We just talked about how, as a Revolutionary Assistant, you can assist your manager in making sure everyone feels included. A manager who goes out of her way to make sure everyone is heard is bound to mine special things from her team.
But if you’re not feeling included in the important meetings – or even in the office get-togethers – there are things you can do to help yourself. Consider some of these suggestions.
Make sure you set aside time for your co-workers, socially as well as professionally – This can be hard, especially as you get older and have more personal responsibilities on your plate. Children going off to school and spouses who are waiting for dinner are hard to ignore. But even during the regular 8:00 to 5:00 work hours, there are opportunities to bond with your co-workers. Ask a team member to join you in the cafeteria downstairs for coffee or out for lunch. Staying in the thick of co-worker social time can take some effort, so be prepared.
Use that social time to stay “top of mind” for future projects – When you’re socializing with co-workers, you’re talking about that one thing you all have in common: the office. Staying visible and engaged with the group will keep you in the forefront when it comes time to choose team members to work on a special project or a committee.
Show off what you got! – Make sure that the folks in your office understand all the unique and fabulous things you bring to the table. For me, I do that with my writing. I send out a couple of memos to the office about the copy room or the coffee machine, and pretty soon everyone wants me to write stuff for them. I not only make myself a good choice for other writing projects, but I attract the kind of project that’s most interesting to me.
When all else fails, ask for it – I don’t know about you, but in my office there are all kinds of things going on, and we’re always short-handed. People generally appreciate any help they can get, so when I see an interesting human resources or marketing project and think that I can contribute, I let people know. Sometimes I’m slightly off in my prediction of what they might need, but sometimes I’m spot on and am invited into the fold.
Be realistic about what you can contribute – Let’s face it, you can’t be a part of every project and initiative that’s going on in your office, and you should be careful not to ask to be a part of every little thing! If your own work is slipping a little here and there, be wise about what you ask to get involved with, because that’ll only take up more of your time.
So, don’t just rely on your manager to make you feel included. Sure, she plays a part in ensuring that everyone has their time in the sun, but you can be stoking those fires as well!
Next post: Wednesday, December 3