What I’ve learned in the six months plus I’ve been a full time worker boil down to three things:
Find out how your boss likes to be kept in the loop (okay, I stole this one from Basic Black:
The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work and in Life – a great read, by the way) and follow it. Learn how to use the ‘reply all’ button; something I honestly had never used in my life until recently. And learn when it’s appropriate to cc in people on emails.
Don’t always enter by the side door, even if it’s more convenient for you. Come into the office by the main door sometimes; make the effort say hello and goodbye to your boss and workmates. Have the confidence to speak up and contribute in meetings and discussions. But most importantly, let your boss know when you’ve done good work – otherwise it may well go unnoticed (or someone else might pinch credit for it). And while it’s great to be a team player and to fix up mistakes by others as you see them, sometimes it’s necessary to point them out to the person whose responsibility it is; a) they need to learn and b) you deserve credit for your attention to detail.
Sometimes you just need to wait for recognition. Don’t shy away from new tasks or extra responsibility, even if it means more work for nothing (within reason, of course). While some people may be able to talk their way into a promotion, the best way is simply to just do the job and prove your ability. I found that once I got on with it and shone, the rest followed…eventually.