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6 Ways to Stand Out at Work

You want to succeed at work. Attracting positive attention from your employer is a great way to do this. Try these 6 strategies to stand out as a valuable employee.

Your work day is about more than simply getting the job done. It’s also about building a solid reputation and creating positive relationships. That doesn’t mean you have to become friends with everyone you work with—if you do, consider that a bonus—but make an effort to be friendly and
positive. Doing your best every day will help you feel satisfied and fulfilled in your career.

1. Be reliable and dependable

  • Show up on time for every shift you’re scheduled for. Call in or send an email or text message well ahead of time if you must be late or absent. Be absent as little as possible.
  • Be on time, whether you’re arriving for work, returning from breaks, going to staff meetings, or completing tasks.
  • Be prepared. Come to work willing to pay attention, follow directions, and do the job.
  • Do what you say you'll do.
  • Stay organized and keep your work area tidy. This habit shows your supervisor that you're in control of what you're doing.
  • Do your best. Check the quality of your own work.

2. Be proactive

  • Take responsibility for what you do. Be accountable for any mistakes you make.
  • Learn all you can about the organization and your role.
  • Learn how to do all the tasks that are part of your job.
  • Take initiative. Contribute without being asked. Just make sure you’re not stepping on someone else’s toes.
  • Learn a skill that will help you stand out. For example, you might become the person everyone goes to for help with a computer program or with proofreading an important email.

3. Be a team player

  • Take on the task that needs to be done.
  • Work with others to achieve common goals, whether or not your task is part of your job description.
  • Jump at the chance to help a co-worker on a project. You’ll learn something new and earn a reputation as a helpful employee.
  • Share information and resources.
  • Support and encourage your co-workers.
  • Respect the diverse opinions and experiences of your co-workers.

4. Be flexible and adaptable

  • Be aware that you can’t control everything.
  • Be ready and willing to compromise.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Keep learning. It will help you handle change.

5. Be appropriate

  • Work safely. Know the health and safety hazards and regulations in your workplace.
  • Avoid dating co-workers.
  • Dress appropriately for the work you’ve been hired to do.
  • Be courteous. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Recognizing your limits is a sign of personal strength and maturity.
  • Live up to your values. Be truthful and honest. Maintain your integrity.

6. Be positive

  • Show respect for yourself and others.
  • Be enthusiastic about your work. Believe in your ability to do the job well.
  • Avoid complaining about your job.
  • Make small talk about current events or the weather, but avoid sharing personal problems or gossiping about co-workers. 
  • Smile and be polite and friendly.
  • Expect positive results.

When you shine at work, you’re also investing in your future. Your employer will appreciate your efforts, opening the door to advancement or a glowing reference if the time comes for you to move on.

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