How do those people at work who always seem to have the right thing to say or do in any situation do it? How do people seem so confident and polished, when you always feel like you’re falling apart at the seams? Their tricks might be simpler than you think.
It’s often the littlest things that make the biggest impact. Here are some convenient life hacks, pulled from real people who’ve used them in actual offices, to help you navigate your work life and come out on top.
1. Dropbox your resume
Ever been caught with your pants down and not had a copy of your resume when you really needed one? If you’re on the go, you can rest assured that you can email or print your resume directly from your phone if you use a service/app like Dropbox.
2. Always type in the address last
You’re writing an important professional email. You’re nervously wording everything perfectly. Make sure you don’t accidentally hit send before you’ve had a chance to look it over. Make the address part the very last thing you type in. That way you always know you’re sending out a perfect, proofread product. No accidents! You can also set up (in Gmail based clients, anyway) a 5-10 second send delay, which gives you the chance to “undo” when you’ve sent too soon.
3. Be the whiteboard hero
Some numpty wrote on the office whiteboard in permanent marker? Rather than stare at whatever they wrote for the rest of your career, go over each mark with a normal whiteboard marker. Something magic happens between the two ink types that will make it possible to erase both together. For bonus points, charge admission to your magic trick.
4. Take a chill pill
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, even before you get to work, try building 2-5 minutes to yourself into your morning routine. Just sit with a cup of water, juice, or coffee and do nothing. Don’t even strategize about your day. Just be. You’ll feel more rested and invigorated when you actually get back to your routine.
5. Pay it forward–for yourself
We’ve all had it happen: finish a job interview, walk outside, and realize immediately all the brilliant things you should have said. Write them down! Immediately and thoroughly. Then keep them for your next interview. 99.9% of it will be reusable, and very valuable. If you don’t get this job, you’ll have a great boost for the next.
6. Hold your tongue
If we screw up, or we’re five minutes late, or we don’t have the document ready, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to preemptively apologize and offer up an explanation (read: excuse). Next time, hold on to it unless you’re asked for one. They might not have even noticed you were unprepared and the excuse will only serve to highlight what you did or didn’t do. Plus, nobody wants a reputation for making tons of excuses.
7. Do the dirty deed
One way to distinguish yourself at work—and make yourself a hero—is to figure out the particular task or set of tasks that everyone else seems to avoid or hates to do, and do that. Well. Your niche in the office will be secure—even indispensable. And you’ll be the most popular employee around.
8. Treat others how you would treat your boss
Seriously. It is a little bit about popularity. Treat all of your coworkers, even your subordinates, as though they were the ones deciding about your raises and promotions and vacation requests. You never know who will make the difference in your career as it develops.
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