When it comes to work, the last thing you want to be is another cog in the wheel — you’d much rather stand out.
You want to be the first person your boss thinks of when she needs someone to spearhead a challenging project, and for everybody in your office to think of you as valuable and trustworthy. When there’s a promotion on the line, you want your name to be the one that everybody is muttering.
But, here’s the thing: Your colleagues are all awesome, and you’re struggling to figure out how you can separate yourself from your equally-qualified team members.
Of course, doing solid work, meeting expectations, and hitting your goals are all a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to making a professional name for yourself. However, there are a few other qualities that are a little less tangible — but just as important.
Is there anything more frustrating than someone who repeatedly promises they’ll get something done, only to drop the ball time and time again?
It’s easy to think that dependability is a given in the workplace, but it’s actually not as common as you might think. That’s why supervisors and co-workers alike truly value someone who accomplishes what they say they’re going to — accurately and on time, no less.
So, maybe you think reliability isn’t the most flashy or exciting quality. But, as simple as it might seem, you can bet that repeatedly keeping your word will gain you plenty of positive attention at work.
It’s tempting to think of the workplace as an “every person for themselves” sort of competitive environment. When you’re matched up against your colleagues for things like coveted promotions and raises, isn’t it better to let them flop and fail than to raise them up or help them out?
A certain amount of healthy and professional competitiveness is necessary in your career. But, a relentless willingness to help out somebody who’s struggling is actually one of the things that will get you noticed as a high-performer.
Go ahead, ask your swamped team member if you can help out with anything on their to-do list. Or, approach your boss to see how you can make her life easier that day.
Proving that you’re focused on the greater good of your team and your company — as opposed to just your own desires and priorities — makes you all the more memorable and impressive.
It’s easy to give up. Even the shame and guilt that comes along with quitting is far better than continuing to bang your head against the wall while trying to solve a problem.
It’s exactly why perseverance is such a desirable quality among employees. Leaders want to oversee people who are able to adapt, adjust, and find potential solutions, rather than those who throw up their hands the moment they hit a roadblock.
When you’re stuck, do your best to persist. Being the one person who didn’t give up on solving a problem for your team will earn you a high level of appreciation and recognition.
Meeting expectations is one thing. But, if your aim is to be noticed, you should be doing more than that — you should be exceeding expectations.
Showing this high level of initiative can take on numerous different forms in the workplace.
It can involve stepping up to lead a challenging project that nobody else wants to take on. Or, it can mean asking thoughtful questions when you’re presented with constructive criticism to prove that you’re committed to your own advancement. It’s even evident when you finally roll up your sleeves and clean the break room microwave because you know that nobody else was going to do it.
The people who stand out in the office aren’t the ones who are content with the status quo. They’re the ones who have their sights set on constant growth, learning, and improvement.
Even if you love your job, the workplace can be brutal at times. Conflicts happen, deadlines get tight, and stress can pile up.
That makes it easy to get snide or snappy, but at work (and, let’s face it, everywhere else) kindness always wins.
Don’t trick yourself into thinking that this needs to involve grand gestures. Bring in donuts or bagels for your team or grab your deskmate a cup of coffee — it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact.
There’s something magnetic and infectious about a positive outlook. When everybody else is groaning about the fact that it’s already Monday, you’re the one who brings a go get ‘em attitude to the office.
That doesn’t go unnoticed. Your enthusiasm will undoubtedly rub off on the people you work with. And, wouldn’t you rather be recognized as the person who walks into the office with a smile instead of grumbling and whining?
It can be challenging to get noticed in the office, particularly when all of your colleagues are equally qualified. Knocking your work out of the park is the best place to get started, but oftentimes it’s the less tangible qualities that truly set you apart.
Do your best to embody these six characteristics, and you’re sure to garner a positive reputation at work.