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Top tips that will help you get promoted without making your workmates think you're a creep.

If you really want to get ahead at work, you need to make sure that the people with the power to hire and fire you think you're great. Worried that if you're seen to be working too hard, you'll lose all credibility with your colleagues? Follow our tips and you'll be as popular with your mates as you are with your boss.

Enjoy your work

Our top tip is to be cheerful and enthusiastic about whatever you're asked to do. Natasha who's a recruitment consultant suggests that you can work hard but still have fun too. Diana, a marketing account manager, agrees. "Show a positive attitude at all times," she says. But a word of warning: don't overdo it when it's something you hate, or you'll end up as chief photocopier or tea maker for ever.

Work as a team

"One thing your boss appreciates is when you can show you're working as a team," says George, who works behind the bar at a top hotel. You all work for the same business, so co-operate and help each other. Amrit is a careers psychologist and advises: "Always acknowledge help from colleagues and don't be afraid to voice appreciation of their efforts." Never bitch about fellow colleagues, because managers don't actually enjoy sorting out disagreements between staff.

Become essential

Become an expert at something no one else is, picking up skills or technical knowledge that's vital to your company, yet relatively hard to learn. "Several years ago I worked for a marketing agency and volunteered to look after the office computers and database," says Pete. "My managing director encouraged this and soon I became the database consultant for our clients."

Do your job well

"Show and convince your boss that you've put in 100%," recommends Diana. "You can make yourself noticed when you're doing something right," says George, but she also warns not to brag about it like one of her colleagues does, who ends up infuriating everyone else. And doing your job well also means being reliable. Always meet any deadlines assigned to you, get into work on time, and phone in if you're sick.

Show some initiative

Why not suggest solutions to problems, rather than always asking for the answer? If you see yourself as a manager in future you'll need to be able to do this. "Don't be a puppet. Use of initiative is very important for a boss to realise your true potential," Diana told us. Although she managed her own projects, she involved her boss in key decisions, but had her own recommendations ready. This made the boss' job easier as she'd already thought out what had to be done. And yes, she got promoted!

Take part in training

"Going on any courses that are offered, that's good. They think you're keen to work and keen to progress," says George. Look at what's on offer or find out about courses for yourself. George is doing an NVQ in bar work where she studies from home at her own pace, and is assessed at work. If you're under 25 you can get some government funding for courses or your company might sponsor you.