How To Give A Little Extra At Work And Watch It Pay Off
The New Year can be one of the best times to be motivated to give more than 100 percent — to eating healthy, working out, pursuing goals and, yes, even your job. There is no better time to take a step back and reset, having (hopefully) been recharged and refreshed following the holidays.
As with anything else, it takes additional time and effort to go the extra mile, but believe us when we say that applying this strategy to work, and life, it will pay dividends. Here are a few practical ways to channel your energy and apply discretionary effort in the workplace.
1. Arrive Early Or Stay Late
This is one of the easiest things to do to make an impact and show those around you that you’re a diligent worker. Commit not just to showing up to the office on time or when everyone else strolls in, but be one of the first ones in or one of the last few out — whichever works better for your schedule. Not only will you be able to get more work done because it’ll be quieter around those times of day, but you will come to be viewed as someone who’s a hard worker and can be counted on.
2. Pay Attention To The Details
Whether it’s a large project or a minor daily task, don’t skip over the details. Sometimes we try to bypass a lot of the grunt work because it’s too time-consuming or we feel there isn’t enough time in the day, but paying attention to details can help you ask fewer irrelevant questions and more thoughtful ones which could lead to the desired outcome faster. It’s all about managing your time better so you can be more productive.
3. Sign Up For Voluntary Or Opt-In Work
There will never be a shortage of opportunities for you to be able to show the higher-ups at your organization that you are willing to go above and beyond your job description. Projects will pop up — research assignments, website launches, training interns or contractors, etc. — where leaders will look for volunteers to take on additional work. Consider your bandwidth so you’re not overwhelmed with work, but there are times when there’s a bit of a lull in between big projects, so step up and step in.
4. Spend Time Building Your Credibility Beyond Your Immediate Team
It takes a combination of perceptiveness and adeptness to successfully network and navigate the intricacies of the culture of an organization and build visibility — and that requires additional effort on your part. Are there opportunities to join or lead inter-departmental lunch-and-learn sessions? Are there opportunities to flex your subject-matter expertise and contribute to cross-functional projects?
5. Earn A Reputation As An Outside-The-Box Thinker But Also For Being Reliable
It’s great that you’re bringing innovative ideas and solutions to the table, but are you reliable with the everyday work that has already been delegated to you? However big or small, make sure that when you hand off a project that it will be of the highest caliber and that you will be proud to put your name on it.
Deanna Hartley is a writer and editor, and has spent 10+ years publishing articles on job search advice, career development, recruitment, HR and human capital management. Deanna has a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, was formerly a senior editor at award-winning publisher Human Capital Media and a senior copywriter at CareerBuilder. She currently works as a content manager at Aon, a global professional services firm. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Gannett, Business Insider, the Chicago Tribune and Workforce Magazine.