1. Get organized – You can’t improve at your job if you don’t have a thorough understanding of not only your tasks and responsibilities, but also your daily productivity and accomplishments. In a notebook, record your hourly output and review the results every evening, observing inefficiencies and brainstorming opportunities to reorder your routine and establish task synergies. The result: more time to perfect all projects, learn additional skills and undertake new duties.
2. Socialize – Yes, socialize. If you currently eat at your desk, relocate to the designated workplace dining area. If you continually pass on Happy Hour invitations and softball league openings, reconsider your forced isolation. If coworker birthday celebrations pop up from time to time, stop declining. While the desires to focus on your job and maintain professionalism are reasonable and prudent, so too are appropriate workplace friendships, occasional lighthearted interruptions to your obligations, friendly colleague banter and a generally positive, convivial office. Workplaces are more fulfilling when you let them fill you, not to mention that the ensuing camaraderie will serve you in collaborative tasks and reference requests.
3. Diversify yourself –Specialization is of finicky value, as it is praised by superiors seeking experts and disparaged by higher-ups who value versatility and flexibility. Even if your boss holds the former opinion, consider diversifying yourself by developing a new competency. In the free time you identified in tip one, and using the newfound friendships you nurtured in tip two, create a mentor/ mentee relationship with a colleague who has perfected a skill you regard as worthwhile. And hey, it’s 2016; feel free to designate YouTube as that sage teacher if no worthy options exist in your workplace. Even if this diversification does not coincide with immediate office recognition or advancement, it is an opportunity for you to improve and impress yourself; two high-importance self-love checklist items since it is human nature to diminish our own aptitudes and achievements. Personal gratification aside, a new skill will heighten your marketability within and beyond your company, should you seek internal progression or external opportunities in the upcoming years.