The saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know” never felt more accurate than to the recent college graduate, the person that’s ready for a career change, or the one starting their own business. All the knowledge and training in the world can feel worthless if it is not connected to the right people or companies. But let’s shift our minds to a place of greater impact- it’s really not who you know but who knows you. Who remembers you? Who have you left a great impression on? And if you give them a call will they speak of you in a positive light? If someone else gave them a call would they have great things to say or a warning not to hire you? Here are five positive ways to leave a great impression.
1. SMILE. There is nothing cliché nor corny about a genuine smile in the workplace. You appear more personable and pleasant. And if you smile more frequently in professional encounters then you will find that people see you as approachable. Also you don’t want the title of the grump or the “Negative Nancy/Ned” of your office space.
2. Participate in work/networking functions. If your office (or that networking organization) throws birthday parties, plays teambuilding games, or regularly schedules potlucks, you need to show up. And don’t only show up but participate! Play the game and cheer your team mates on. Bring some food and share that favorite Pinterest recipe you’ve been dying to try. Have some cake and join in on the off-key singing of “Happy Birthday”. But don’t just stay in the corner and look bored.
3. Get a vision. Figure out what you bring to the table. What strategies do you have to make wherever you work more influential than it already is? You probably have a different lens with which you view the world. So what is your perspective?
4. Share your vision. When your boss asks you your opinion on an assignment, share your opinion. Share it in a respectful way of course. Communicate those big ideas or even smaller ideas when you can. And if a colleague is struggling to brainstorm on a project, be a sounding board for them to bounce concepts off.
5. Support the vision of others. Just like you may have big ideas, so do your colleagues. Let’s face it, we know who shows up for us and who doesn’t. We are grateful for those that offer to help. And sometimes the only cost of support is time. See it as an investment to support your friends and colleagues’ visions.