If you’re looking to get ahead in your field, there’s no shortage of articles out there filled tips on how to stay invigorated and impress the right people. Much of the advice is very good, but after a while, it tends to sound the same.
Kudos, then, to Bustle writer Marlen Komar, who’s penned an excellent piece titled “7 Unconventional Tips That Will Advance Your Career.” As Komar says, “There are so many different ways out there to prove your worth and to move up the career ladder, and all you have to do is take a minute to suss them out.”
Her first tip is to build a social media strategy and use tools like Twitter and Instagram for more than just posting pictures of food and pets. The first step, Komar says, is to figure out which platform is right for you — a decision that may depend on how much time you have — and then set in motion a plan for sharing and commenting on articles relevant to your industry. Get in the conversation and prove you’re someone whose opinions are worth knowing.
Next up, remember that personality matters. When you apply for a job, you should be looking at the culture and atmosphere and determining whether you’d fit in. It doesn’t always matter if you don’t have the most impressive resume — qualifications and education are important, but there’s a lot to be said for what unique skills and points of view individuals bring to any situation. As Komar writes, you should “play out your personality and let it match the tone of your workplace.”
Tip No. 3 is to a good one for the super-ambitious: “don’t take days off.” As Komar writes, you don’t want to work all the time, but it might behove you to use some of your free time to get the jump on projects and learn skills that will come in handy later.
The idea on that last one is to take the bull by the horns and prove you’re a self-starter, and as a corollary, Komar offers this next tip: “Don’t assume everyone has your best interest in mind.” This is not to say you should become mistrustful and paranoid, but simply to be mindful of the fact that everyone is striving just like you are, and as a result, it doesn’t make sense to blindly follow others — even when they’re your bosses.
While some people may be working against you, others are in positions to help, and that’s why you’ve got to “inspire others to want to work with you.” How do you do this? The first step, Komar writes, is to figure out who you’re looking to reach. If you’re trying to impress specific higher-ups at your company, figure out how to share articles and blog posts or tout your achievements in such a way that they realize your value. “Your work will speak for itself, and will hopefully catch their interest enough to give you a window in,” Komar writes.
Komar’s final two tips are somewhat related: “tackle something on the company’s to-do list” and “start doing your job like you’ve already been promoted.” With both, the goal is to show you’re a smart, driven person who’s willing and able to take on more responsibilities. A key part of making people notice your amazing work is doing amazing work, and you don’t need an official promotion to get going.