Competition in the workplace – it’s a sticky topic. Too much competition can be deadly; killing morale, fostering a back-stabbing culture, creating a sense of distrust between team members.
But, competing to better yourself and your own work prospects doesn’t mean having to tear down your colleagues in the process. There’s plenty of ways to up your game, without being a bad sport.
Here’s how you can foster good competition, and up your chances of success in the workplace.
- Don’t compete with people on your own level
To truly push yourself, you need to try to compete with your superiors; compete with the people on the managerial (and pay level) above you. Show that you’re forward-thinking and keen for progression, by taking notice of the people/roles you want to be.
By being aware of their responsibilities, this helps to demonstrate that you are not only observant but are keen to have a bigger piece of the pie.
- Engage in time-based challenges
Offering a hand in tasks with a tight turnaround shows that you can keep calm under pressure, and deliver the goods when needed. This isn’t something to be avoided if time-management isn’t one of your strengths, though. In fact, we would actively encourage you to challenge yourself.
If you don’t tend to work on time-based challenges, set some for yourself. Respond to all of your emails and voicemails before 10 AM. Spend 10 minutes writing up notes for this afternoon’s meeting – rather than walking in with a blank piece of paper. Time goals can help us to focus throughout the day, not just on bigger projects.
- Give yourself a few mentors
It helps to have several people to look up to (and aspire to) when looking to improve ourselves. This can be from within your industry, but if you take inspiration from people outside of your world of work, that’s OK too.
Align your way of working with the people you look up to. What makes them successful? What do they do to improve themselves? What can you learn from them to improve your own way of working?
- Offer to mentor other people (and make it known)
If you have expertise in a certain area, why not ask your manager if they would make time for you to train your colleagues? Mentoring offers you the opportunity to assert a certain level of dominance over your colleagues and shows your manager that you are capable – and, in some respects, maybe even over-qualified. It might also give you a little extra bargaining when asking for a bonus, pay raise, or promotion.
- Have a lot to say? Make it heard!
Whether you prefer to communicate via written blog or spoken vlog, get your voice heard! Show that you can advise and inspire others within your industry. Demonstrating your passion within your field and the confidence you have in your own knowledge and voice is a great way to showcase your skills. This can become a helpful, ready-made portfolio if you’re looking for a change of jobs in the future, too.
For more career advice and to find a career coach near you, visit our fact-sheet!