Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How To Show Boss You're Working Hard Even When You’re Not

Faking Your Way to the Top of the Corporate Ladder
These days, it isn't about results, but about the effort you put into your work. If you can show your boss that you're working hard -- even when you're not -- you might find yourself up for a promotion. This is not to say that you should be intentionally unproductive, but many of those slackers you knew back in high school are holding top-level management positions because they can "fake it". Working hard isn't enough in this corporate culture; you have to show your boss you're working hard.

CC All Outgoing E-Mails

Sending boatloads of e-mails is a sure sign of productivity, so if you want to show your boss you're working hard; CC all of those outgoing e-mails to him. In some cases, you might be asked to stop because your boss' inbox is already too full, but most times, this will work like a charm. Your boss will see that you're working hard, connecting with colleagues and following up with customers.

Carry a Notebook

When you're making your hourly trek to the water cooler to discuss the weekend's parties and trysts, carry a notebook with you and write in it sporadically as though you're taking notes. Even if you're actually making a list of the movies you want to see when you get home, your boss will think that you're working hard on one project or another. This also works if you have one of those Franklin Day Planners -- carry your appointment book everywhere and be jotting things down if you happen to see your boss in the hall.

Be the First to Report

When you find out about a problem at work or if you hear from a customer, who wants to open a large account, make sure you're the first to report the new development to your boss. It's easy to show your boss you're working hard if you are always on top of the office gossip, and your boss will start to look at you as though you're his right-hand man.

Leave it on the Computer

When you leave your desk -- whether it's to talk shop with a colleague or take an unscheduled trip to the vending machines -- leave your work on your computer. If possible, make sure there are several different screens and keep the browser or window open with the most productive-looking work. This shows your boss that you're working hard even if you were just leaving those windows up as a smoke screen for your actual task of surfing the Internet for celebrity gossip.

Act Stressed

Nothing screams "Productive" more effectively than a stressed employee. Even if you are feeling great, acting stressed at work will make your boss think you're working hard, and you'll gain the sympathy vote as well. Lots of rubbing the eyes, stretching the shoulders, groaning at your desk and developing circles under your eyes will communicate the impression that you're a workaholic -- even if you're not.

Call Your Boss

You've taken the day off because you're sick -- or because you want to take a day trip with your friends to the amusement park -- but showing your boss that you're working hard isn't something you can't do remotely. Call your boss on your days off and ask how things are going or report a problem that you forgot to mention the day before. This gives the impression that you can't get work off your mind -- even if it's the farthest thing from it.


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