Wanting to excel in the workplace, getting the credit you deserve, and be seen as a valuable employee is nothing new; any employer should be so fortunate to have employees with such goals. Unfortunately, far too often there’s that one coworker who tries to impress the boss, but does it in a way that drives everyone else in the office crazy.
Want to show your employer that you’re worthy, dedicated, and driven, but don’t want to be labeled as the “suck up of the year”? Here are some tips to genuinely impress your employer and get the treatment you deserve:
Know Your Employer’s Expectations
Before you take initiative and put in some extra hours on a project at work, it’s important to be aware of your employer’s expectations (really, you should have a good idea of this when you accepted your position). All employers want hardworking and dedicated employees, but many have different ways of showing it or even different levels of expectations. A lot depends on your boss’ personality while some depends on the company as a whole. Always know what’s expected of you and start from there.
Showcase All the Good Things About Yourself
The best way to “sell” yourself is to be yourself and to focus on all of your strengths (you know, like you did during your job interview). Your performance at work should be a continuation of being that person. Employers not only want their employees to look busy, but to be busy. Maybe you’re one of these employees who gets a lot done, but doesn’t always look like it.
If you want to show your employer that you are truly driven and dedicated, you may have to play the part a little more than you would. If that means staying focused, keeping office chit chat short, dressing nicely, arriving to work early, and keeping your trips around the office efficient, by all means, do it.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, why you were hired in the first place and what your employer likes about you. Does he or she appreciate your honesty and your willingness to take initiative? Don’t stray from those strengths just because you think other things will be more impressive.
Stay Positive, Be Interested
Everybody has a bad day from time to time, but the workplace is not the place to be the “office grump”. Unless you have some major issues going on in your life, keep your negative life stuff at home and don’t get caught up in office drama. Don’t like a new project your boss assigned? Try to find the good in it. Remember, something mundane and “not really your thing” may turn into a better opportunity later. Give your input when it seems appropriate and show interest in future opportunities, particularly when no one else wants to do them.
Are You Being Treated Unfairly?
Unfortunately, there are some bosses out there that no matter how hard you work, will never appreciate you or the work you do. While it can be frustrating to get little to no feedback or validation, you should know that you are doing the best you can. Other times, you may be a victim of unfair treatment in the workplace and some examples may include not being included in projects, becoming the target of a derogatory remark, refusal to have a raise, or even being terminated.
Unfair treatment is not only toxic and makes for a continuous crappy day at work, but it can also be illegal. According to Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, you may have a case against your employer if you were discriminated against, harassed, wrongfully terminated, or if your employer violated the American with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
If you suspect you are being treated unfairly in the workplace, file a complaint with the human resources department if you feel like the problem cannot be resolved easily or safely. If no changes are made and you are still treated unfairly despite your hard work and dedication, consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in employee rights.