Whether you’re trying to make a good first impression or you’ve been with your company for years, standing out at work is a good thing. Your career is a place where you do not want to blend in with the crowd.
Regardless of the size of the office, you’re going to want to stand out amongst your coworkers to get the most success out of your career. You want to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds when it comes to projects and promotions so that you can move forward as a leader in the workforce.
Here are some great strategies for standing out at work that you can follow.
1. Have a Positive Attitude
First and foremost, your attitude is essential. You don’t want to be known for having a bad mindset at work.
If your coworkers are constantly complaining about clients, tasks they have to get done, or just about life in general, you can be a beacon of positive light for everybody. In an office full of negative people, a positive attitude will set you apart from the crowd in the best way possible.
Positivity can be the key to your success, as you will be known as the person who does everything with a smile on their face and a can-do attitude which will make people want to work and share projects with you more often.
You can become a positive role model for your other coworkers, and you might even inspire some positivity with your infectious personality.
2. Speak Up
A big part of standing out from the crowd is just making yourself heard. Instead of sitting in silence during meetings with your managers and coworkers, offer insights that could help aid in whatever project they’re working on.
If you’re attending a brainstorm for a certain campaign, bring new and researched ideas to share with everyone. If you have a question, bring it up so you can participate more fully.
It might be easier to just go along with the crowd and nod in agreement with other people’s sentiments, but you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else if you can bring great conversations to the group.
Just remember to be thoughtful when you choose to speak and don’t just talk for the sake of it. You don’t want to be known as the talker, you want to be remembered for speaking up when it matters.
3. Collaborate With Your Teammates
Of course, you have to be willing and able to sit down at your desk and get the job done on your own. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from collaboration.
Show that you’re a team player and collaborate with others on your next project to enhance your team-building efforts around the office. Use your coworkers’ strengths to help add to a campaign and make it even better.
When you’re able to work well with others and celebrate team success, it sets you up to be someone everyone will enjoy collaborating with in the future.
You might even have managers recommending you like someone to invite to the next brainstorm meeting because of the good reputation you’ve built up.
4. Seek New Learning Opportunities
Don’t think that once you’ve graduated from college, you need to learn new things is over. You likely will learn a lot from each job in your career, and in each position at a company, so it’s important to be humble and open your mind to new learning opportunities.
Whether you sign up for a business seminar or you read books and articles about what’s going on in your industry, you should never stop learning in your profession.
When you put yourself out there to learn more and become better at your job, you instantly stand out as someone willing to go the extra mile to be the best you can be in your career.
When you do find a great learning opportunity, share it with your manager and your team, too. Not only will they be impressed, but they also might learn something new from what you share and your whole organization will be able to grow.
5. Be Innovative
What better way to stand out than to offer new and exciting ideas?
Don’t be afraid that your thoughts will get shut down or that someone else will think of them. Nothing bad can come from you sharing a new idea.
Be confident in your thought process and put your ideas out there for people to ponder. Set up a meeting with your direct manager to share your thoughts and then present them to whoever is necessary.
If you come up with a new idea that your manager or even the CEO likes, it can move you forward in your career, so it’s worth leaping. Even if your ideas don’t end up being used, you’ll still stand out as someone who comes up with ideas and has the confidence and passion to share them with the team.
You might even spark a chain effect and help someone else come up with an idea they didn’t know they had!
6. Take the Lead
To make a lasting impression at work and move up the ladder in your career, it’s important to know how to be a leader at work.
Take on more responsibility and volunteer to lead the next project. But, it doesn’t have to be an “every man for himself” mentality; share in the successes with your teammates as someone who drove the charge.
Help a coworker who might need some guidance so you can work together as a team to get a project done. Not only does it show you’re a leader, but it helps them grow too, which is a win-win situation.
Another big part of being a leader is being able to take feedback and grow from it. Ask for constructive criticism from not only your manager but from your other coworkers as well. Grow from their comments so you can constantly evolve and get better as time goes on.
7. Look the Part
To stand out as a professional, you want to look the part with your clothing and your physical appearance.
The last thing you want is to look like you just rolled out of bed when you come into the office in the morning, so put some effort into your look every day. While some offices still require you to wear a suit and tie or skirt and blouse, a lot more offices are taking on a more casual dress code.
But just because you don’t have to wait for casual Fridays to wear jeans doesn’t mean you should show up to work in your yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Be aware of how to dress for work in an office setting so that you can set yourself up to dress for success.
8. Put in a Little Overtime
While your office hours might be 9 to 5, don’t be rushing out the door every day. Come early some days, and be the last one to leave the office on nights where you have an important job to finish.
Putting in a little extra work when necessary will prove your dedication to the job and to help the company strive toward their overall goals. Putting in overtime without expecting anything also shows that you’re not just there for the paycheck.
The fact is, part of a salaried job is working more than your 40 hours a week once in a while to really get the job done, and do it well. The extra effort will pay off because you’ll be known as reliable and hardworking to those around you.
9. Get Involved
Going along with putting in a little extra work when necessary is getting involved in other initiatives going on at work that fall outside of your job description.
Depending on the culture in your work and what opportunities present themselves, get involved in clubs happening during your lunch hour or after work to show that you’re dedicated to the culture in your workplace.
Sure, you can get to work and just do your job, but pushing yourself to get out there and be involved with your coworkers sets you apart as someone who is fully in at the job.
If there aren’t any opportunities already set into place for you to mingle with your coworkers, set up a company happy hour for everyone to go to, organize a volunteer opportunity, or help plan the next holiday party!
10. Stay Out of Office Drama
It’s not a good look to have issues and drama with people around the office. While you might think it’s fun to gossip with your work friends, you don’t want to be known as someone involved in the drama.
Stay professional and stay out of it so that your reputation is flawless to your coworkers and superiors. In addition to staying out of the drama, don’t speak negatively about others at work.
While you might think it just sheds light on a person who isn’t doing their job well, it says a lot more about your character than it says about whomever you’re talking about. You end up just making yourself look bad, so avoid it completely and keep your negative thoughts to yourself.
What you do in the office matters to your reputation and your professional development. You want to be known at work for all the right reasons so that you come to mind next time there’s an opening for the promotion you’ve been working toward.