There are countless reasons to want to stand out from the crowd at work. Some people want to be promoted to a people management position. For others, it feeds their sense of purpose on the job and gives them a reason to work hard every day.
Whatever that reason, if you’re keen to stand out from the crowd at work, here are 6 ways you can do it. While they may seem like common sense, in reality, these are the most impressive things in the eyes of direct leaders, company leaders, colleagues, and clients alike.
Make Your Boss’s Job Easier
If you want to stand out at work among your peers, make an effort to make your boss’s job easier. In other words, try to be someone who your boss doesn’t need to chase or worry about.
When you say you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. When you make a mistake, be quick to take responsibility and put processes into place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. When your boss is struggling or stressed, ask them, “Is there anything I can take off your plate?”
If you’re on top of your work, do it well, and can consistently make your boss’s job easier, you’ll quickly set yourself apart from the crowd.
Adopt a Positive Attitude
There will always be someone vocally complaining, pointing out problems, and making things difficult for others in any workplace. If you want to stand out from those who do so, be the person who is always trying to solve problems, find the silver lining, and rally others. In other words, be the person with a generally positive attitude and outlook on the situation. Not only will your boss appreciate the support and positivity, but your peers may just be influenced by your attitude and mimic it themselves, which ultimately reflects well on you.
Take Charge and Interest in Your Development
When was the last time you learned a new skill or tool, sought out training or asked for coaching or mentoring without anyone telling you to do so? If you want to stand out from the crowd at work, start doing the following and taking a genuine interest in your development.
According to Pew Research, of those who invested in their development, 65% say it has expanded their professional network, 47% say their extra training helped them advance within their current company, 29% say it enabled them to find a new job with their current employer, and 27% say it helped them consider a different career path.
Be Consistent and Dependable
It takes a great deal of accountability and determination to become a dependable employee. However, doing so establishes your place on your team, and in your organization as someone who can be counted on, especially in delicate or critical situations. This enviably makes you stand out in a crowd. Not to mention, it’ll likely mean you're one of the first ones to be thought of when it comes time to receive stretch assignments, additional development opportunities, and even promotions.
Be a Problem-Solver, Not a Problem-Maker
To stand out amongst your peers, you’re going to need to become the employee who is always prepared with a solution or ready to find one at a moment's notice. A challenge or an obstacle does not defeat you but instead is willing to face it head-on and is not shy about admitting when you need help doing so. Not to mention, if you’re someone who solves problems rather than makes or complains about them, you’ll be making your boss’s job easier!
Manage Your Workload and Speak Up When You’re At Capacity
There’s an unspoken narrative in some circles that you shouldn’t say no at work and that you should be able to “do it all” or handle a heavy workload without question. But, unfortunately, those who attempt this can quickly end up overworked, burned out, or disengaged.
Instead, it is far more impressive to leaders, colleagues, and clients if you can proactively manage your workload, prioritize urgent vs. important tasks, set boundaries, and manage expectations. They’ll appreciate that in doing so, you are not only protecting your ability to do your best work but are ensuring the best outcome for them as well.
Standing out from the crowd at work can be great for your career, your engagement, and your morale. But that’s not all. Taking actions like those listed above can positively impact those around you, including your coworkers, clients, and leaders. It’s a win-win!