Three Foolproof Ways to Stand Out at Work (No Narcissism)
You know the basics – always be on time, turn up looking smart, churn out well-written reports – but it is not enough. You want to send out “above-and-beyond” signals. It’s time for you to take your career by the reins.
One of the biggest challenges for many people is being able to promote themselves at work.
It’s understandable, who wants to puff their chest out and go shouting about how great you are. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to become a self-centred, obnoxious narcissist.
In most organisations, you have your good old-fashioned hard workers, the mediocre people who just get by, and the high performers. The trouble is every company should want excellent output from each employee and yet there is often not a system in place to evaluate staff objectively and reward those who truly deserve it.
The challenge of “How can I stand out at work?” might dawn on one when you want a career promotion, salary increase, or just some recognition for your hard work. To get ahead, you’ve got to learn how to promote yourself.
The best ways are to become focused on achieving results, communicating well, and displaying personal leadership.
Fair warning, though… You will not see the results immediately.
1. Achieving Results Put You in the Spotlight
Prove your value, no matter how many years of experience you have. The only way to get respect from inside and outside your company is by delivering results. It’s about the perseverance to push yourself farther than others to progress your career and crash through obstacles.
Someone once said that achieving great results makes you bulletproof.
It doesn’t matter whether you work for a startup or a larger corporation. One of the biggest challenges is building credibility, especially when there are slackers who discover ways to bask in the undeserved limelight.
To get promoted, you need to do more than just your job and establish a track record of success.
Business is all about what you can do for the company, after all.
So, make sure that you can prove you are an asset to the company. To do this, keep on top of all your current projects and under-promise and over-deliver. The results we achieve are connected to our team’s or department’s goals. This makes it easy for higher-ups to see the value in your work and helps you get promoted.
Professionals who want a raise, promotion, or even just to keep their job ought to show how they add value. It’s all in that old chestnut “what gets measured gets improved”. And it isn’t just about doing things right.
Sometimes you have to make your own opportunity to shine – even if you have to do the work of others and do it better. This is really hard for some people, who get a perverse pleasure in the self-satisfaction that can only come from delivering trash and blaming others.
Results will definitely speak louder than words – it means doing a better job than anyone else currently doing it.
2. Tune-Up Your Communication Skills
Whether you’re just starting a new job or you’ve been in a position for several years, no matter what, how you communicate at work impacts your success.
This is not about you getting a makeover, fake it until you make it, or engage in some act of either desperation or deception.
It’s not appearing as the office politician or anyone other than who you really are. Instead, it’s about fine-tuning your skills of effective communication so that you can stand out.
Communication makes ideas spread and relationships grow, and with that comes the opportunity to have your voice heard and to make a difference. It is our duty as professionals to be on message, on brand, on target and on point. When communicating at work, success is all about knowing when, where and how to best share your voice. Bring about the right attention to your work.
Few people like self-promotion, but it is required in today’s job market. How you communicate can have a big impact on others’ perceptions of both your abilities and your personality.
Having an influence on your workplace can help you make positive changes. Before long you might find yourself as one of the “rising stars” which will put you in the sightline of the HR department and upper management.
The trick is to do it in a manner that your boss does not perceive any boisterous creativity or endeavours as bluster and ego-centric self-promotion, but as diligence and dedication.
Great communication goes beyond telling people what they want or need to hear; it requires speaking clearly, concisely and with conviction. And that may be the most important element of this whole equation.
Rational conviction arms you with a message that comes from within; one that you’re absolutely convinced is worth sharing.
To get ahead in business, you’ve got to learn how to communicate interactively with your co-workers, whether it’s by email, text, chat or face-to-face communication. Good ideas and doing good work can take you only so far. You also need to do things that set you apart from others.
Good communication is the cornerstone of our work. There are situations where your self-knowledge and technical skills alone aren’t enough.
This is when you need to use your communication skills and relationships to deal with those tricky situations in the workplace, show what you can offer, get better projects and make a climb up the career ladder.
3. Personal Leadership Will Take You to the Top
People are often promoted at work for their skill sets and technical prowess. This typical path to promotion relies on the successful demonstration of your technical skills.
Many career books are filled with platitudes about making yourself a more valuable employee by improving your competencies, taking on new challenges, and fostering teamwork. There was a time when promotions were largely given out based on seniority. If you stuck around for long enough and were deemed knowledgeable enough, your title would automatically go up.
That’s all fine, but the fact of the matter is that we need to move beyond the cubicle to get that next promotion or corner office. If you want to work your way up the food chain in the organisation without resorting to buttering-up or being obnoxious, there’s a superpower: personal leadership.
Personal leadership means the ability to inspire and influence others.
It is about getting things done, both for yourself and your peers. Show what you can do for the people around you and your manager will recognise that you have the potential for a higher position – either at your current job or elsewhere. As a leader, forego your ego to do what is best for the team instead of yourself.
The biggest difference between leaders and followers is their vision for the future, willingness to take risks and persuade people to go with them.
With personal leadership, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.
There are “natural born leaders” and “meant” for the role of leading others. They are people who seem to be born with the ability to lead and command a crowd without going through years of training.
But, there are also the leaders “who are made”. One can develop leadership skills. It can be learned and practised.
In the world of work, you don’t have to be a boss to be a leader. It is a characteristic that shows how you connect with others. Even if you’re not the boss, demonstrating leadership qualities will help you improve your status and expand your network.
Leadership is more than just a job title; it’s an attitude and approach to various situations. By focusing on these attributes, you can improve your perception and success as a leader in any workplace, even though your title may not reflect it.