8 April 2014

8 Ways You Can Boost Your Career Today


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Career development


Doing a great job and going home happy is something we all enjoy, it definitely beats the opposite. There are some very simple and effective ways that anyone can boost their career path and inject it with positive elements, today. Some of these things you may do already, others you may not, either way they are all actions that are easy to perform and will attract positive results from your colleagues and managers alike.

1) Have the right attitude

positive-attitudeSimply being seen to be positive, arriving a little earlier and having the ‘right’ attitude is an effective strategy to get noticed for the right reasons. It’s very easy to get caught up in the wrong kind of banter, should it occur, and vent anger over certain situations. If you can, avoid this type of conversation.
Simply being happy (especially on Mondays) is enough to gain the attention of colleagues and hopefully help to improve their mood. Try the following and see what reaction you get:

  • When asked “How are you?“, rather than giving the standard “Not bad…“, try saying “Really good thanks, you?“. It’s surprising how many people will follow your upbeat reply with an equally cheery response!
  • If the office is quiet or a bit subdued, be the person to liven it up and get the productivity flowing. This doesn’t mean that you have to start doing cartwheels through the office, it could be something as simple as asking for input for a creative way of achieving a work goal. Even appropriate office banter can be good for productivity and morale. Many work based friendships and relationships are created and built on the initial banter we have with each other while working.
  • Have a cup of tea (or coffee) made and ready for your colleagues in the morning. This will start the day on a high and is a nice surprise for everyone in the office.


2) Network

Networking doesn’t have to be at conferences or external meetings. You can network internally with colleagues from different departments too. The more people you know in the business the better, for a number of reasons:

  • A more cohesive atmosphere
  • Collaboration during projects and tasks is easier as everyone involved is familiar with each other
  • Problems are resolved faster as employees feel more at ease asking for help from their colleagues
  • The office becomes a nicer place to be with more interaction and engagement

By networking internally you gain leverage and influence when working with colleagues to complete tasks and meet deadlines. Being seen as someone that can interact with various departments and seniority levels within the business will provide a boost to your career prospects.

You can also network externally through online resources such as LinkedIn or business forums. Engaging in LinkedIn groups enables you to discuss industry news, articles or issues with potential contacts. Using these resources is a great way to gain influence in your field as well as ask for, or offer, advice.

3) Be honest

‘Yes men’ may seem to gain favour from agreeing with anything a senior member of staff says, but one thing is not gained, respect. Being honest and not afraid to offer your constructive opinion will gain trust and respect. If someone asks a question then they want an honest answer, not one that the someone thinks they want to hear, regardless of whether it’s right or not. Always answer questions positively, instead of simply responding with something like “that won’t work“, offer an alternative solution e.g. “it would work if we did it this way” or “this is a more cost effective way of achieving the same goal“.

By being honest you’ll also attract the same in return, when you ask a question or for advice, colleagues will be more likely to offer an honest response rather than one they think you want to hear. If everyone is honest and constructive, things get done in a more productive and open way. Honesty also shows that you care about the issue or question as you’re willing to offer an authentic opinion rather than ‘going with the herd’.

4) Go the extra mile

star-employeeWe should all be doing enough at work to justify our employment, but by going the extra mile, and taking on additional responsibility, we show that we are willing and keen to further our career. Spearheading new projects, offering to mentor new employees or established employees in a new area, or implementing new initiatives will all grab the attention of management and colleagues and get you noticed within the business.
Ensuring that you see any new ventures through to the end is important, giving up or losing interest will only undo the good work and effort that you’ve invested.
Being seen to be open and approachable to those colleagues that may require your assistance is an effective way to increase engagement and trust. Collaborating in this way will also increase productivity and aid in your colleagues development.

5) Get your hands dirty

Mucking in and helping on other projects, which may not necessarily be directly associated with you, improves internal relations, gains the gratitude of colleagues and helps to get projects and tasks completed efficiently. If you have a particular skill or attribute that another department may not have then offer your assistance, just make sure the time you offer isn’t detrimental to your immediate responsibilities.

The more attributes and skills recognised and utilised within the business, the more productive and efficient the workforce will become.

6) Take care of yourself, and others

wellbeing-initiativeWellbeing within a company is key to productivity and employee happiness. Sports clubs, the correct working environment and health initiatives will all contribute to a healthy and happy employee base.
Being at the forefront of health initiatives and seen to care about the wellbeing of colleagues will help to improve your profile within the business as well as providing some fun and healthy activities for employees to get involved in.
There’s no need to pre-book 6 months at a sports hall or start drawing up the financing for an official club, it can be something as straightforward as organising a football match, evening run or going bowling. Once the initial interest is built then the activity usually naturally evolves into a regular activity that people look forward to each week.

Start off by posting a few suggested ideas regarding a wellbeing initiative on your company intranet. You can then gauge interest and which ideas are popular before putting more time and effort into arranging dates etc.

7) Give without expecting to receive

Offering your help to a colleague who may be having difficulty, even if it’s just an informal chat while sat at your desks, is always appreciated and is an easy, instant way to gain respect and gratitude. It may be that you’re unable to offer a solution, but offering in the first place shows that your willing to help, and that’s important.
Simply buying a snack for your colleague in the afternoon is particularly effective. Who doesn’t like to dunk a biscuit in a cup of tea or coffee? Grab a packet of digestives at lunchtime and offer them to your colleagues at the afternoon tea round!

Always give without expecting to receive,  a selfless act cannot be misconstrued by others as being non genuine or part of a strategy of reciprocation.

8) Get social

Interacting on social networks, both on a personal level and as a brand advocate for your employer will get noticed. Proactively sharing updates and articles regarding industry news, your employers brand and products/services offered will aid potential sales and also increase word of mouth marketing and inspire others to do the same. Employee’s within the business sharing and discussing news regarding their employer is a powerful message.

Most people now look to social media for reviews and recommendations regarding suppliers and manufacturers. If there’s a strong positive message from multiple sources about a brand then it’s very likely people will choose to purchase the product or services they offer.