Offer to share the workload
If a coworker has a lot on their plate, consider offering to help them with some projects. While it’s never a good idea to do someone’s job for them, taking some of the workload off a teammate’s plate builds camaraderie, and it shows you’re competent enough to take on more responsibility. Doing so also increases the likelihood of the same coworker returning the favor down the line.
Offering to help shows management your ability to think outside your own job description to consider what would benefit the team and the company most. It also shows compassion, empathy, and a readiness to help, all necessary qualities in a great leader.
Learn something new, then teach others
Take ownership of your professional development outside the office: acquire a new skill, read a relevant book, or learn more about a new industry trend. After learning something new, go a step further by offering to pass along the new knowledge to coworkers. Volunteer to host a “learning lunch hour,” or briefly cover the new information in a team meeting.
Professional development is important for everyone, but it shows true leadership characteristics to want to share knowledge with others because it shows a desire to strengthen the whole team.
Be available outside the office
Show coworkers and management you’re reliable, and you’re available. If a teammate needs to vent over the weekend, let them know you’re always open to listening. When a big project requires some extra hours of work, be willing to put in the hours to get the job done. This availability and willingness to go the extra mile will get noticed by management, and it will likely make a big difference.
Organize team gatherings
Sometimes it can be easy to get stuck in the grind at work: eating lunch at your desk, sitting for long hours at a time, etc. Without interfering with work, try organizing coworkers to order food to the office, and spend an hour eating together. If lunch isn’t feasible, proactively plan happy hours or other activities outside work where employees can relax and get to know one another.
These events are all great opportunities to get to know colleagues better outside the office, developing a strong network and making new friends. To managers, your organizing these activities also demonstrates creativity, initiative, and the desire to build relationships at work.
No matter what you promise to deliver, to your team or to your manager, push to deliver more. Whether it’s turning something in well before the deadline or producing more than you said you would, doing extra work helps you stand apart. Set an expectation of exceeding expectations, so managers know they can not only count on you, but they can count on you to go the extra mile. This level of dependable excellence makes you a strong candidate for leadership in the future.
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