Nowadays, it seems like many employees really zone in on the job requirements of their position. Some employees will make sure they stick within their job requirements and do not do much more. Others will work very hard at their job and excel in it.
However, there is a minority group of employees who really step up and contribute in any way they can. If you want a chance to advance in your company, you will have to be a part of that latter group.
So, how can you stand out at work?
If you do your job and do it well, you will brand yourself as a person who is really good at that job. However, when it comes time to promote, the management team is looking for a leader, and leaders typically need to be fully engaged in the company. They not only need to care about their job and role but also about the business in its entirety.
What else are you supposed to do besides your job?
Many people do not realize that while you were hired to do a job, it's also your responsibility to be a part of the company and to do whatever it takes for the company to be successful. You need to continuously find ways to save or make the company money, to prove your value to the employer.
Here are the top 10 ways you can stand out at work and advance your career:
1. Always Offer Ideas And Suggestions
Start with your own job and if you have an idea or two about how it can be done more efficiently, suggest it. Even if your manager balks at it, keep making suggestions wherever you can.
Eventually, one of your ideas will gain support and you'll make a difference at work. Sometimes the smallest ideas can have the greatest impact.
2. Do Not Sit Quietly In Meetings
We have all been in meetings where there are people who talk and people who do not. Contribute any way you can and contribute at a high level. When management is in meetings with you, they take notice of the contributors.
Leaders are not silent in meetings. If you want to move up in your career, you first need to be present in it.
3. Do MORE Than What Your Job Requires
For example, if you work in customer service and someone needs help, go beyond offering "standard help." Instead of saying to a customer, "Call this number and they can help you," do it for them! Customers like to compliment great service. It is a big deal when upper management or the president of the company hears from customers and they are complimenting YOU.
No matter your job, going above and beyond your standard job duties will help you grow your career.
4. Always Offer To Help Others
Become the "go-to" person—the person who can be counted on to help. If you are that person, it will go a long way!
Let's think about what would happen if your company announced possible layoffs in the near future. An employee who is the "go-to" person and adds value to the organization will be significantly less likely to be laid off than an employee who just sits quietly in the corner and does their job, and maybe does their job well, but doesn't stand out as an indispensable employee.
By offering to help others and having expertise, you'll stand out as a great employee—one most companies wouldn't want to lose.
5. Be Proactive
Anticipate problems that might arise and come up with suggestions to fix them. Do not wait for things to happen and be a "reactive" employee.
We all have had those moments where we know we could do more if we wanted to. When you have that moment, come up with a plan and do it (or share it with a supervisor).
6. Become A Part Of The Company
If your company has a great workplace culture, this makes it that much easier to become a part of your company and feel like you belong. Join a safety committee or a diversity committee or any other group where you feel you can make a great contribution.
7. Do Things Without Being Asked
If you see that something needs to be done and nobody is doing it, DO IT. Even if it is just cleaning up after a potluck lunch or helping with a company party. It's always amazing how few people do this.
It's really quite simple: people who hang back and help out stand out.
8. Volunteer Wherever You Can
Community service is becoming more popular in organizations around the world. If someone sends an email out asking for volunteers, do it if you can. If someone sends out an email about a new initiative in the company, reply and say, "This sounds great! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I would love to be a part of this!"
Management takes note of the employees who volunteer together for a good cause or ambitious project.
9. Take The Lead If You Can
Someone has to be the leader. Why shouldn't it be you? If it's not you, still contribute at a high level. Throw out ideas and suggestions. Challenge things that do not make sense. If you do this respectfully, you will stand out.
Once again, silence does not get you noticed; it gets you overlooked. Show up in your career and try to become the leader you know you can be one day at a time.
10. Never Badmouth The Company
Talk it up and do your job as if you ARE a leader there. If you do not agree with something, ask questions. Running around badmouthing the company or complaining about your job is a cancer in your career. It will kill any opportunities to advance and may even kill your job.
When you are at work, always seek out ways to improve the company. Become an integral part of taking your company to the next level.
If you show your interest lies far beyond yourself, your job, and your income, you'll stand out and set yourself up to become a future leader in your company.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.