Whether you’re starting out or have been in the same job for years, you want to make an impression on your employer. Sometimes, though, doing so is easier said than done. You’re surrounded by intelligent, hardworking people who can quickly go from your colleagues to your competition when there’s a big promotion on the line.
So how can you stand out from your coworkers without seeming like a brown-noser to your boss or a threat to your colleagues? Here are eight tips that will help you get noticed at work and keep you in the running for a promotion:
1. Go Above and Beyond Your Job Description
You’ve probably heard this career advice before, and that’s because it’s true. When employers are considering who’s going to get that big promotion, they’re often thinking about which employees do their jobs — and then some.
If you’re willing to do more than you’re paid to do, eventually you’ll be paid to do more than you do.
You should not only be looking for ways to improve your own output, but also ways to make your company better, whether that’s financially or culturally.
2. Always Offer a Helping Hand
An easy and noticeable way you can go above and beyond is by helping your coworkers and bosses as much as possible. They’ll notice you have some extra time on your hands to take on more responsibilities, and they’ll remember it even more when you’re taking some work off their plates. This gesture also shows you have confidence in your abilities to accomplish something you might not have tried before.
It’s important to note that while you should continuously look to help others, you should also express your passion for learning from people you’re helping. They want to know you’re trying to build a symbiotic relationship with them, not one where you’re only making yourself look good.
3. Ignore the Office Politics
While it’s important to be in the know what’s going on in the office, it’s best to keep yourself out of any workplace power struggles as much as possible. The only reason you should be keeping up with office politics is so you know who you should stay away from to avoid being associated with negative dynamics. But never engage in the spreading of such talk.
4. Search for Opportunities to Learn
One of the best ways to stand out and do something great for yourself at the same time is to continue searching for opportunities to learn more about your field, company or position.
When bosses see their employees going the extra mile to educate themselves, it shows they’re committed to the company for the long haul — you wouldn’t be going out of your way to learn if you were planning on switching fields anytime soon.
5. Interact With Other Departments
It’s easy to get stuck in your own niche or department at your company, but interacting with people from other departments shows you’re interested in the business’ overall success and functionality.
Even just saying hi in the morning or asking how someone’s weekend went is enough to make you stand out from those who never leave their department’s floor. Stepping outside your comfort zone in this sense shows you care about the company’s mission and success.
6. Own Your Mistakes
You’re only human, and unfortunately, that means you’re going to make mistakes. The important part is to admit your little mess-ups, rather than deny them or try to cover them up. In the long run, you’ll probably be causing more problems than you’re solving by not owning up to the error. The quicker you can bring it to someone’s attention, the quicker the problem can be solved.
Admitting you’re wrong is something employers look at as admirable. Lying and making excuses are some of the most disappointing behaviors because they show you care more about your own image than the success of the company.
7. Set Goals and Accomplish Them
When it’s your turn to talk during team meetings, bring up some goals you have in mind for yourself and the rest of your department. Write them down, create actionable steps and make sure you accomplish them on a specific timeline.
Too often, people set goals and don’t hit them or ever bring them up again, making them seem either lazy or forgetful. If you say you’re going to get something done, make sure you do. And make sure everyone knows — without bragging, of course. You’ll build a reputation for being a dependable go-getter. Why wouldn’t you give that person a promotion?
8. Be Yourself
You’ve probably come across someone who just hasn’t seemed comfortable or realistic — that’s probably because they were trying to be someone other than themselves. When you can be your best and truest self, you have more energy to focus on getting your work done. You’ll be able to have fun and be a true leader and influencer for how your coworkers carry themselves, too. Your energy will be contagious, and others will soon notice and respect your work ethic.
Standing out from your coworkers is as simple as being the best employee you can be. Your higher-ups will notice your effort when you are truly passionate about your position and the company. Follow these eight steps, and you’ll be well on your way to scoring that big promotion.
Have any advice on getting noticed at work? Share in the comments and on Twitter! While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to Punched Clocks for more career tips and advice for boosting your personal brand and career.
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