The following is a guest post from GL Hoffman, who wants to help you in this time of economic uncertainty.
No one wants to be anonymous. We all want recognition and appreciation for who we are, and what we do. Most of the surveys say that recognition is what we most crave from our workplace. And, it is the determining factor to why people stay at their job. How can you make sure you are not anonymous at work, how can you stand out amongst all the others? Here are some ideas for you to try:
1. See work. In most companies, jobs are almost always bigger than the person. You can make your job bigger and better by simply seeing work that needs to be done, and then do it. Most of us work in small companiesâ€¦there is always work to do. Do not wait around for someone to point out work to you. Get a reputation as someone who can see work, especially un-assigned work. Chances are good that the baby boomers at your workplace are not using Facebook, Twitter or blog. Seek them out and offer to teach them. They wonâ€™t ask, but we all know they do need the help.
2. On time. Be on time in everything you do. Complete projects when you say you will. Show up on time in the morning or after lunch. This is a small thing, making this a workplace habit will pay off. There are tools in every email product that allows you to coordinate meeting spots and times, be the one in your office that uses it.
3. Be perfect. Understand that even though no one is perfect, your boss expects perfection. You never know when your poor grammar in an email will negatively affect your career. Learn to be your own worst critic. Always improve. Even though the business community is getting lax with abbreviations and LOL, you should be careful and consider the audience.
4. Can Do. Exhibit a â€œcan doâ€ attitude. Remember that the company can pay a lot of people a lower salary to NOT do your work.
5. Do the job no one else wants. Careers have been made on this reputation aloneâ€¦do the toughest, the worst, or the jobs that have caused others to fail. Search out the toughest tasks.
6. Be sales minded. Most companies need revenue. What can you do in your job to add sales? Always be looking for ways that you can impact sales in your company.I guarantee you there is no faster way to move ahead in a company that being seen as someone who can meaningfully impact the sales. Chances are, your VP of Sales is behind the curve on social media tools. Show him how he can use them to stay in better contact with his customers and prospects.
7. Customer-focused. How does your job impact the companyâ€™s customers? If you donâ€™t know how, find out. Every business needs customers. And every job touches the customer in some manner. Become an expert on how your job positively impacts the customer. Do your customers use Facebook? Is someone monitoring the blogs from competitors. Donâ€™t assume that the â€˜higher-upsâ€™ have an in-depth understanding of new tools and media
8. Always improve. Improvements do not have to be gigantic to gain attention. Make sure that this month you are doing a specific task better than you did it last month. Small incremental improvements in your performance get noticed.
9. Donâ€™t whine, gossip or complain. Save whining for after work and only to your partner, spouse and only if you absolutely need to. It is so common for people to get together and complain about work. The more you do, the worse you will do.
10. Become an evangelist. Most businesses have a leader or boss who is really-really-really good at presenting the business in an exciting, positive way. You can also do it, even if only to your co-workers, customers, family, friends. Think of it this way. You meet someone at a family reunion and they ask you what you do. What do you tell them? Does this person leave the conversation understanding more about your job and company? The goal should be to get THEM as excited about what you are doing and your company as what you are. Young people make think this is NOT cool, I understand. But in small companies, especially, your boss knows who are evangelists for the company. With the new, under-used social tools you can make a name for yourself, by becoming the in house evangelist that uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even blogs about your business.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. He has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other local business publications and newspapers. Find out more at Dig Your Job