There’s no better feeling in a job than when you know the boss has full confidence in you. You enter a zone where you can really be yourself, where you move beyond worrying about what others think or feeling concerned about being constantly monitored and evaluated.
So how do you get to that zone? How do you show your bosses and co-workers that they can rely on you? By showing that you’re disciplined, both in the work you create and in the way you work. Employees who show they have things under control—employees who are disciplined at work—are more likely to be handed greater responsibilities. And that means they tend to move up in their company faster than others. Somewhere along the way, they’ve won the confidence of the boss and likely, of the boss’s boss.
To help your boss have confidence in you, focus on establishing these work habits:
Never miss a deadline. If the report is due on Tuesday afternoon, plan to deliver it on Tuesday morning. Always aim to exceed your boss’s expectations. And while you’re at it, exceed the expectations of your colleagues, too.
Be predictable. Commit to a set schedule, and don’t deviate from it. This includes when you show up at work and when you’re available. If you need to change that schedule, over-communicate these changes so no one who relies on you is left hanging or surprised.
Get organized. From the cleanliness of your workspace to your ability to digest obscure concepts, show how well you can manage information and data. What many of us fail to recognize is that every now and then someone looks over your shoulder to see how many e-mails are in your inbox. Remember, a full e-mail inbox is no different than an overflowing paper inbox of yesterday. Besides, being organized will not only make you look good, it will make you feel good, too.
Walk strong. Carry yourself with an attitude that says, “I’ve got my stuff together.” You may not feel like the most well-dressed or fashionable person, but if you give off a sense of organization and control, others will perceive you that way. That confidence is likely to rub off on the quality of your work, too.
Being disciplined doesn’t mean you can’t also be fun, creative, and sociable. Many disciplined employees have all of those qualities, and they’re far from being thought of as sticks in the mud. So add a dose of discipline to your work day, let the confidence build, and see where it takes you.
Rusty Rueff, director and career expert for jobs and career website Glassdoor.com has been a CEO, led HR in global companies and is co-author of Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business.