The working world is competitive. In order to get ahead, you must offer something your coworkers do not—or cannot. This may seem like a nebulous goal, but it can be easy when you break it down into a few key steps. Here’s what you can do during your workday to help yourself stand out.

  • Accept extra responsibility—or suggest it. Be a mover and a shaker! If you see room for improvement or have an idea for a special project that can help the department or your facility, present it to your boss. If he or she asks you to take on more responsibility, do it! It will show your commitment to success, and you may get to work on something different or interesting. Plus, you will gain more experience in the process.
  • Maintain professionalism. Don’t cast a negative shadow on yourself by being anything other than a professional at work. Stick to dress code and maintain a clean, put-together appearance. Always be on time for your shift, meetings and conference calls. Keep a positive attitude and be civil with your teammates. Never gossip. Lastly, keep your personal life where it belongs—outside of work.
  • Share your ideas. Let your leadership shine through by voicing your ideas and suggestions during meetings, or by scheduling time to discuss them with your boss. One way to increase your knowledge of the industry in which you work is by keeping up with trade journals, applicable websites, blogs or current research. The more you know, the more valuable your input can become. Thought leaders are often the workers promoted to lead others.
  • Solve problems. What difficulties is your department or facility currently facing? If you have an idea for a way to solve current problems, streamline processes or simply help the day to run more smoothly, bring it up to your boss! Problem solvers almost always stand out as helpful, strategic thinkers. This is a good image to be associated with.
  • Become a guru. It’s one thing to meet job requirements; it’s quite another to become an expert in one particular area of your field. This might be something that’s only related to your job site, or something in which you can take a course to become certified. If you’re the only person with your unique skill, you will become that much more marketable.

When you love your job and dedicate yourself to working hard, it’s amazing what you can accomplish. Your hard work will also help your boss notice you—and standing out in a positive way helps you earn recognition, as well as promotions.

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