stuff can always be recovered and is a huge paper trail that could help you or hurt you. Keep it clean and friendly.
Don’t refer to people as “dude”, “lady”, “bro”, etc. Other informal phrases like “yo” and “hello ladies” are often considered inappropriate in the office lingo. While this isn’t always the case, be mindful of who you’re e-mailing. While it might be ok to say these things when you’re e-mailing your co-workers about lunch, it’s inappropriate to use this terminology when contacting a director.
Now it’s your turn. What other Dos and Don’ts do you have for getting noticed at the office?