If you set out to do something, follow through and make sure the job is finished in a timely manner. If you show consistency and professionalism in the way you handle day-to-day tasks and larger projects, you’ll be regarded as a reliable and level-headed person that people can trust.
Be a Voice of Reason in Office Politics
This mostly comes down to remembering that at the end of the day, everyone will be leaving the office and going home to their families, and the workplace drama will wait for another day. Getting too involved on either side of the fissures that show up at a workplace can drive you crazy and damage your reputation, so try to stay neutral when you can.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that there are probably at least a few things your coworkers do that annoy you. There could be somebody that never stops talking about their little kids’ meaningless accomplishments, or maybe there’s someone who heats up leftover tilapia and asparagus in the break room microwave, leaving offensive odors to fester there for hours. Take some time to evaluate and ask yourself if you do any of these annoying things. Do you chew gum too loudly or smash the spacebar too hard when typing? If you’re to be in close quarters with the same people for long periods of time, a little self-awareness can go a long way.
Was there a specific household chore that you hated doing when you were a kid? There’s bound to be an equivalent in the workplace. Maybe it’s getting everything set up for a weekly meeting, or perhaps it’s organizing a company food drive, but there will inevitably be tasks that pop up that nobody really wants to do. Occasionally taking charge in one of these tasks not only makes you look good to your superiors, but establishes you as a coworker who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty and take on some of the more tedious work.
Don’t Say Yes to Everything
This might seem to contradict the earlier tip about taking initiative, but picking and choosing when to say no is a very important part in establishing what kind of coworker you want to be. Sometimes you’ll be overloaded and won’t be able to take on a new task, and occasionally you’ll be asked to do something that’s completely out of your wheelhouse. In many cases, it can be better to say no than to make a half-baked attempt at a task you’re not sure you can accomplish.
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