by Sarah Yedlick
Standing out at work can be difficult, especially if you’re on a big team or at a company where high standards are the norm. No matter the size or culture, setting yourself apart is crucial for success in the workplace.
“Now is the best time of year to evaluate your contributions at work—especially if you’re aiming for a promotion,” says Sarah Yedlick, office expert and inventory analyst for Boise Paper. “I’ve got five simple tips that will help anyone look brilliant at work and build the foundation for career superstardom.”
- 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 where you want to be. It also helps you stay on track when day-today office activities distract from the big picture. Set aside time each week (as little as 15 minutes) to review your progress, determine next steps, and correct the course.
- 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.
- 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 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. 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. Printing your proposed alternatives on premium paper will make your bright ideas look even more brilliant!
- 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.
- 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.