Standing out at work can be difficult, especially if you’re in a big team or in a company where high standards are the norm. No matter the size or workplace culture, setting yourself apart is crucial for success in the workplace.
“With a new year ahead, now’s the best time to evaluate your contributions at work — especially if you’re aiming for a promotion this year,” says Sarah Yedlick, office expert and inventory analyst for Boise Paper.
Here are five simple tips that would help look anyone brighter at their workplaces:
1. Write down your goals: It’s not enough to just show up for the daily grind. Looking brilliant takes forethought, dedication and intentional effort. The act of physically writing down your goals on paper solidifies them in your mind, creating a springboard for the necessary steps to get you where you want to be.
It also helps you stay on track when day-to-day office activities distract you from achieving the big picture. Set aside time each week (as little as 15 minutes) to review your progress, determine next steps and correct the course. Be sure to create Smart goals that set you up for success.
2. Ask for feedback: Don’t wait until your end-of-year review to find out if you’re meeting expectations. Ask for feedback on important tasks and duties throughout the year to ensure your time is spent on what your supervisors and colleagues truly value. Getting feedback helps you work more efficiently, and the increased communication and face-time builds trust and rapport with your team.
3. Tackle bad situations head-on: No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s a fact of office life that not everything goes according to the plan. It can be tough to admit things are not going well, but smoothly handling bumps in the road is a key difference between an average employee and a superstar.
See: Top 8 Innovative Ways of Employee Recognition
Staying engaged and proactively offering solutions are proof you know how to think critically — which is exactly what your supervisor is looking for when considering promotions.
4. Accept new challenges: There are areas where everyone’s knowledge and experiences fall short. Those are the places you should look to establish yourself as the company expert. You may have to spend extra time getting up-to-speed, but the investment will pay dividends when others rely on you for your recommendations.
Once you’ve mastered something new, make sure people know you’re the go-to for answers — share what you’ve learned on a “cheat sheet” your officemates can post at their desks.
5. Network internally: No matter how great your own merits, we all need others to help us succeed. Build strong relationships with your colleagues and supervisors by taking time to learn more about them. Ask questions about their backgrounds, goals and career trajectories. By showing interest in them, they’re more likely to invest in you — not to mention, come through for you in a pinch.
Also read: What’s the #1 Leadership Skill for Overall Success?