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5 Tips to Stand Out at Work

LinkedIn logo LinkedIn 02/08/2017
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Video by CNBC

Everyone wants to stand out at work and earn a promotion. But not everyone knows the best way to do it. Doing acceptable work and socializing with your coworkers will probably keep you around, but will it really get you where you want to be?

Standing out at work is all about helping others succeed. Your clients. Your company. Your peers. Here are five proven ways you can support others and stand out at work:

1. Be a Mentor

A mentor is an experienced, trusted advisor. If you can mentor someone in your workplace and help them succeed, it is a great reflection of you to your bosses. In fact, mentors are six times more likely to get promoted, according to a study by Sun Microsystems.

In the workplace, mentors help new employees make fewer mistakes and develop stronger loyalty to the company. This relationship can even improve job satisfaction and performance for both the mentor and the mentee. If you really want to nab that next promotion or a higher salary, mentor a co-worker and teach them how to find success in their role.

2. Take Initiative and Be Proactive

Proactive, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is the act of creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened. Being proactive at work means doing everything you’re asked and everything you’re not. Instead of waiting on someone or something -- take action.

To start taking initiative in your job, create your own side project that adds value to the company. If you see an area you can improve -- do it. It takes more brainpower to be proactive and make your own decisions, but a great decision maker is a great employee.

3. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Studies show that the top 10% of employees produce eight times more than the bottom 10%.

There is a difference between being productive and being busy. Being busy doesn’t always translate into accomplishing tasks, so it’s important to ensure you’re actually producing as much as possible.

Try having one day a week with no meetings so you can fully focus on your projects. Or hire a freelancer to save your company time and money. Then, share your favorite time optimizers with your team so everyone can be more productive.

4. Become an Expert

At work, everyone needs authoritative sources of knowledge on a particular subject. In your company, you want to be the person your coworkers, and even your bosses, come to for advice and knowledge.

Take classes in your field to hone your skills and become the resident expert on a specific topic or technique. Get a certification that proves you know what you’re talking about. Even consider writing expert content for your company so that larger audiences can benefit from your expertise as well.

5. Volunteer More

If your company has a volunteering program, make sure you are an active participant. If your company doesn’t have a program, be proactive and start one. Charitable giving engages employees, drives productivity, and promotes loyalty.

Helping in general is a great way to stand out. Assist coworkers on an overdue project, take an extra shift, volunteer to clean the office. These small volunteering opportunities are big indicators that you’re invested in your company’s and your coworkers’ success.

Often it’s the most selfless acts that garner the most goodwill. Above all else, keep your eyes open for unconventional ways to help. Some of your good deeds will go unnoticed, but over time, your track record of delivering them will be impossible to ignore.

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