Understand your value.
First of all, you're valuable!
"Millennials are the most educated generation in United States history, and thus many fresh graduates are gifted in bringing their knowledge—be it writing, math, or engineering—to the table," Stahl says. "We grew up in the era of the tech boom, so we also have unique, unprecedented knowledge on social media and the Internet... These are two powerful forces in business today."
You have a lot to offer your colleagues and they know that so stop doubting yourself.
Keep your fashion risks out of the office.
Yes, it's shallow, but the way you appear at work will affect your career in small ways. "Your outfit is a vehicle of self-expression in the workplace," Stahl says. "It’s great to be your beautiful self with your clothing choices as long as you’re honoring the dress code."
Sporting clothes that are more appropriate for a night out on the town with your friends could overshadow your capabilities and might "drive colleagues to the conclusion that you’re not professional."
Become fluent in body language.
Yes, there will be times at work when you're frustrated or stewing over a mistake you made, but keep that anxiety or boredom hidden. Why? Stahl explains: "Your body language also provides a powerful platform for being interpreted in the workplace, as experts estimate that the vast majority of your communication (93%) is nonverbal."
Little mannerisms like tapping your pen, sighing loudly, or rolling your eyes are not going unnoticed. "Your clothing, body language and energy often count even more than your words. It’s more important than ever that in meetings you avoid slouching, which shows disengagement."
Shine on paper.
You don't have to change your personality completely in the workplace. Stahl suggests, "if you’re an introvert, it’s critical that—at the very least—your work speaks for itself. Even if you’re quiet, you’ll shine through your results/delivery."
Assertiveness doesn't necessarily mean being the most vocal. When it comes to our jobs, actions often speak louder than words. When your bosses trust that you not only get work done but get it done well, they'll consider you a reliable and proactive employee.
Take on more assignments.
Well, don't agree to do extra work if you can't complete it on time, but if you finish your To Do list by the middle of the week consider stepping up and asking for more work. It'll deepen the good impression your higher-ups have of you.
"Great employees pay attention to their boss’ priorities and pain points," Stahl says. "They [also] constantly offer to take on side projects—projects that the boss may not have initially thought about—to improve a process or ease the workload."
When you see a chance to make a difference, run after it. However, still remain cautious against biting off more than you can chew.
Get work mentors.
"It’s also more important than ever that introverts builds strong one-on-one relationships so that they have advocates to support their advancement."
You certainly don't need to be chummy with every single coworker and manager you interact with, but make an effort to establish a positive and helpful working relationship with a few of them.
Those relationships could lead to amazing opportunities like overseeing an important project or even getting your name thrown in during a discussion on who to promote.
Know when to listen.
Don't equate assertiveness with pushiness. That misguided interpretation could turn you into the office loudmouth rather than an employee with valuable insights.
"Make a conscious effort to quiet the voice in your head that wants to prove itself, so that you can really hear and process what others are saying," Stahl says. "If your colleagues feel valued, respected, and heard, they’ll notice your maturity and they’ll listen to you. It’s about collaboration and mutual respect."
You don't have to be a wallflower in the workplace, but sometimes sitting back and retaining all the information laid out in a meeting is better than coming up with a half-baked contribution to the discussion.
Don't expect frequent recognition.
"Women must stop relying so heavily on praise," Stahl says. "While it is lovely and victories are worth celebrating, I found that I was never satisfied when I only focused on external reinforcement."
Ultimately, depending on a pat on a back from your boss to boost your confidence at work is harmful to your career goals."The reality is that if you fixate too much on the external, you often overlook the internal. Consider how YOU want to feel when you’re setting goals. If you place too much value on praise, you’ll fixate too much on the lack thereof."
Feel free to treat yourself when you've done something well but don't expect to get it from your bosses every single time.
Stahl understands that "sometimes criticism will cut to the heart of your insecurities." It's not easy to hear feedback on how you can do better even if it's delivered nicely.
Unfortunately, it IS easy to let that criticism have a painful and negative effect on your thinking. Try to correct that harsh judgment of yourself before it causes lasting damage on your attitude.
You're not perfect and, believe it or not, your bosses don't think you're perfect either. Their criticism is given to help you produce the best work possible. "I hope women take these sorts of opportunities as an invitation to confront them and revisit their sense of self, because once that is once that is solidified, neither praise nor criticism can disturb it."
Get over it.
So you royally screwed up at work and now you feel the need to say sorry every second. Apologize to the appropriate person once AND THEN GET OVER IT.
"One apology is powerful," Stahl explains. "But great employees demonstrate resilience right after the matter. If there’s something to apologize for, always take responsibility, but make sure you move on and keep doing you work afterwards. We are all human!"
Be a career risk-taker.
"Take risks," Stahl advises.
Don't be so afraid to fail that you refuse to take on any challenges. That's a great way to remain in entry level status for years! "I’ve learned that risk-taking is a muscle and the moment you dive into the discomfort of them, it becomes your new normal."
It's not a popularity contest.
"From a young age, we are fiercely taught the importance of likability. Yet, this can be incredibly damaging when it shows up in the workplace," Stahl says. "Ask yourself: 'Do I want to be liked or respected?' Sometimes you can score both, but there are many times where you have to pick one."
It's true that employees often get side-tracked with unproductive thoughts on whether they're liked by their colleagues, but - think about it! We've all had a boss who is all business and rarely stops in for water cooler talk about her weekend. And we've all watched that boss get promoted many times.
If you have lofty career goals then focus on doing great work and networking, not on if you're going to be invited to the receptionist's baby shower next month.
Develop a work persona.
"This process of creating a professional persona and honoring it enables you to succeed with authenticity and choice, regardless of your natural default settings," Stahl explains.
Before you go into your first day on the job or transition into a new position, make a list of qualities you want your colleagues to recognize in you. Are you helpful, innovative, a problem-solver? "Be intentional about what [your professional] identity looks like – what it values, expects, and requires – and honor that vision."