10 Tiny Things That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Career

By Chelsea Babin

Negotiating a raise, searching for a job that’s a great fit, or getting a promotion are a few of the things people regularly think about when they think of things that will make a huge impact on their career. But there are also a few tiny things you can do on a regular basis (or even just once) that can make a significant impact on your career! These 10 things will take very little effort but help you move up the career ladder and succeed.

1. Hang Out With a Higher-up: Even if you can’t find a mentor, you can hang out with one or more of the higher-ups at your company. If you want a promotion, want some guidance on what steps to take in your career, or just want to pick the brain of an accomplished person, you can invite a higher-up out for coffee or lunch. Even one of these meetings could have a huge positive impact on your overall career.

2. Create Challenges to Keep Yourself Motivated: If you’re getting a little bored or work is starting to feel stale, creating little challenges for yourself is a great way to reignite your interest and stay motivated. You could even create some healthy competition with coworkers and do these challenges together! In a way, these challenges will help you create the habit of regularly setting and achieving goals, and you may be able to stretch your skills along the way.

3. Reread Emails Before Sending: If you want to sound professional and intelligent in your written communication, which is primarily in emails or instant messengers, you should take the extra minute every time you write one to reread before sending. This will help you spot more typos, give you a chance to clarify your meaning if your words seem confusing, and you’ll be able to double check that you’ve attached the right attachment or have the correct recipients listed.

4. Get to Know Colleagues In Other Departments: If you work at a larger organization, it can sometimes be daunting to get to know everyone’s name in your office. But, you should make it a point to get to know colleagues in other departments. Whether you simply strike up a conversation and introduce yourself at a company function or you invite them out after work, getting to know colleagues in other departments will extend your professional network and it might open up opportunities to contribute on different projects, learn new skills, or develop new passions.

5. Offer Professional, Productive Compliments More Often: You can compliment your bosses and coworkers without seeming like a suck-up. Complimenting specific achievements they’ve made or thanking them for helping you and specifying what you’ve learned along the way is a great way to maintain positive, professional relationships, which will have a huge impact on your career.

6. Keep Track of Your Wins: When you document your successes, accomplishments, and winning streaks at work you’ll not only boost your career confidence, you’ll also have an easier path towards promotions and raises. This practice will give you a clear idea of what you bring to the table and it will help you prove the value you’re adding to the company you work for.

7. Learn and Read a Little Every Day: The best way to make slow, regular progress in your career is to learn and read a little every day. You can watch Ted Talks, read industry news, pick up a book, start a MOOC, take a class, or even listen to an informative podcast. No matter how you slice it, this daily dedication to your career won’t feel like much effort but, over time, it will build a habit that makes an impressive impact on your career.

8. Take Pride in Your Appearance and the Appearance of Your Workspace: Being known as the office slob—whether it’s for wearing ill-fitting, slouchy clothes to work or having the messiest desk in the office—can be detrimental to your career because it makes other subconsciously see you as lazy, unmotivated, or unobservant. If you take pride in your appearance, that doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit every day. Just be mindful of how you present yourself at work and try to look put together. Additionally, your workspace can get a little messy sometimes but if you’re constantly working in a state of disorganization and dirt you may be harming your career prospects.

9. Speak Up in Meetings: If you have a question in a meeting and you’ve been paying attention, it’s likely that one or more people have the same question you do. So, why not ask? Speaking up in meetings, both to ask questions and offer insights that add to the topic at hand, will grow your confidence and show your colleagues you really care about the work you do.

10. Regularly Assess Yourself: Are you motivated by working on a large team or do you prefer to work independently? Are you good with details or better with big picture tasks? Knowing your strengths and regularly assessing yourself can help you stay on track in your career and will have a huge positive impact over time.

Want to make a positive impact on your career? These 10 tiny things will help guarantee your career success and set you up for bigger accomplishments like promotions and raises.