7 Tips to “Get Ahead” on the Job in 2016

With budget cuts and high turnover rates, it’s likely that you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed at work right now. You may even be thinking about finding another job where you’re appreciated more and there’s room for advancement. That might not be a bad idea, depending on your situation. If you have skills that are highly sought-after in your field, you can probably find another position that might offer some perks like better pay or career growth. Unfortunately, not many of us can say we’re lucky enough to be in such a position. This might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually possible to get ahead at your current organization by agreeing to do MORE while on the job.  Consider these 7 tips at work in order to see a change in 2016:

1. Volunteer
Are you one of those employees who tries to duck for cover when the boss asks for someone to volunteer to chair a committee, write a report or perform some other dreaded task?  Try saying yes the next time such an opportunity presents itself, especially if it is one in which you have the skills to shine.  Your manager will appreciate that you volunteered, making her life easier.  You’ll show her that you’re a team player who goes above and beyond when needed.  It’s also possible that she’ll remember how you helped her out, making her more likely to remember your name when positive opportunities arise in the future.

2. Learn More
Often, the people who get ahead at work are the ones who have the most to share or who come up with good ideas to help the company.  Take time to read up on aspects of your industry that interest you. By doing this, you’ll position yourself as someone who’s current on what’s happening in the field.  You’ll have the information you need in order to be the staff member to suggest the next great idea.  Superiors take notice of smart employees.  In addition, gaining new knowledge will help you to remain engaged during times when your job becomes monotonous.

3. Communicate Better
One of the most important aspects of any relationship is communication.  You have a working relationship with colleagues and people on your team.  Make a sincere effort to be proactive in your communication with these folks.  Rather than letting things slide that are uncomfortable, make an effort to say them in a sensitive and understanding way.  Also, when you give instructions or assignments, be sure to do so in a clear, precise manner.  Ask the person on the receiving end if he understood your message.  Workers appreciate a team leader or associate who states their wishes clearly.

4. Help Others
On the subject of co-workers, it may be beneficial to help those who are struggling.  Even if the person isn’t your direct responsibility, taking the initiative to provide assistance when needed can strengthen working bonds and will show your compassion.  On a more practical level, it could even be less time and effort to assist someone who is clearly struggling than to have to fix mistakes he might make.

5. Stay Healthy
Your physical health plays a bigger role on your work success than you may realize.  If you miss work due to illness, those are obviously days you aren’t making a contribution on the job.  Beyond that, working to lead a healthier lifestyle will give you more energy and focus to pursue all of your essential duties, as well as the contributions you would like to make.

6. Join Groups
Professional organization membership can be one of the most beneficial activities you engage in with regard to your career.  Being involved in this kind of a group exposes you to tons of learning opportunities and to networking with others within your field.  The connections you make can provide benefits that are both immediate and long-ranging.

7. Pursue Your Career Goals
While you may not see an advancement opportunity within your organization right now, that doesn’t mean you should slack off with regarding to preparing to reach your aspirations.  Sit down and take stock of the kinds of activities that would help you to reach the level to which you aspire.  Things like attending conferences, submitting papers to professional journals or pursuing an advanced degree can put you one step closer to having the information,contacts and self-confidence to go after a coveted position when one comes along, either at your current organization or somewhere else.

These seven tips aren’t a comprehensive list.

Feel free to comment below with ideas of your own that will aid in your career advancement and satisfaction.  You may be surprised to learn that doing more at work can actually makes your life easier.