There’s a reason why you’re waltzing into the workplace like Ron Swanson wearing a red polo. Life at work has been good. You’ve been focused, motivated, and positive performance reviews have followed. Now you’re hungry for more projects.
Maybe you want to get a feel for outside sales, or maybe you’d like to see what graphic design is all about. Whatever it may be, you’re looking to grow your skill set and increase your value to the company.
Striving for success and climbing the company ladder are obviously worthwhile goals, but you also want to keep your coworkers in mind while doing so. Don’t piss them off. Not getting the invite to happy hour on Thursdays is a sure sign that you’re rubbing people the wrong way. Here are a few ways to score projects outside of your job description without being that jerk.
Before committing yourself to specific new projects, shadow people in other departments of the company to get a better sense of what’s underway. It’s a great way to vertically build on the skill set you’ve been developing. It’s also nice to cultivate relationships throughout the company.
The Vision Thing
A different and fresh vision can foster new ideas to an already existing project. That’s where you come in. Mention to your colleagues what you can bring to their project and how you can be an asset to the end goal. But don’t just take it on all for yourself. While you might bring a unique vision, remember that your coworkers can offer valuable talent and skill sets, too.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Selfishness is easy to spot; it’s one-sided. While there’s nothing wrong with setting personal goals, being able to balance them with team goals is a must. Talk with the people you work with, bounce ideas off one another, and facilitate an environment in which everyone feels like their contributions count. While our egos may tell us we have the best and brightest ideas, let’s put it aside and listen to what others have to say. Focus on building consensus.
Drop The Me, Get With The We
PSA: there’s a new movement in the workplace. It’s starting right here, right now. Be mindful of how you use personal pronouns. Using too much me, myself, and I is a good way to piss people off. It lets them know it’s all about you. Instead, be inclusive. Whenever possible, use words like we, us, and you. They’re all encompassing and can make a difference in how people perceive you. We can do this! You have great ideas. See what we did there?
Seek A Mentor
What would Daniel-san have achieved without Mr. Miyagi? He certainly wouldn’t have become the All Valley Karate Champion. Find a mentor. Ask them questions and listen to their advice. They can provide guidance on direction, knowledge about other areas of the company, and insight on coworkers. When the time is right, talk with them about bringing you in on projects.