An entry-level job conjures images of long, sluggish days spent managing the printer, serving coffee, receiving mundane phone calls or stuffing envelopes. In reality, it is possible to make an impact at the office even in an entry-level position. Approaching your work with a genuinely upbeat attitude and cooperating with your higher-up can see you being allocated greater responsibilities and can help you to rise up the career ladder fast.
Show commitment by being on time
The last thing you want as a support staff is to give the impression of unreliability. If you want the supervisor, CEO or fellow colleagues to notice you, make an effort to show up to work earlier than everybody else does. Researchers at the University of Washington found that supervisors are more likely to give higher performance ratings to employees who come to work earlier. Arriving early allows you to settle down, plan your projects for the day, and brainstorm ideas for improving how things are done at the office. It also shows your eagerness to work.
Understand the needs of your higher-ups
It is difficult for most Millenials to fathom why the management or leadership structure is the way it is, or why decisions are made the way they are at the office. Part of keeping your job and being noticed is understanding how the leadership works, what pleases your supervisor and what ticks him off, and how to communicate with those above you. While you do not have to suck up, you should pay attention to your higher-ups and win their favor.
Win the support of your colleagues
Just because you are support staff, does not mean you should stick to your corner of the office and not interact with your colleagues. Self-imposed alienation will make you stand out for the wrong reasons. Introduce yourself to fellow workmates, have lunch or coffee with them, share in with their jokes and offer to be part of their work projects. Colleagues can vouch for you when you need the supervisor to offer you more assignments or when you have a great idea that requires their input.
Respect the office dynamic and politics
Every office has its own way of doing things—this may not appeal to you, but it is wise to play along and play nice. Instead of doggedly trying to change things, learn the ropes of how to get what you want in your workplace. For example, instead of ambushing or stalking the supervisor to offer you more assignments, it could be that you need to set up a formal meeting to discuss your request for more work. In many instances, playing along with the office politics without being mired will get you what you need faster.
Demonstrate your intention to stick around
No one wants to invest too much in someone who is a high-risk turnover. Do not discuss your other job prospects or show disinterest in your work and that you are only staying until you find your next perfect job.With such an attitude, neither your colleagues nor higher-ups will want to involve you in any meaningful projects—after all, you will be leaving soon, right? Instead, volunteer to take on extra work, offer free training in an area you are knowledgeable about, contribute your ideas, attend meetings, and enthusiastically participate in office activities.
It is incredibly easy to get stuck and fade away in a support role whether in a small or large office. However, by being proactive, winning your colleagues and boss over and simply being industrious are your best bet to getting the attention you deserve and having your ideas taken seriously in the workplace.