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Rule 1 of Work: Get Your Work Noticed

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It's all too easy for your work to get overlooked in the busy hurly-burly of office life. Find out how to stand out and get noticed for what you do at work in this sample chapter.
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It's all too easy for your work to get overlooked in the busy hurly-burly of office life. You're slaving away and it can be hard to remember that you need to put in some effort to boost your individual status and personal kudos for your work. But it's important. You have to make your mark so you stand out and your promotional potential will be realized.

The best way to do this is to step outside the normal working routine. If you have to process so many widgets each day—and so does everyone else—then processing more won't do you that much good. But if you subject a report to your boss of how everyone could process more widgets then you'll get noticed. The unsolicited report is a brilliant way to stand out from the crowd. It shows you're thinking on your feet and using your initiative. But it mustn't be used too often. If you submit your boss to a barrage of unsolicited reports you'll get noticed but in completely the wrong way. You have to stick to certain rules:

  • Only submit a report occasionally.

  • Make really sure that your report will actually work—that it will do good or provide benefits.

  • Make sure your name is prominently displayed.

  • Make sure the report will be seen not only by your boss, but by their boss as well.

  • It doesn't have to be a report—it can be an article in the company newsletter.

Of course, the very best way to get your work noticed is to be very, very good at your job. And the best way to be good at your job is to be totally dedicated to doing the job and ignoring all the rest. There is a vast amount of politics, gossip, gamesmanship, time wasting, and socializing that goes on in the name of work. It isn't work. Keep your eye on the ball and you'll be already playing with a vast advantage over your colleagues. The Rules Player stays focused. Keep your mind on the task at hand—being very good at your job—and don't get distracted.

Never Stand Still

Most people go into work each day with only one thought—getting through to going home time. During their day they will do whatever they have to, to arrive at that magic time. You won't. You won't stand still. Having got the job it seems enough for most people that they will just do it and thus remain static. But doing the job isn't the end game for you—it is merely a means to the end. And the end for you is promotion, more money, success, moving onward and upward, amassing the contacts and experience to set out on your own, whatever it is that is on your wish list—see Part 3. The job, in a way, is an irrelevance.

Yes, you have to do the work. And yes, you have to do it supremely well. But your eye should already be on the next step and every activity you indulge in at work should be merely a cog in your plan to move up.

While others are thinking of their next coffee break or how to get through the afternoon without actually having to do any work, you will be busy planning and executing your next manuver. In an ideal world the Rules Player will have got their work done by lunchtime, so that they have the afternoon free; to study for the next promotion, to assess the competition among close colleagues, to write the unsolicited reports to get their work noticed, to research ways to improve the work process for everyone, to further their knowledge of company procedures and history.

If you can't get your work done by lunchtime then you will have to fit all these things into and around the work. What the competition will be doing is not doing them. But you don't stand still. Never accept that doing the job is enough. That's for the others. You will be moving right along preparing, studying, analyzing, and learning.

We talked earlier about the manager's walk; well, that's what you'll be doing, practicing the manager's walk—or whoever's walk it is you need to master. You have to see promotion—or whatever else it is you want—as a movement. You keep moving or you grow moss. You have to have movement or you grow stagnant. You have to like movement or you grow roots.

Movement requires of you that you don't sit on your backside and do nothing—don't stand still.

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