Getting Ahead in the Officepla…wait a tick

By Amanda Smyth Connor

1235996_pencil-pusherThat “Mike O’Mary” and his *expletive* blog posts. Well Mike, hats off to you. You scooped me.

I had an amazingly well mapped-out plan of action regarding ways in which “one can get ahead in the office.” I even had some snarky yet optimistic ideas for freelancers in the office place,  yet you’ve addressed many of these this topics splendidly well in your blog post, “How to Get Ahead in the Office.”

Thanks, Mike. I’m going to give you a sarcastic slow clap.  “Clap.     Clap.      Clap.”

Actually, I’m glad we are addressing this topic. (And thank you, Mike, for bringing this up.) It’s easy to overlook how many freelance writers and editors do have desk jobs and are looking for ways in which they can get noticed and get ahead in the work place.

Tip #1 – Be an opportunist. Always be looking for that next chance to stand out in the office place, whether you agree to take on a big project or you simply agree to watch the boss’ dog while s/he is out of town, any chance to stand out and be seen is a good chance. Grab it. Otherwise, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” applies. Don’t let yourself be a silent worker.

Tip #2 – Never say “no” to a networking event. Whether your coworkers want to meet for drinks or you have to endure a two-hour long networking event with “Cool Ronnie” from sales, every chance you have to meet and introduce yourself to potential clients and fellow writers is a good opportunity. Push yourself to be extroverted and friendly. No sense in being a wallflower at these events.

Tip #3 – Stay one step ahead of your boss. Keep a sharp eye for potential projects and areas in which you can grow and excel. Be that go-getter who takes the proactive approach to new work challenges. Don’t wait for them to come to you.

Tip #4 – Keep an ongoing list of Reasons that You Rule. If/when your boss finally asks you “what have you done this month/year that sets you apart?” – you can quickly pull out this handy dandy list of your accomplishments. Bonus: When you’re having a rough day at work, you can look at this list and feel good knowing that you have been a productive and valuable employee.

Tip #5 – Stay organized. I use a great to-do list killer called Yes, it does cost $26 and in terms of smartphones apps, that does seem wildly expensive, but this to-do list killer helps me prioritize and stay on top of projects. Phone and email alerts keep me on track with everything on my to-do lists and this keeps me from forgetting any of the gajillion project details that pop up in the course of the day AND it keeps me from having to explain to my boss why I forgot to call that very important client back.

Stay sharp, stay focused and let your boss know through your efforts that you are an employee to be counted on. Don’t worry, they will notice your efforts.

2 thoughts on “Getting Ahead in the Officepla…wait a tick”

  1. Hey Amanda!

    These are great tips–I love it! I practice the “be an opportunist” quite often at my work.

    I would like to expand upon your point–

    Folks who work in an office by day / freelance by night, like I do, don’t be afraid to let your coworkers know that you can write. Even if your plate is full–get your name out there.

    You: “Oh Soandso, that’s a great project you’re working on there–looks like we could get some great coverage of that for our company website. You know, I’m a freelance writer. Maybe I could write something up for that?”

    Soandso: “Hmm . . . Sure, let’s give it a try.”

    Most people love it when you offer to do writing work. It’s a great way to practice your craft, do something you love, and oh, yeah, get clips.

    Think of taking on extra writing at work as a little extra dessert on the side of that plate full of whatever it is that you do–answering emails, work, surfing the net, work, tweeting a bit, visiting freelance-zone, work, etc.

    🙂 E

  2. Erin,

    We said! Thanks for the extra tip. I completely agree. No sense in keeping your talents a secret in the work place.

    And here’s a great secret: good writing is actually remarkably difficult to come by. Very few people find writing to be a talent that comes naturally. If/when a boss or manager finds a great writer in the office place (you,) you may just find that more and more opportunities find their way to you.

    And for those of you who juggle day jobs and night freelancing, my hat is off to you. I don’t know how you do it! (And don’t even get me started on those of you who are also parents…good gravy.)

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