Even though we haven’t had much (if any) face-to-face communication with work colleagues over the past six months, there are still several ways to stand out from the crowd and stay on your boss’s radar.
1. Understand the big picture
Don’t be the pessimist who speaks only about doom and gloom. Be strategic and lead a discussion about how a new idea can help improve revenue or control costs. If you do, you will align better with your boss’s way of thinking.
2. Display positive body language
Certain habits like rolling your eyes can be interpreted by others as unprofessional or rude and can impact your career. Pay attention to your non-verbal cues. Remember, we can still see you on Zoom.
3. Handle difficult situations with poise
You must be resourceful and overcome stress with poise, composure, and confidence. And never lose your temper publicly. If you do, your boss will assume you cannot work well under pressure.
4. Admit mistakes
Mistakes are problematic only if you don’t learn from them, hide them, or blame others for them. If you make a mistake, own up to it and let your boss know what you are doing to fix it. You will be seen as courageous, and your boss will forgive you.
5. Demonstrate good manners
Simple things like saying “please” when you ask for something, “thank you” when someone gives you something, or “excuse me” when you need to interrupt, will help you earn respect from others. At all cost, avoid gossip, sexist or foul language, backstabbing, arrogance, bullying, and needing to be the centre of attention.
6. Practise good work habits
Start work early and stay late. If you schedule a meeting, set an agenda and finish on time. Don’t take sick days unless you are sick. Always be on time for meetings. Use a to-do list faithfully.
7. Be likeable
Even if most of your human contact is by Zoom these days, you can still impress others with your personality. Maintain eye contact during meetings, ask good questions, listen well, be engaging, and smile a lot. Employers prefer to promote people they like and who impress them.
8. Speak up at team meetings
If you have something constructive to say, speaking up at team meetings is one way to catch the boss’s attention. Offer smart solutions to problems, ask meaningful questions, compliment others on their ideas, and volunteer for projects. If you adopt these practices, you will leave a great impression.
9. Understand there is still a social aspect to work
Companies are struggling with how to maintain morale while everyone is working away from the office. Even if having a Friday afternoon Beer-by-Zoom is the last thing you want to do, make sure you attend—especially if your boss is going to be there.