The world needs more dependable workers. We’re talking about those who can handle extra work and new challenges, and that supervisors at the best companies to work for trust to conduct business in a professional manner. That doesn’t mean a brown-nosing Eddie Haskell type. (Look it up, young’uns.)
Those who are trusted are those who advance, and often get the most coveted projects and accolades. Here are five tips to become a trustworthy employee:
Know when to keep your mouth shut: First and foremost, stay out of office gossip. That’s crucial to becoming a dependable employee. Now, it can get tricky if your boss is someone who likes to talk about your peers, and turns to you for venting purposes. The boss may feel like this is a sort of bonding moment, and that you can be trusted with sensitive information. So there’s a potentially good element there. But two steps are essential: You must keep those conversations to yourself, and you shouldn’t sell out your peers for your own personal gain. Be smart, responsible and respectful of your co-workers. Trashing them behind their backs likely won’t get you anywhere.
Be flexible: Depending on your office structure and the boss’ schedule, you may need to occasionally put in odd or additional hours. As long as this doesn’t require that you move your wedding day, suck it up and get it done. The boss will remember those who willingly showed up on a Saturday to help out on a special project, as opposed to those who came up with an excuse to skip it.
Ask if the boss needs help: Seems like an obvious idea, but think about it. If you see your supervisors in full-on, stressed-to-the-max mode, there are two things to keep in mind. First, don’t bother them with less important matters, because that will only make their day worse. But ask if there’s something you can take off their hands. Not super-important and sensitive material, but there could be a trivial task that they need to hand off. That shows initiative, which could help you advance down the line.
Look the part: If guests are in the office and the supervisor brings them by your desk, your appearance matters. So dress appropriately. And make your desk as presentable as possible. No food wrappers or Styrofoam cup pyramids. That “hang in there” kittie poster and your bobblehead collection? Ditch them. Clear the clutter, and give your area a good cleaning once a month.
No whining: This is beyond essential. So many people in the workforce have forgotten that childhood lesson, and whine about each assignment that comes their way. Take on a new task? Come in on a Saturday? Help out while someone’s out sick or on vacation? If your reaction sounds like a 6-year-old whining about bedtime, that’s how your supervisor will see you. And the dependable one who eagerly takes on new things will rise through the ranks faster than the 6-year-old.