Workers gunning for a promotion need to remember one key thing: there are always people watching, a career mentor has said.

As millions of workers return to desks this week, many will be considering their career goals for 2021. According to businesswoman and career mentor, Amanda Rose, the first step to achieving this is to act as though you’re starting out at your job again.

“Your boss and your colleagues are watching everything you do. So when you start out at a job, you’re really diligent, you’re working hard, you spend your hour lunch break chatting to people,” she said.

But over time, you might start to arrive to work a few minutes late and finish early. Instead of making connections with your colleagues over lunchtime, you rarely talk to anyone. Or, when you do talk to someone, it’s a long, drawn-out conversation that’s cutting into actual work time.



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“People notice these things,” Rose said, suggesting workers should act as though there’s CCTV operating at all times.

Four things you should do every day

Woman typing on laptop on clean white office table with plant and cup of coffee, copy space
Image: Getty

Rose said there are a few essential things workers need to do every day: the first is to be structured.

“What people forget is that that’s what a job’s about: a job’s about delivery. You can’t just do it, you have to deliver,” she said.

“There has to be an end result. Even if it’s a small thing, it helps you as well because it builds your confidence and reassures you that you’re achieving things on a daily basis.”

Another tip is to make sure you’re finishing something off every day and then communicating that.

“You might have an endless to-do list, but make sure you’re finishing something off every day.”

Rose said she likes to have three things every day that she will not leave the office until she has achieved.

Once you’ve hit those tasks, it’s as simple as letting your manager know it’s done, as that builds your reputation as the type of person who hits their daily goals.

Then it comes down to the simple things: dress respectably and be pleasant.

“Walking with a smile on your face is always a good start, as is starting the day off positively.”

Warmth and competence most important traits at work

Portrait of a casual afro-american businessman during a  meeting. He's smiling to his colleague
Image: Getty

Rose’s rules highlight the importance of competence and warmth at work.

According to leadership strategist and entrepreneur Shadé Zahrai, these two traits are the main things we’re judged on in the office, and it comes down to a survival instinct.

Essentially, we want to know that our colleagues are good people, and that they’ll deliver.

“The key physical indicators of warmth are eye contact, smiling when you meet somebody, nodding your head when you agree with them, orienting your body towards them,” Zahrai said.

“It’s basically just being present with them so that they feel like you care.”

As for competence, that comes down to your ability to do your job and how you present yourself.

“People who are more confident are just perceived as being more competent and better at what they do. That can also come down to the language and the vocabulary that you use.”