While you’ll probably celebrate the 4th of July away from the office, it’s important to remember the message of this holiday when you are back in the office – independence!
Celebrate this Independence Day by becoming more independent at work. Whether you are looking for a promotion or just want to become a more effective and efficient employee, you can demonstrate independence at work in four easy steps:
Step 1: Organize Your Workspace
To truly become independent at work, one of the most important steps is to get organized.
- Start by cleaning up your email inbox. If you get hundreds of emails each day, it may even be a good idea to create sub-folders within your inbox and organize emails by sender or topic. This can allow you to track and stay aware of important messages.
- While you’re organizing email, take a look at other files on your computer – clearly label documents and spreadsheets and try separating those into folders by dates or categories.
- Don’t forget to organize your calendar either. Keeping track of your daily meetings is a must to ensure you are fully prepared and engaged. It is also a good idea to jot down a ‘things to do’ list to help you sort out what is priority on your agenda.
Step 2: Take Initiative
After organizing your workspace, you should have a better grasp on what projects are ahead of schedule and what is priority. Once you gather all the necessary project details, get to work!
- Take the initiative and develop a first draft of the project and share with your manager. By starting the project on your own you can not only show your manager that you can be independent at work, but you could also get a head start on that assignment!
- While it can be beneficial to get an early start on projects, it is also important to keep your manager, and other team members, in the loop.
- Tip: Always remember, your manager shouldn’t have to ask where you are at on a project – take initiative and practice effective communication by keeping them up to date on project status and details.
Step 3: Research Questions
There may be times when you run into something where you don’t know the answer. However, before flooding your manager or team members with questions, take a step back and research any questions or issues that are preventing you from completing your next task.
- Think about the question you need an answer to:
- Would it help if you searched your notes or computer files to find the answer?
- Could you find the answer through a simple Google search?
- Whichever method works best for you, take the initiative to find the answer yourself and perhaps you can impress your employer.
- If you can’t identify the answer through your own research, show your manager or coworker where you got in your initial research. This can, at the least, help your team members understand where you’re at in the process as well as bring your hard work and efforts to their attention.
Step 4: Assume New Responsibilities
Once you start to become independent in your current role, show your manager you are ready for the next step.
- Assess your current role, and identify additional skills you may be able to learn that could benefit your company. For example, if you are a web developer, try learning a new programming language; if you work in finance and accounting stay up to date on the latest IFRS information.
- By assuming a new responsibility, you may be able to demonstrate to your manager that you can take on new challenges in the workplace.
- Continue to find new ways to improve efficiency and save your company money and your manager may notice that extra effort once it comes time to consider promotions or pay raises!