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Reading the title you might think I mean that this post is about how to literally “use” your co-workers to get a leg up. But I’m not talking about throwing them under the bus so that you can get a raise or promotion. Rather I am talking about using them for help. So how do you go about getting ahead in your career using your co-workers? Read on to see my tips.
4 Ways To Get Ahead By Using Your Co-Workers
#1. Figure Out Who The Right People Are
One of the lessons in my 30 Days To Positive Thinking ecourse is to take note of the people you hang around with, because it will tell you a lot about yourself. When it comes to your career, the same holds true. Who do you hang out with? The office stars or the office laggards?
Take some time to create a list of the top performers in your office. The key is to not limit the list to just those co-workers in your department either. This is because you never know where your career may head one day.
Once you have your list, begin to seek out these people. Spend time talking with them and trying to find ways to work together. Not only will this potentially help your career in the future, it can have a big impact on your career now.
This is because after you hang around with them for some time, their strong work ethic will begin to rub off on you. You will start working harder and performing better and others will begin to take notice.
#2. Befriend Co-Workers
While it is good to collaborate on projects together, you need to take things further if you really want to benefit from the relationship. You can start out on this path by going to happy hours. Doing this will help build camaraderie and slowly begin to open some doors for you. But don’t stop there.
While happy hours are good, you really get to know someone one-on-one. This means scheduling a lunch with them. When it is just the two of you, you can have more serious conversations and begin to open up more, and thus forming a bond.
#3. Step Up To The Plate
Isn’t it funny how we work twice as hard right before a vacation and then twice as hard when we come back just to get back in the groove again? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have the added stress right before and after we are away?
While you may not experience this feeling right now, you can help others experience it. Offer to cover a co-workers tasks while they are away. While you won’t be able to do everything, just taking some of the things off of their plate will be a huge help to them.
The key here is to make sure you do things well and correctly so that when they do come back, they don’t have to correct everything you did wrong. What do you get out of this? A couple of things, namely:
- You learn to better utilize your time since you are taking on more work
- You learn new skills
- You show that you are a valuable team member
Of course, you also potentially get someone to help you out when you go on vacation and they return the favor, but that isn’t the end goal here.
#4. Praise Others
Next time someone does a great job, acknowledge it. It can be (but doesn’t have to be) in front of everyone else. Just the fact that you took the time to recognize all of their hard work goes a long way.
Think about a recent project you worked really hard on. Were you recognized for it? Probably not. At most you got a “thanks”. How would you feel if the person said “thanks, I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this”? I bet you would feel good.
This is all you have to do for others. Of course, you have to be sincere about it otherwise you will come off looking like a jerk. All it takes is 5 minutes (and probably not even that) to really thank someone for their hard work.
Putting Everything Together
When you follow these four tips, you will both be helping out your co-workers and in time, helping yourself. It is a win/win for everyone involved. It’s important to remember that the benefit to you will come in time and not immediately. Your goal is to further your career and this happens in time, not overnight.
Being nice and going out of your way will help your career in ways you probably cannot even imagine today. So start with tips and see your career begin to blossom.
[Photo Credit: stockimages/Free Digital Photos]