in: Career, Career & Wealth, Featured

• Last updated: January 12, 2024

How To Become the Go-to Guy at Work

Vintage man calling on phone at office.

Do you feel like your career is in a rut? When was the last time you got a promotion or a raise? That long, huh? The best way you can get your career moving on the right track is to become the “go-to guy” at work. What is a go-to guy? You’ve seen these people before. They’re the ones who your boss and all your colleagues seek out for advice or to get something done. These people have made themselves indispensable at work. Therefore, they can leverage this to their benefit in negotiations for a raise or a promotion.

There’s no secret to becoming the go-to guy at work. You don’t have to be witty or charismatic. It just takes some good old fashioned hard work and some initiative from you.

Become the Man at Work

Volunteer for extra assignments. Whenever an opportunity arises for more work, take it on and do it well. Your boss will start noticing and you’ll gain his confidence. The great British Navy Admiral, Horatio Nelson, applied this principle throughout his entire career in the Navy. He took on extra jobs cheerfully and did them well. He soon earned a reputation as the go-to guy on all the ships he staffed. He was eventually rewarded by being made captain of his own ship when he was just 23. Nelson continued taking on more responsibilities until he was finally made the head of the entire British fleet.

Sure, it will be more work, but if you really want to rocket your career, you’re going to have to make the sacrifice.

Talk with as many colleagues as you can everyday. Make it a goal everyday to talk with at least 10 of your colleagues each day. If you have less than 10, then talk with them all. If you want to become the go-to guy, people at work have to know you exist. This can’t happen if you’re stuck in your cubicle all day. Take breaks throughout the day to shoot the breeze with your colleagues. Of course you don’t want to interrupt them, so find moments when they’re free to talk. Lunch time is perfect for conversations with your colleagues. Talk about anything with them. Work, family, sports. The idea is to get yourself out there so people can get to know you.

Start a blog on your industry. Blogs are a great tool to market yourself at work. Link to news clips affecting your industry and add your personal commentary on it. This shows your boss and colleagues two things. 1) You’re informed. Informed employees are assets to their companies. 2) You’re thinking about the issues your industry is facing in a critical way. Your commentary will show your boss that you’re taking initiative in confronting issues that affect your company. This is always impressive.

Setting up a blog is a breeze. You can do it for free through Blogger or Start yours today.

Join committees. Your company probably has lots of opportunities to get involved with committees. Get on one, even if it’s the committee that plans the company picnic. Committee work is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership skills and is a chance for you to make new contacts. If your boss sees that you can run an awesome picnic, you plant the seed in his head that you can also run your department.

Just do it, damn it. Like all advice given on this site, the overriding principle is that you need to do something today. Find something you can do to make yourself the go-to guy at work right now and get to work on it. Start that blog account; sign up for that committee; take a colleague out to lunch; or volunteer for that extra assignment. With a little extra work, you’ll soon be the go to guy at work.

For more tips on becoming the go-to guy at work (and earning yourself a promotion in the process), listen to this episode of the AoM podcast:

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