If we boil it down, there are two basic kinds of employees; those who are liked by all and then there are those who are not. We all have had encounters with colleagues and seniors who seem to be a little too harsh, the “in your face-know it alls” and we do feel a repulsion from them. On the other side, there are also people we appreciate and are keen to interact with. If we observe, the employees who seem to be kind and gentle often climb that company ladder quicker compared to those who are a little over the limit. Why is that so, and if one needs to be kind and professional to grow within the company how does one go about it without the risk of being too sweet?
Step 1: Blending in the Company:
The first step towards becoming the blue-eyed employee of the company is to blend; this might bring up the argument “those who blend are not noticed”; the Chinese came up with a response, “the nail that sticks out, gets hammered”. You will need to blend in brilliantly according to the company’s atmosphere and the way they carry out daily routines. This comes down to the way you interact with others around you particularly your seniors. Your goal here is to make it clear to them through your actions that you have completely accepted the company’s atmosphere and you appreciate being a part of it.
Step 2: Making Your Presence Felt:
This is where it gets slightly technical; your next task is to make your presence felt without giving an impression of you being “over efficient” or “over confident”. Should you be tagged as being over efficient you will be swimming in crimson tides for sure? Making your presence felt starts fromcompleting whatever is assigned to you in exactly the way it is expected to be completed – not more, not less. If there are ways you believe can improve the quality of work you are assigned with, make sure you let your supervisor know in the most humble tone possible. For that matter, you can say something like, “Sure Sir, I will compile the report sooner than you expect it; but Sir do you suppose it would be better if we do it this way?” Understand the play of words here, by saying that, you are actually putting your supervisor in a “supervisory” role without questioning his/her authority. The worst thing you can possibly do is to question your supervisor’s position – no matter what level of career you have; no matter how silly your superior seems to be. You cannot question your senior officer’s position, period!
Step 3: Be Professional:
Being professional is one of those things no university or educational institute can teach you perfectly – you need to learn that on your own. Yes, there are some rules to professionalism you are told; “nothing is formal unless it is on paper” is one of those; however, the rest you need to observe and learn on your own. For instance, where does the boundary of professionalism end and rudeness begin? We have all encountered someone who was a little too formal for us; and although they were being nothing but, we felt they were being rude. The goal here is to be professional without being rude; dress up neat and clean; a well-pressed suit is always the best bet. Do not wear bulky belts or watches resembling that of a rapper; wear in moderation. Your hair should always be neatly trimmed, and your shoes should always be polished. Next, comes your interaction; being polite with a gentle smile on your face does not mean you are being unprofessional. Keep a friendly smile when situation asks for it and always maintain a calm eye contact; also make sure you are serious when something serious is being discussed. Be attentive, and be confident.
Step 4: Be the Pack Leader:
By now, you have shown your supervisors that you are enthusiastic, professional, sincere to other employees and intend the best for the company. Now is the right time to let them know you are ready for a team of your own. Take initiatives, take charge; whenever your supervisors ask for volunteers, step up to the challenge and come through. While doing so, make sure you do not step over someone else – as it is very easy to do so in this stage. If there is someone else trying to get the same assignment, just make your presence felt be competitive but do not step over them – let your supervisors know, you are willing to take on the challenge. Sooner than you know it, you will climb up the ladder one-step. To keep growing you need to keep practicing these steps religiously.
Often that promotion will take a while before it knocks on your door; the key is consistency and positivity. Whenever someone else is promoted, share the cheers and do not feel bad about it. Negativity shows on your face and supervisors know how to read it- so stay positive!
Here’s to you – the next Employee of the Year!