Whether it’s looking like a slob during office hours, submitting lackluster TPS reports, or dealing with some young punk trying to use you as a scapegoat for stuff they screwed up, sometimes you’re caught on your heels and need to find a way to bounce back. These tips will help keep you prepared, poised to look like you have your stuff together, and ready to fire back if the situation calls for it.
#1. Sound Like You Know Everything
About your work, that is. And don’t do it in a snarky know-it-all kind of way. Things like setting up Google Alerts to feed your email with updates on specific work-related topics, to using sites like SitesLike or SimilarSites to find new blogs and websites that relate and provide insight into your area of expertise, be proactive in your learning. Another option? Take a management course. If it involves you cutting out early every so often for a determined period of time, you can let your boss know it’s about becoming a better employee by doing what you can to learn everything you need to know.
#2. Keep Your Stats On Hand
If you’ve helped grow profits, add Facebook visitors, boost website traffic, or acquire clients, have stats and proof to back you up. Having physical evidence to present or back up claims goes a lot further than words or the generic “I do a lot around here.” This can also come in handy if you’re asked to do too much and you’re overloaded. Showing what’s on your plate and what you’re wrapping up can prove the point that you’re not lazy, you’re busy.
#3. Say “Yes”
To get ahead, the sad truth is you’re going to have to kiss a little ass from time to time. That doesn’t mean you need to become a full-blown “Yes” man and must keep your lips puckered at all times. Saying yes and being more accepting to being part of other projects that don’t fall into what you were originally hired to do makes you look like a team player. While some idiots will say “that’s not in my job description” and cast themselves as a selfish prick who won’t help the team, you can say “Sure!” and put in some OT to help position yourself for a raise next performance review.
#4. Look Attentive
And walk with purpose while you’re on the clock — even if you’re not sure of what the hell you’re doing. People — upper management included — will get their cues from you. In other words, we teach people how we’d like to be treated. Bumbling around and not being able to make a decision will undoubtedly screw up your chances to separate yourself from other team members. Even if it’s a performance, pretend to know what’s going on at all times.
#5. Ask Questions
Ask as many questions as it takes to ensure that you have a firm grasp on whatever it is you’ve been assigned. Don’t let your ego prevent you from speaking up because you’re afraid it’ll sound stupid. For one, it might not. Secondly, you’re guaranteed to look and feel way worse if you screw something up because you were confused about the direction you were (or weren’t) given.
#6. Focus on Revenue Generation
If you’re in a position that allows you to come up with ideas for cost-cutting or inexpensive ways to generate revenue, don’t just send an email, make a presentation. Use numbers to back up your claims and for god’s sakes, don’t have any typos on there. Go the extra mile to show that you have the initiative to help propel a company forward and someone is bound to notice. Thing is, that someone may be another jealous co-worker, so make sure you know who your friends are when you make a power play.