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How to Stand Out at Work

You want to get noticed at work.

Whether it's to be seen as being the top performer that you already are, or you're working towards getting a promotion, you want to know how to get noticed at work. So many women struggle to be seen at work, because the traditional approach of working hard and waiting your turn is completely ineffective. In this post, I'm sharing 10 strategies to standout at work.

Be Known For the Right Things

This is one of the biggest mistakes that I see people make at work: where they stand out... but they're not standing out for the right reasons.

Their visibility is really notoriety: they're the workplace gossip, the person who watches way too much YouTube at work, or the person who complains most often.

There are all sorts of things that you can standout for at work, but you want to make sure that the things that you stand out for are actually the right things. Being known for positive things is going to be what makes your career move forward- fast.

Begin by asking yourself this very sincere question: is there anything I standout for right now, and is it helping or is it hurting my career advancement opportunities?

Know What You Want to Be Known For

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know I'm a huge fan of having a both a professional mission statement defining your career vision. These two things are very important to standing out at work, and specifically in this strategy, because they're going to guide you to discover should stand out for.

What qualities do you want to be known for?

What is your superpower at work?

What's the thing that you do better than anyone else?

The reason why you need to know what you're going to standout for at work is if you don't know, no one else is going to.

Once you've actually identified what you want to stand out for, you can now begin strategic execution. You can start to focus on tasks, activities, and projects that actually give you the opportunity to showcase your best self, and your best skills, that are in alignment with your career vision and your professional mission statement. This is naturally going to create an opportunity for you to stand out for the things that you really want to stand out for, and that naturally differentiate you.

If you want to be known for being an expert - and get the promotions and opportunities that come it it - this is a crucial step.

Be Proactive

This is something that is so simple, but I've seen so many professionals completely fail to do.

Being proactive means that you identify an issue, or gap, or a problem that needs solving and you go, you fix it. Instead of pointing out the problem, or even worse complaining about it, your concept the solution and make it happen. Basically, you do the thing.

Let's be honest, you're not going to get patted on the head for doing the things that you've been asked to do at work. However, you are going to get a lot of recognition at work and a lot of acknowledgment for proactively doing things that actually need to be done. This is particularly try when your actions or ideas generate high impact.

One of the biggest gripes that I hear from leadership is that their teams are not proactive. They're doing the things that they're told to do that are expected of them, but even when there is blaring gaps or problems in processes and things like that, no one's actually doing anything about it.

Even taking simple steps to proactively solve a problem, improve a process or create any outcome that benefits your company or clients and your team is going to be something that very easily makes you stand on at work - especially with your manager.

Create Impact

One of the easiest ways to get noticed at work, and be noticed by your leadership team, is to actually create an impact for your team and for your company.

Creating meaning impact essentially makes it impossible for them to not recognize.

I have touched in other posts about how you can identify initiatives that you can undertake that are going to earn you recognition for the impact that they make to your company.

Going to work and meeting expectations isn't generally something that is going to really make you standout at work.

In fact, just going and meeting expectations and doing the job that you're paid for is going to be something that kind of makes you blend in with everyone else - even if you are a standout. If you are feeling undervalued or underappreciated at work, identify one of the big ways that you can make an impact. The bigger the impact, the better.

The best impact that you can create would directly impact revenue by either increasing revenues or decreasing costs, which is going to increase profits.

Present Yourself Professionally

There is a lot of things that actually go into presenting yourself professionally, and yes, the way that you dress is a factor, but I'm not going to deep dive into what you should wear at work, because that entirely depends on your workplace. However, you want to make sure that you have your baseline criteria covered: that means that you're dressing in office-appropriate attire for whatever that means at your office. Your clothes must be clean, and should not have any unpleasant odors (I seriously hope that's something that you're not struggling with).

But there is more than just dressing professionally to present yourself professionally.

Maintaining a professional demeanor while you're at work is also very important. This is going to include things like having workplace appropriate conversations, to not oversharing personal information, using your manners, and speaking eloquently (or as eloquently as possible).

It includes your overall presence and how you carry yourself at work. Do your absolute best to hold a confident presence about yourself, and ultimately the way that you conduct yourself. The way you present yourself to your colleagues, and to the world at work, should make people say, "Wow, that person's a professional."

Yes, this even does apply if you work at a startup.

Cultivate Relationships at Work

I'm a huge fan of cultivating relationships across your entire organization - or at least as much as possible.

If you're at a small company, this is really easy because you probably work in one office amongst everyone else. But if you're in a big company with hundreds of thousands of people, this one is going to be much harder for obvious reasons: there are globally dispersed teams, different business units, disparate timezones, and various requirements in collaboration across teams. But at least within the scope of the teams that you work with, you want to actually get to know people. Especially people that you meet with and collaborate with on a regular basis - it never hurts to make friends on other teams.

There are all sorts of things that you can actually do to network internally within your company. Not only does it give you the opportunity to get to know more people and build more relationships, which is just something that's nice and professionally rewarding, but it also increases your exposure to the people who know you, who know the work that you do, and also the people that can advocate for you.

And who knows? In the long run, maybe one of these relationships that you cultivate within your company is going to be the thing that gives you the opportunity to move up the corporate ladder.

The best byproduct when you get to know people across the organization is when you become someone who stands out because you actually know everyone. Being a connector of others is raises your visibility even more - and increases your power at work.

Be Easy To Work With

This doesn't mean that you're a pushover.

This doesn't mean that you need to let people steamroll over you.

And it certainly doesn't mean that you need to let people take credit for your work.

But it does mean that you need to focus on the things that make you easy to work with. Things, like being collaborative and being positive at work, are going to be things that really make you stand out, especially if you're experiencing low morale on your team or at your company.

When you're someone who is fun and energizing to work with, who isn't wasting time complaining about the things that they can't change and focusing on improving the areas that they can, people are going to want to know you, work with you and be associated with you.

It's going to make you well-liked by your colleagues, as well as leadership.

Sure, it might not be sustainable to be a constant ray of sunshine in general, holding a positive disposition is going to be something that really makes you easy to work with and can really accelerate your career success.

Recognize Other People

The more that you recognize other people, the more you're going to be recognized in return. Plus, when you recognize other people and give them credit and acclaim for the work that they're doing, this actually makes you stand out at work for the fact that you are acknowledging other people's work.

If your company is like most, everyone has way too much to do and are stretched way too thin, and as a result of workloads, people can very easily feel undervalued at work.

It takes a fractional amount of effort on your part to notice and to acknowledge the great work that someone else is doing. When you acknowledge others, not only do you make their day, but you begin cultivating a culture within your team, or even within your company, of recognition. And because you recognize others, your colleagues are going to be intentionally attentive to reciprocate your acknowledgments.

I don't advocate doing this if this is something that is so outside of your wheelhouse and there's no way for you to do this authentically, but I don't think that most people would be inauthentic when they do this.

This strategy is underleveraged, but it is incredibly powerful in helping establish relationships - and really lifting everyone up.

Make Your Work Known

In order to get recognition and to stand out for the work that you do, people actually need to know about it. I know that there's a lot of people that really struggle with this because self-promotion is something that doesn't feel good - and if you're a female, it's a damned if you do / damned if you don't scenario.

But there are non-promotional ways to make other people aware of what you're doing.

Things like providing status updates, asking people who do have expertise questions or to validate your direction and a specific project or a problem, and even knowledging others for the work they are doing to support your work shine a light on it.

Let Your Awesome Self Shine

This is perhaps the simplest, but also sometimes the most complicated.

You are already amazing, incredible and you are just absolutely full of potential that is just waiting to be unleashed, and by following these 10 strategies you are bringing your potential to the surface.

The more that you actually understand the things that you're really good at, and focusing on becoming better at those things, it is really going to be what makes you and your awesomeness shine - and that is going to make you stand out.

If you need you to dig in to discover what your awesomeness is, I highly recommend joining the Strive Squad. I recently ran a Career Kickstart which included how to uncover your awesomeness and amplify it to accelerate your career - even better, it's totally free! I hope to see you there.

Now, I'd love to hear from you: When was the last time that you actually acknowledged someone else at work, and did that make you stand out?

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