6 tips to be better than everyone else at work

It’s pay rise time.

Sometimes rolling into work at 9:30am with Doritos dust on your shirt and a pillow crease on your face just doesn’t get you a pay rise or a promotion.

Its cruel and unfair, but so is life, so if you want either of these, you need to learn to be better than every single person in your company. Yes, even the nice man that brings around the charity lollies.

It sounds impossible, I know, but really all it takes is stalking your boss a bit, planning Friday night drinks and a few iced doughnuts here and there.

Put in a little weekend work

Think of this as your Sunday night meal prep, but for work. Whether it’s planning your upcoming week, clearing out your inbox or brainstorming some *phresh* new ideas for the 9am WIP, you’ll enter Monday feeling cleansed and ready to work (and a step ahead of your loser colleagues who actually spent Sunday night doing meal prep).

Sprinkle personality on your emails

I’m gonna come right out and say it: business emails need to lighten the f*ck up. We’re all friends here, can we maybe chill a bit on the hello-theres and kind-regards and let’s-take-this-offlines? Adding some personality to your everyday emails builds better relationships, so when the client eventually requests you take over the whole account, you can give your boss a little wink and ask for a $10k pay rise.

Buy the office doughnuts one time

Look, if you’re on a budget, the 12-pack of supermarket cinnamon donuts will do (everyone knows they’re the best anyway). But it should be noted you might come off as a tight ass. If you can afford it, splash out $30 on the fancy doughnuts with the little chocolates on top and fillings inside. You only have to do this once because you’ll be an instant legend and your colleagues will never forget it. So $30 spread over the entire time you work there is a small investment into being better than everyone else. It makes sense.

Surprise your boss with bright ideas

Bright ideas are the equivalent of iced doughnuts for your boss, so occasionally surprise him or her with a new initiative or suggestion to help the business. You know, to give the impression you’re always switched on.

Bonus points if you can send the idea in an email late at night, because obviously you never stop working and therefore deserve a promotion.

Dedicate a block of time to one project 

This is a well-known trick among freelancers who are in charge of creating structure and disciplining themselves. Breaking up your day into smaller bite-size pieces will not only make it easier to digest, but also ensure you’re completely focused on that one task. This means you’ll actually get shit done and leave the office having accomplished something other than looking at funny memes all day.

Ask for feedback – and listen to it 

Feedback is a terrifying concept for those of us who don’t deal well with criticism (me, you, everyone) but because of this, it’s also seen as an admirable thing to do. Occasionally, ask your boss and team members for feedback on a recent project you worked on. They’ll think you’re always trying to improve and once the results are in, you can follow their advice and be better than them all over again.

Be at your desk when your boss gets in

Any normal person knows when their boss gets in, but if you’re new, watch his or her movements over the course of a week to determine their entry time. Ensure you’re sitting at your own desk 10-15 minutes beforehand, or earlier if you want to use the wifi and data for non-work projects or make a badass breakfast in the staff kitchen. Your boss will saunter in and assume you’ve been there all morning (or maybe all night) so the more tired you look, and the more files on your desk, the better.

Lead the social committee

Doughnuts aren’t the only way to earn the respect of your colleagues and, ultimately, your boss. Display a little work/life balance and suggest the odd social activity for your office. Your boss will see that you’re a leader within the team and your colleagues will know this is code for Friday night drinks. It’s a win-wine… er, I mean win-win.

Illustration by Twylamae who also makes amazing Seinfeld tees.

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