How to get ahead at work by being smart about things

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The age old question of how to progress or get promoted at work. The answer is different for any company, but we can tell you what the answer certainly isn’t. Tripping up others is not a good way to get ahead at work. Even if you temporarily succeed, the chances are you will bite off more than you can chew which will eventually become blaringly obvious.

Be smart about things. Think outside the box. Genuinely invest yourself in the company and keep an eye out for things that could benefit your workplace.

Invest in your personal development

This can be as simple or as complicated as you desire. It can also be something ongoing – don’t feel the need to change overnight, just challenge yourself with new things bit by bit. Consider taking a short course in whatever your work area may be. Perhaps an evening or intensive marketing course could inform your expertise in the workplace. Your workplace may even have funding available for this. Just the gesture of you asking (even if they say no) shows how committed you are.

Take notes religiously and ask questions

If your aim is to progress to a higher level position, you have to prove to your managers why you are worthy of this. Asking questions frequently and relaying back to them your understanding of topics shows how quickly you learn. Similarly, taking notes in meetings which you can later review is wise. If you have a yearly review, you have access to everything you have learnt over the last year. Then it’s just up to you to show how your knowledge has exceeded the level of your current position! Someone who shows genuine interest and dedication to any company is always going to be rewarded in the long run.

Think outside the box

This is particularly useful if you are one of the younger members of your team. Compared to your managers, you may be more clued up in what’s going on in the digital world than they are. It is undeniable how vital a strong digital presence is these days for all companies. Websites like can access and report back a company’s online presence. Making gentle suggestions when you come across useful websites like this could make a huge difference in the long run. Similarly, if you feel your workplace is lacking in the social media stakes, you could offer to set the company social media accounts up.

Then just stick to the obvious things you know are expected in workplace etiquette. Be kind and helpful to colleagues at all levels – you never know you could report back on you (good things of course)! Dress to impress as often as you can; this smart exterior gives an impression of authority. Finally, be as punctual as you possibly can be every day. Everyone runs a little late occasionally, but if you are usually highly dependable, this will be seen as an anomaly rather than a bad habit.

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