Katrina Lake has experience at all levels of business. The Stitch Fix founder and CEO has been an employee and an employer, and along the way, she’s learned many valuable lessons on how to get ahead. She’s apparently also learned the importance of sharing, and in a great Forbes post titled “Four Tips to Be Amazing at Any Job,” Lake draws on her unique work experiences to offer some truly great advice. Read on to see what this savvy entrepreneur has to say.
1. Set Long- and Short-Term Goals — The first step, Lake says, is to think about what success means to you. Once you have a big-picture definition, work with your manager to outline a series of short-term goals that will get you there. You should then schedule quarterly meetings with your manager to gauge your progress and elicit feedback. “Even if it’s not standard practice for your company to do 360-degree reviews, having your manager or a peer collect 360-degree feedback for you can be an incredibly productive way to receive constructive criticism that will help you understand your strengths and opportunity areas most thoroughly,” Lake adds.
2. Take on Leadership Roles — If you’ve dreamed of becoming a manager or an executive, start by planning happy hours, work parties, and new-employee onboarding. These things might seem like small tasks, but they’ll impress the higher-ups, and more importantly, they’ll “serve as opportunities to get cross-functional exposure and practice management and leadership skills,” as Lake writes.
3. Go the Extra Mile — We all have special talents, and whenever possible, you should share yours with coworkers. This could be as simple as offering to proofread company emails or troubleshoot Excel issues. You want to be seen as a team player — someone people can rely on in a pinch. “Go beyond your job description by being an open resource for others in the company who could benefit from your talents,” Lake writes. “I believe that paying it forward will serve you well one way or another in the future.”
4. Get Yourself Friends and Mentors — Chances are, you’re not the only ambitious person at your company looking to get ahead. Find someone at a similar level in another department, Lake writes, and strike up a friendship. You’ll be able to bounce ideas off of each other and trade valuable feedback. It also makes sense to strike up a friendship with a company exec whose career you admire. Schedule regular meetings with this person and ask for honest feedback and advice on how to work toward your goals.