By Amanda Smyth Connor
That “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 RememberTheMilk.com. 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.