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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Getting Ahead

5 Real Projects People Launched to Get Ahead at Work

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It’s easy to become bored, complacent, or completely stuck in a rut if you’ve been in a particular role for a while—especially if you’ve already learned everything you need to learn and done everything you need to do.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t change it up a bit. In fact, we talked to several people who found new and exciting ways to give their jobs a makeover—without quitting their jobs.

By taking on more responsibility at work, these people found a newfound appreciation for the jobs they already had and got ahead in their careers.

Here’s what they did:

1. Started a Company Blog (and Got it Featured on The Tonight Show)

In 2017, The Powerline Group wanted to start a new technology blog. As the Digital Marketing Associate, Holly Zink quickly volunteered to help. She came up with the name Digital Addicts, and immediately set out to get people to read it.

One of the methods she used to garner publicity was to use the blog’s Twitter handle to participate in one of Jimmy Fallon’s hashtag games. She submitted her own #MisheardLyrics post and was excited to hear her tweet (and her blog) mentioned on The Tonight Show that night!

2. Sparked an Internal Dialogue as an Intern (and Got the CIO to Notice Him)

Surrounded by so many high-caliber interns at Intel, 18-year-old Alex Koren wanted to find a way to stand out from the crowd. So, he started an internal blog just for employees.

He wrote about what it was like to have his first job as a software engineer, his anxieties and excitements about working in the industry, what woke him up in the morning, and what kept him up at night (like this one). By the end of his internship program, his blogs were being read by more than 10,000 Intel employees. Eventually, even the CIO took note—and offered him a job.

3. Launched a Video Series

Aaptiv is a fitness app that provides audio workouts for its subscribers. But because the workouts are pre-recorded, the personal trainers who record them never get to receive customer feedback or provide individualized support to those who participate in their routines.

So Maya Hutchinson, the Community Manager for Aaptiv, came up with the idea of starting a series of Facebook Live videos. Each “Trainer Tuesday” features one of the company’s experienced personal trainers and allows attendees to ask them questions or receive feedback. Needless to say, the program was a success and the community feels more connected as a result.

4. Developed an Algorithm to Make a Process More Efficient

Josiah Nelson was one of 65 negotiators working for Strategic Financial Solutions when he became frustrated by the amount of time he and his team spent on administrative tasks each week.

About one third of their time was spent finding accounts to work on, and Nelson wondered if there was a way the whole process could become automated. Sure enough, he developed an algorithm that would do the work for them, saving him and his teammates up to 13 hours each week.

5. Learned SEO

Dani Benson is the SEO Specialist at TopResume—but she didn’t used to be. Working as a marketing coordinator, Dani saw an opportunity when her company decided to bring their SEO operations in house. She quickly learned everything she could about the topic by taking SEO courses from Clickminded and taking courses on search console and analytics from Google. Needless to say, she was eventually promoted for her efforts.

These are just a few of the ways employees have shaken up their jobs in an effort to get ahead. And in so doing, a lot of them made a name for themselves within the companies that they worked for.

Even if it’s not in your job description, find something that can really make a difference where you work—and tackle it! Chances are, you’ll be more excited about your job, and your team will be more excited with you.