Most of us have an established routine we follow everyday. Day in and day out, we wake up, get to work, and anticipate for the moment we can go home and have a glass of cabernet sauvignon and relax. I love a nice glass of wine just as much as the next girl, but take it from me, if you want to get ahead in your career and get the promotion you’ve been dying for, take your thoughts off the vino and put your focus into your work. The workplace is not the time to be the unmemorable wallflower, with an average job performance. When you set foot in your place of work, that is the time to show how dynamic of a worker you are and how serious you take your career. Luckily for you, I have the 10 essential ways to do just that. Follow this mini-guide on how to stand out in the workplace.
1. Always Represent Your Brand
Have a passion for your company and what you do. Not only will your enthusiasm for your company show in your behavior but this will heighten the quality of work you do and, ultimately, impress your employer (and clients).
2. Dress The Part
When you’re at work, you want to look the part and dress in a professional manner. The last thing you want to do is look underdressed, revealing or unkempt. Dedicate time to establish a solid and stylish wardrobe for work - which over time will become automatic and effortless. If you wear a work inform, always make sure your uniform is clean, your hair is neat, avoid chipped polish ( I use gel-polish as it lasts longer and I know some busy ladies who now just buff their nails at home which is less high-maintenance but equally polished) and make sure that your makeup is not overboard. These same rules also apply to those without a designated uniform, as well.
3. Contribute Regularly In Meetings
When in a meeting, many find it easy to simply sit and agree to what is being discussed. However, your employer is looking for those that speak up and have something to contribute to the issues at hand. Go into a meeting prepared and understand what topics are going to be discussed. Convey your ideas in a simple manner, but with enthusiasm. Show that you are in-tune and interested with whats being discussed by asking intelligent questions.
4. Be Proactive
Being proactive entails taking the initiative to take control of a situation and its outcome, i.e. to find the solution to any obstacle before a problem arises. Therefore, keeping any issues at bay. As a boss - I find that the my most valuable team members are those that not only see problems - they provide suggestions on how to overcome said issues.
5. Take The Lead When Possible
Exercise and develop your leadership skills (yes its a skill - and anyone can develop them with time and practice) by taking the initiative to take the lead every once in . a while. Offer to take the on a new project or spearhead the planning of the company's annual picnic. It may not be the most prestigious or glamorous assignment but, whatever it may be, find an activity that needs to be done and accomplish it. In fact, taking on non-glamorous and low-key projects is best when you its your first time taking on something as a lead. Look for projects that will showcase your skills, as well, this will be a plus when the time comes for your evaluation.
6. Go Above & Beyond
It's amazing to me that 80% of the time - most people are just doing the minimum at work. Leaders and oustanding employees are always continually striving to improve. Do this by listening to the feedback you receive from your employer or co-workers and actually apply whats being said to your performance. Soon you’ll realize that all the areas they would need to correct your work, no longer need correcting. This will save them the headache of extra work and impress them, at the same time.
7. Be A Team Player
Don’t be the lone-wolf kind of worker. Being a team player will help you develop necessary and valuable relationships with your co-workers and show your employer that you get along well with others- which is essential in the workplace.
8. Be Friendly and Kind, Without Being A Pushover
Similar to be a team player, being friendly and kind to those in the workplace will help you to build good relationships with those you work with. Take an interest in your co-workers. Be available to help them when they need assistance. However, don’t let anyone take advantage of you and your kindness. Don’t become the person everyone thinks they can dump their work on when they don’t want to do the work themselves.
9. Own Up To Your Mistakes
Don’t be the person that tries to place their mistakes on others or shift the blame onto someone else. Be honest and own up to the mistakes you’ve made. Your co-workers and employers will appreciate you for it.
10. Communicate Effectively
From experience, a lot of friction at work is actually due to miscommunication or words said in anger. I find that just repeating what someone has told you in your own words, or discussing (in a friendly way) about vague issues resolves a lot. Be aware when your emotions are taking over - when I am feeling angry, I try to hold off saying anything or emailing anyone for a couple of hours. Anger and frustration can stop you from thinking clearly and saying things you will later regret. Being a great communicator is one of those skills that will help you in all aspects of your professional and personal lives -which is why, it's also the most valuable skill.