For an application developer, setting long-term goals and creating a plan for achieving them are important for career growth, but small changes to your daily routine can have a big impact on your professional prospects, too. Following are nine simple, yet often overlooked actions that can help you advance professionally.
Actively participating in office discussions demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest in the company. Before you attend meetings, review the agenda and prepare a few points of interest on the topics to be addressed. While you don't want to talk to hear yourself speak, do not hesitate to share your ideas when you have something.
Another way to raise your profile is to assist colleagues with their workloads or take on tasks outside your job description. You might, for example, volunteer to serve as a trainer during new-hire orientations, lead the internship program or help organize the company's annual team-building event. These types of duties may not seem glamorous, but they're often near and dear to executives' hearts, and they force you to move out of your comfort zone.
When someone compliments you for doing a good job, how do you react? If you typically shrug it off and say, "It was nothing," you may be leaving the door open for someone else to steal your thunder. Try instead, "Thank you. I'm glad the hard work paid off," or "Thanks. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, too." Just be careful about accepting credit that's not yours. It is a sure-fire way to create tension and animosity among your teammates.
Conferences and industry events are great opportunities to network, and there are a few tricks to help you make good first impressions. For example, wearing your name tag on the right side, near your shoulder, makes it easier for others to see and remember your name as they shake your hand. Using the back of people's business cards to write information about them, such as their interests, also will help jog your memory after the event and provide motive to follow up.
If someone recently helped you, perhaps your neighbor alerted you to an employment opportunity or a friend proofread your resume, let the person know you appreciate the support. Take a few moments to write a short, sincere thank-you note. The respect, kindness and personal touch will create an indelible mark in your recipient's mind and improve the chances he or she will help out again.
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