We all want to make a good impression at work. It’s paramount to our success that we give dedicated thinking time to how we are accomplishing that goal. Here are a few reminders and not-so-common suggestions to set yourself apart:
- Listen, don’t talk. This by no means implies that you never speak up or voice your opinion. It does mean that listening effectively requires active patience and a commitment to one of Steven Covey’s 8 habits of highly effective people: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It also implies that we disengage from too much office chit-chat.
- Be your own yard stick. Don’t use your co-workers as a measuring tool or gauge for your individual success. It’s valuable to emulate character traits you observe in effective leaders, but if everyone in the office spends time shopping on the internet or making personal calls, don’t consider that the norm. Stand out by being the productive one.
- Step up. Captain Jack Sparrow often is heard to say, “Keep a [sharp] eye on the horizon.” For administrative professionals, we can keep a sharp eye out for learning opportunities. Lead before you are asked by taking on challenges. Consider joining committees or talk to project leads. Offer to shadow on a project that you are interested in.
- Don’t be a clock watcher. While you are on the job you have right now, today, respect it and respect yourself enough to treat every job like it’s a career. Your boss will notice if you would rather be anywhere else.
- Double and triple plays. It never hurts to shoot for perfection. Even when the bad days seep into your work life, don’t settle for less than your best work. Don’t be substandard. Fact check, triple check dates, spell check everything twice and know your deadlines. Don’t sell yourself short by rushing through a task or project just to get out the door by 5:00 p.m.
Lisa Olsen, admin, speaker and trainer, is the co-founder of Admin to Admin (www.admintoadmin.net), which conducts one-day professional development workshops for administrative professionals. Lisa is also the Executive Coordinator and Office Manager at Dignity Health—Sacramento Region.