3 Simple Ways to Stand out of the Crowd at the Workplace
Its time to stop feeling like just another cog in the machine. If you want to increase your visibility and be the one the top brass think of the next time a big project comes up you have to stand out from the crowd. Here are 3 simple ways to do it.
Create Your Own Niche
Corporate life is designed to standardise and make sure systems and processes are in place for everyone regardless of their unique characteristics, ability or idiosyncracies. The system is not tailor-made to you as an individual but to a generic 'composite average employee' so that things can move along smoothly. Don't expect them to notice you if all you do is what's expected and follow processes to the tee and go no further. Find your own niche and be known for something specific. Become known for what makes you 'you'. If that means you're the go-to person when someone isn't sure about the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures for your unit/process/team/organisation) or you're known as the office champion who trains and runs every charity marathon the company is involved in or that you're the one-stop-resource for all things CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) related for your team. Find what you're good at (apart from your regular job responsibilities of course!) – what no one else there does as well as you and own it.
Zig Ziglar once said, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want." Listen. Look around. Keep your eyes and ears peeled. Be aware of the pulse of the organisation. Know your colleagues. Know who knows what. If you only are aware of all that is going on around you there are countless opportunities to help others achieve their goals and in turn help yourself get more done and be remembered as someone who always helps things along. You're guaranteed to stand out if you're known as the reliable, dependable, always-there-to-help person at the office.
Know your own areas of improvement and ask for help when you need it. No one can rightly claim to know everything and a 'know-it-all' is never appreciated. Make a list of all the things you could use help with. Then find a mentor to shadow, ask your superior or a more experienced colleague to teach you how they get things done, reach out to your HR personnel to keep abreast of any trainings you could attend. It's not often that people are willing to admit that they need help, let alone ask for it. That's exactly the reason why you should.
To avoid being invisible at work try to be forward thinking, proactive, speak up at meetings, take initiative. Be known as that spark of colour in an otherwise vast sea of gray.