Every office has a rockstar. You know the one, the person who everyone can count on. The one your boss calls first when everything goes catastrophically wrong. The one who always hits their goals. The one everybody likes! We all want to be that person, but how exactly do we pull that off? It’s not like we’re slacking now!
If you really do want to climb the corporate ladder but aren’t exactly sure how to start, we’ve got a few things you should try to take yourself from the office wallflower to the rockstar everyone (including upper level management) is talking about.
Start talking team
If there’s one thing your managers and bosses love to hear, it’s someone who talks about projects with a sense of ownership and responsibility. So talk about the work you’re doing with a team mentality. Emphasize your belief that when the company does better, you all do better. Use terms like “we” and “us” when making proposals or reports. Make it clear to management that you view the company’s success as your success. They’ll appreciate that you have such a personal stake in the outcomes of any projects you’re working on, and start to think of you as someone who look’s out for the company’s overall good. It may sound like trying to fit into the team is a funny way to make yourself standout, but you might be surprised.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
This one may sound counter-intuitive. Don’t you want to seem like someone who is studious and takes everything seriously? Sure. But you also don’t want to come off like someone who’s too serious all the time. After all, if you want to make it into upper level management, you don’t just need to be someone who can do the job. You need to be someone upper level management wants to have around.
We’re not saying you should tell your boss how hungover you are on Monday morning. But showing a little vulnerability or your lighter side won’t hurt. The key is to take work seriously, but not yourself. For instance, telling your boss you think you’re on your seventeenth cup of coffee but you’re not leaving until the report is done humanizes you without making it seem like you’re not serious about your work.
You knew this one was coming. If you want to be the one your boss turns to, you will have to be the one who steps up to take on some extra responsibility. Ideally you’ll volunteer for a tough task before your boss even has to ask, but you’ll still get extra points for taking on the stuff no one else wants to do. It’s important not to volunteer for everything, though. Not just for your own sanity, but because your sacrifices may be overlooked if you’re willing to take every terrible task. Save your efforts for the real standout moments, or the ones that will very visible require overtime special effort. Trust us, if you make life easier for your bosses they’ll quickly start to think of you as the rockstar you are.