5 Simple Ways to Get Ahead at Work

A job is much more than just a means to support yourself and earn an income. In full-time employment an employee spends most of their waking life at work. A job provides not only a source of income, but also a sense of purpose, identity and most of all a chance to develop your professional and personal skills.

Even the worst job you ever had must have taught you invaluable information in one form or another. Each task is a chance to further your growth to learn and apply knowledge, if someone is bad at their job consistently over a long period of time; usually they will either quit or be fired. However the difference between a mediocre and outstanding employee is huge but can require little effort to bridge the gap.

Here are our top tips for bettering your professional self:

1. Plan your next day in advance. Every day before leaving the office for the day or when you have a spare 5 minutes in the evening, write down a list of your most important priorities for the next day. If you arrive at work without a list of priorities you are setting yourself up for wasting time in the morning when you or forgetting tasks that are required. The most productive people always have a plan!

2. Always ask for help. The workplace is notorious for being a highly competitive place; it can feel like you are giving others the upper hand when asking for advice; however it doesn’t have to be approached in this way. Asking for help from Management shows that you are being conscientious and concerned with the outcome of your work. Asking a fellow coworker also builds trust and shows that you value their opinion. This pooling of information is invaluable for teamwork to take place and the company growth as a whole. Remember the age old adage: there is no such thing as a silly question!

3. Get on your Managers level. A lot of people often assume their Manager fully oversees their work and knows their daily tasks; however this isn’t always the case. At least once a month it’s a great idea to sit down with your Manager to go over your current projects and priorities. Explain what’s on your mind and where you require assistance, if any. It isn’t being demanding or needy to bring your Manager up to speed with your schedule and idea; most likely it will show willingness and a drive to succeed.

4. Learn when to say no. It can be tempting to be a people pleaser; however you have to set boundaries early on with your coworkers in the office. No one will respect boundaries that you haven’t created. It’s good to show willingness however, the more time you allocate to your own tasks the higher standard they will be, don’t spread yourself too thin.

5. Create a priority map/diagram. Draw your key goals and projects on a large piece of paper for sticking somewhere on display at home, showing each one as a different shape on the poster. Look for links and connections between and among them. Make your highest-priority goal a larger shape than your little projects and organise them accordingly.