How to stay ahead of the pack in the workplace
Work smarter not harder.
Working night and day is never a good idea — instead, simply try to make sure you work as productively as you can. Make sure to prioritise and manage your time effectively.
Don’t watch the clock.
If you arrive one minute before the office opens, and then scram one minute after the day officially ends, you could be sending the wrong message. Show your boss you’re interested and passionate in what you do by putting in the extra time when a project calls for it. Also, a few extra minutes each day can really make a big difference to your productivity and deliverables.
Irrespective of your colleagues’ dress code — which may include old t–shirts and torn jeans — stand out from the pack by dressing well; it will make you look (and often feel) far more professional.
Improve your skills.
You should be constantly looking at ways to improve your skills. Not just for the job you are in, but future career opportunities. The better skilled you are, the more valuable you are — remember to make sure those around you see the extra effort you are going to!
Help your colleagues.
You’ve got 10 minutes spare: ask a fellow team member if there is anything you can do for them. This is much better than aimlessly surfing the web, and you’ll find they will often be keen to return the favour!
Ask for feedback.
If you don’t regularly receive performance reviews from your manager, ask for them. Worst-case scenario is you’ll know what you are doing wrong (which means you can fix it), best case is they’ll appreciate you wanting to improve.
Don’t burn your bridges.
If you resign with one day notice, you’ll not make any friends. Adopt a karmic attitude; this industry is still small enough that word spreads quickly.
Of course I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have goals and career expectations. It’s easy to comfortably cruise in the same job for a decade, and get in that comfortable role, but it’s also important to think to yourself: do I want to be doing this in another ten years time?