You have just graduated and secured an entry level position or internship. Great! The next step: getting a promotion. Nothing will skyrocket you up the corporate ladder faster than having a good attitude. Here’s how to show your boss that you have the right ‘tude for the upward move:
Of all the traits that go into a great attitude, humility is key. I once heard a story, from a mentor, about a recent-grad who was hired at a boutique PR firm. On her first day, she was asked to make copies for a client meeting later that day. Instead of making the copies, she “explained” to her boss that she was “too qualified” to make copies. Needless to say, she was fired that day.
When you hold an entry-level position, no task is below you. Expect to make copies. Expect to do last-minute deliveries to clients. Expect to vacuum the conference room. In fact, don’t just expect these tasks, embrace them. Do what no one else will. And do it with a smile, without being asked. Nothing sets you further apart from the other newbies than doing what no one else wants to do.
Oh, and if you make a mistake, just admit you were wrong and try to make it right. No excuses, please.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Listening is more than just hearing. Next time your boss is giving instructions, make sure you take to heart what he or she is saying. Don’t think about something else. Be present. If something is said, do your best to make sure it does not need to be repeated. It’s great to ask smart or clarifying questions, but don’t be the guy always asking for instructions to be explained again.
Don’t Complain or Gossip.
Your speech will come back to you. Behaving with dignity establishes you as the office gentleman, and helps to secure your next raise. Your boss wants to know they can trust you with their clients. If you frequently verbally bash your co-workers, your boss will not trust you to represent him or the company.
And if you’re busy, don’t whine about it. Work hard, and stay late if you have to. If you stay late, you will likely get one-on-one time with your boss. Speaking of staying late…
Do you not have enough to do? Tell someone! Your boss will love you if you’re always looking for more work. Instead of spending your extra time on Facebook, ask around to see if anyone wants help, it’s a great opportunity to learn new things. Before you leave, make sure you touch base with management to see if everyone is “all set”. You will be surprised how much your boss will appreciate you if you look for something to keep you at the office.
However, be judicious about what and how much you offer to do. Your boss wants someone reliable, so make sure you don’t get yourself in over your head with too many things you don’t know how to do.
Commit Random Acts of Kindness.
Do something unexpected. Pick up donuts on a Friday. If you’re hipster enough, make the donuts on Friday. Scrub the microwave. Offer to help whenever you can. Just be kind. Be the type of person your co-workers want on their team. Getting along, and bonding, with your colleagues will give your boss confidence that you can work on any team.
Don’t be a Slob.
Show your boss you care about your position. Come into work with ironed clothes (or at least toss them in the dryer). A slick watch will also set you apart from the guys checking their phones every 15 minutes. Comb your hair. Polish your shoes. Keep that beard trim. Oh, and save your nose-picking for the weekend.
Smelling great is an art too. A subtle, yet rich, cologne and body-wash combo will work wonders for your professional career. Everyone respects the well-groomed gentleman. No one wants to sit next to the bro who hasn’t showered since Sunday.