We’re always looking forward to the next promotion, potential raise, or exciting development in our careers, but it’s easy to get antsy when you’re looking at a five-year plan that has four and a half years left to go. If you’re looking for something you can do right now to forward your career, here are a few suggestions for helping yourself become the #girlboss we know you can be.
Ask a co-worker out to coffee
Choose a co-worker whose work (or position) you admire and offer to buy them a cup of coffee. Stepping outside of the office, even if it’s only for a short while, gives you the chance to pick their brain about how they got where they are and what you can do to emulate their success. Keep this meet up casual – you want to get to know this person better, not for them to give you an immediate job offer. Focus on building a relationship, and that will be much more beneficial for you in the long run.
Make sure you’re making the right salary
No, we’re not suggesting that you go around and ask all your peers what the size of their paychecks are, but take a few minutes to research your industry and the average salary for somebody in your position. PayScale.com, Glassdoor.com, and O*Net OnLine (a salary resource from the U.S. Department of Labor) are all great resources to make sure your salary is in line with what other industry professionals are making. If it’s not, you can use this data to negotiate a raise or even to transition into a new role.
Update your LinkedIn status
A LinkedIn profile overhaul can take a large part of your week, but a status update that shares a project you’ve recently worked on or an article that you’ve published takes just a few minutes. It’s a great way to show off your skills and to let your connections know what you’ve been up to. And who knows -a connection who sees your status updates might reach out to catch up with you or to discuss an opportunity you might be interested in. Online connections can be just as important as offline ones, so don’t neglect them!
Read a daily news breakdown
What’s more important than being informed? Whether it’s the front page of The Washington Post or an industry-specific publication, take a few minutes to make sure you know the latest and most important news that pertains to your job. This information will help inform the decisions you make throughout your day, and using it in a meeting will show your boss that you really know your stuff.
Update Your Wardrobe
As superficial as it may seem, appearance can convey a lot at the workplace. Being sharply dressed isn’t just a vanity factor -it actually affects how your peers perceive you. If you show up in wrinkled, stained, torn clothing and battered shoes it can come off as unprofessional. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate your inner girlboss, head to your favorite store and purchase a work-appropriate item that you feel powerful and confident in. Ideally, this is something you can wear from the boardroom to the bar, but so long as it inspires you to be your best it can be anything you want!