Businessman holds up trophyThe main personal characteristics of those people who excel in their careers and easily advance through the ranks are easy enough to identify: they always do their best, actively work to get noticed, and keep an active, and growing professional network. You know it, your peers know it, and since everyone is seeking the same goal, these characteristics alone are not always enough to differentiate candidates from one another. So, what do you do to make a lasting impression? How do you stand out and become noticed for your efforts? While the differentiation between a solid performer and a brilliant one may be difficult to discern, there are several actions you can take right now to give you the edge over your peer competition.

  1. Whether you are feeling on your game or not, you should always appear passionate, engaged, and upbeat about your job. Everyone has problems and what your boss wants to see is that you are able to work through your issues while remaining confident, competent, and reliable. Not to mention that relationships with colleagues will be more pleasant when you seek to only be constructive and encouraging.
  2. One of the best ways to get noticed is to forge relationships with those around you. Whether as a mentor or a subordinate, it is crucial for you to remain approachable in order to build trust with your work mates and to meet new people. Becoming professionally engaged with a knowledgeable mentor figure can help you become even more connected to the movers and shakers in your field.
  3. One trait frequently lacking in people, even in professional environments, is communication skills. Etiquette and professionalism aren’t only for formal written documents, but for emails, phone conversations, and conversations held in person. An effective communicator listens more than speaks, employs clear and concise language, and remains respectful to others regardless of circumstances. Show your respect for others by maintaining eye contact, avoiding distractions, and noticeably working to fully understand what is being said.
  4. It should go without saying, but being noticed is not about uniformity, it’s about being more engaged, prepared, and involved than everyone else. Once you’ve done your homework and sufficiently prepared yourself for each task, you can make the substantial contributions to projects that are necessary to stand out. Volunteering your time beyond your expected workload and participating in the community can also help differentiate you from your peers.
  5. By increasing your contributions and better preparing yourself to meet a more demanding workload, the eventual results will speak volumes about your value as an employee. And once you’ve been recognized as the office expert, you will find that you become the go-to person for tasks requiring your particular expertise. The more you do, and the more others know about your past accomplishments, the easier your achievement can act as a springboard to greater things.

The best way to discover the ways that you can most stand out is to figure out the things that you do best and how you are different than anyone else. You can then focus your attention on further developing those skills and capitalizing on them to make your contributions all the more memorable. By reflecting your professionalism in everything you do and being creative, reliable, and above all visible, you can let your uniqueness shine through and your value speak for itself.


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