Millions of people go to work every day, do their jobs, go home at night and drift off to sleep knowing that the next day will be a repeat of the last. They don’t make any difference, they don’t create very much and their lives just pass them by, without them making any impact in the big scheme of things.
But there are some people who build reputations at work and who stand out from the also-rans. These are the people who get recognised, who contribute to the success of the team and who build great reputations for themselves. What do they do that sets them apart and makes them stand out? Here are a few ideas:
1. Be on time on every project you work on. Complete projects when you say you will. Show up on time in the morning or after breaks. Although this may appear a small thing, making this a workplace habit will pay off. There are tools in every email product that allows you to coordinate meeting times and project completion dates; be the one in your office that uses it religiously.
2. Be committed to excellence. You never know when your poor grammar in an email will negatively affect your career. Learn to be your own worst critic. Always improve. Even though the business community is getting lax with abbreviations, jargon and lazy grammar, you should be careful and consider the audience. Be excellent in everything you do, and it will be noticed.
3. Exhibit a “can do” attitude. This will be noticed by people who matter. Your attitude shines brighter than your results at times, so make sure yours is an example, not a warning.
4. Do the jobs no one else wants. Careers have been made on this reputation alone…do the toughest, the worst, or the jobs that have caused others to fail. Search out the toughest tasks, and ask how you can help others succeed.
5. Be sales minded. What can you do in your job to add sales? Always be looking for ways that you can impact sales in your company. You may not be actually in the sales department, but you had better be helping someone who is.
6. Be Supremely Customer-focused. How does your job impact your company’s customers? If you don’t know how, find out. Every job touches the customer in some manner. Become an expert on how your job positively impacts the customer. Do your customers use Facebook? Is someone monitoring the blogs from competitors? Don’t assume that the directors have an in-depth understanding of new marketing tools and media skills.
7. Commit to never-ending improvement. Improvements do not have to be massive to gain attention. Make sure that this month you are doing a specific task better than you did it last month. Small incremental improvements in your performance get noticed. By committing to never-ending improvement, your attitude changes to your work and you give more to gain more.
8 . Don’t whine. Save this for after work and only to your partner, spouse and only if you absolutely need to. It is so common for people to get together and complain about their work while at work. The more you do, the worse you will feel and the worse you will perform. Become someone who concentrates on results not problems, success not excuses.
9. Learn Social Media Skills. With the under-used social tools available now, you can make a name for yourself, by becoming the true in-house expert who uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, You Tube or even blogs to ‘big-up’ your business. When you become known as the person who contributes towards your company’s success, your reputation grows and you stand out more.
Don’t do any of these things just because it will benefit you. Think how you can benefit others too, and your reputation will grow for the right reasons. And you’ll find opportunities open up that hadn’t been there before.
Head of Training
Originally published: 14 November, 2012
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