If you are one of the many people who feel their career is in a rut and that it might be time for a promotion or raise, then it is time for you to become the “Go to Guy”. But why would you want to do that?
- The Go to Guy is the person that your boss and colleagues know they can turn to whenever they need advice — or just need to get something accomplished.
- The Go to Guy is indispensable (therefore, powerful) in the greater scheme of office politics.
- The Go to Guy can leverage his superior’s opinions towards projects, inter-departmental promotions, and raises.
The best part is with good, old-fashioned hard work and initiative you can be the Go to Guy. You can make the leverage work for you. Here are the top three ways to shine above the rest.
1. Volunteer for Everything
There are several ways that volunteering can help elevate you above the rest. Volunteers are already in short supply. Many avoid volunteering because it means doing more work for no pay. This is why every organization needs solid and dependable volunteers for many tasks. Whatever you do, do not get caught up in that frame of thought. The benefits of volunteering come back to you in spades. It may not be the same as a paycheck, but in the end volunteering will pay greater…and in dividends.
The first way to volunteer is the simplest — and always seen. Whenever there is an opportunity to take on more work, take it on and do an awesome job. Go “above and beyond” in your volunteer efforts. Your boss will take notice of this and place additional confidence in you. He will see your commitment and zeal in the volunteer efforts and transfer that image to his ideas of your normal work. The bonus here is that any positive feelings and thoughts he has at this point are multiplied due to the fact that you are generously volunteering your time to help the company. While this does mean more work for you, the sacrifice will definitely give boost your career and overall inter-office image.
Another form of volunteering that will benefit you and allow you to become the Go to Guy is by volunteering to join organizational committees. This is the same tactic used by senators to rally troops (and confidence) when preparing to present a new bill or law.
Most companies have a lot of committees that they need members for. Volunteer to join one of these committees, even if it is only the one that is planning the company’s annual BBQ and picnic. Doing work for this committee will allow you ample time to demonstrate your leadership skills while making new contacts within the company’s management and power structure. If the events and actions your committees produce are a success, your boss will notice and he may even begin delegating more leadership responsibilities to you that relate directly to your job.
2. Get to Know Your Co-Workers
Make sure that you take some time each day to talk to as many different colleagues as you can. In fact, you should set a goal of talking to at least 10 of them every day. This is important because in order to be the Go to Guy, people will have to know you actually exist. Becoming the Go to Guy just isn’t something that will happen if you stay nestled all snug and securely within your cubicle day after day.
Make sure to take a walk around the office now and again. Though the specific purpose of the strolls is to talk and interact with co-workers, make sure it seems as if you have some pressing business to take care of. Don’t interrupt those that are working. Merely express interest in those who have an opportunity to chat. Simply find moments when your co-workers and yourself have some free time to talk. Be open to talk about what they want to talk about. The idea is to get yourself out there so that people are able to get to know you, not for you to connect with them as if you were running a political campaign.
3. Start Writing
Writing is an awesome way to get your name and your ideas circulating through others’ conversations. It allows you to present your best traits and your knowledge. Writing causes people that have never met you to feel as if they’ve known you for some time. Don’t worry if you don’t feel you’re a strong writer. There are resources to help improve your writing. Take advantage of them.
A great way to begin marketing yourself through writing is with a blog. It is extremely simple to create a free blog these days. Remember though, your blog’s intent is not to brag about all of your spoils. Instead, use it to present your professionalism and expertise in the field. Link to news clips that affect your industry. Add comments and discussions. This will show your boss and colleagues several things:
- You are informed, which makes you an asset to your company.
- You are practicing critical thinking regarding the issues that face your industry.
- You are taking initiative and confronting the issues that are affecting your company, which is something that your boss will find impressive.
Another way to present yourself through the written word is to consider writing for your company’s publication or newsletter. The top executives usually read this, so it is a great way increase your visibility and establish yourself as an expert in your company’s business and dealings.
Don’t waste any more time stagnating somewhere in the middle of your office pool. It is time to get out there and start moving. Rather than get lost in the shuffle, you can rise to the top if you follow the three strategies mentioned above.
You can become the Go to Guy…and why wouldn’t you want to?
(Image courtesy of MyTudut under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 generic license.)
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I think it’s safe to say that I’m the “go to person” in my office. It’s actually funny because I never volunteer for anything; I’ve only volunteered once, to help clear up a backlog, and that was because I was annoyed that the staffers who were supposed to take care of the backlog kept coming up with excuses why they couldn’t.
But I guess because I’m seen as efficient and effective (for lack of a better word), I’ve developed a reputation for being great at what I do. So everyone comes to me, even if just to ask me what they should do for a given situation.
And I don’t go around and socialize with my coworkers. I’m not much of a social person. But I do have a pleasant personality (at least, if you don’t know me well!) and I seem approachable to everyone, so they come to me.
The downside of being the go to person, though, is that it feels like I always have to help others, but when I need help, there’s no one for me to turn to. And it’s frustrating, because I barely have anyone to bounce ideas off of. On top of that, people give me more and more work (partly because they don’t like dealing with the staff member(s) who are responsible for the particular task), so while I am getting swamped with work, others are just sitting there doing nothing.
Overall, I don’t mind being the go to person – I’m a bit of a know-it-all, and I firmly believe in helping others. If I can be of assistance, I’m glad to help. It’s just sometimes too much…