The job world is a very interesting place.
On one hand, there are many folks that will be retiring in the coming years. This will open up a number of opportunities.
But many older workers are staying in their positions longer than in the past. It’s for a variety of reasons. One that might be overlooked is that many people like their jobs and aren’t sure what they would do with more free time.
If you’re looking to climb the ladder at your company, find a new job with more opportunity at another company, get more fulfillment from your work or any number of other things, here are a few suggestions for standing out at work.
These are great ways to get noticed and leave a mark…
#1. Cross-Job Training
When I got my first job out of college there was a relatively new CEO at the company. I was curious about his rise in the company ranks. I talked to others that had worked with him and he was great about coming through the office every month or so to chat with employees, so I also asked him once in awhile.
It seemed like he had worked in various parts of the company. Accounting, shipping, operations, marketing. I can’t remember all the details, but the main takeaway I had was that he was interested in learning about how the entire business worked.
That matters if you want to be CEO.
Depending on what you’re looking to do at the company (or at other companies), it helps to do some cross-training. Most companies love employees that show this interest.
There are often a number of side projects going on in a company. Some large. Some small. It’s wonderful if you’re able to work on these projects. Even if it’s just you and one other person working together.
Make sure your co-workers and bosses and people in other areas know that you’re open to taking on more work.
Check with your immediate boss so they know you’re interested and to make sure it’s worked into your schedule.
Collaborations are a great way to network and get to know others in the company. It also allows you to help others and there may be no better way to show your value than doing that.
#3. Personal Experiments
Make sure this one is okay with your boss. Most of them will be in favor of it as long as you’re doing your required tasks and that they don’t have extra ideas for your additional time.
But most are open to personal experiments.
For example, my first job was in catalogs. But at work and in my free time I was reading up on SEO, blogging, social media and online marketing. As those grew in importance, I started talking to my boss about it. The experiments turned into larger experiments and then larger projects for the company.
Some companies offer formal mentorships or apprenticeships. Others are a little less formal where you’re working with others, but not really in an official job training capacity.
It’s good to identify people at your work that you connect well with and spend time with them. Especially if they’re older. At the very least you get to learn valuable lessons and skills. At the best you might be able to replace them when they choose in their positions.
#5. Getting Things Done
I was going to put this as #1 on the list, but I thought it might be too obvious and might turn you away from the post.
But it’s very valuable and shouldn’t be overlooked.
I find there is nothing more valuable in an employee than the ability to get things done. No excuses. No pushing back timelines. When you say something will get done or when you’re asked to get something done, get it done. No matter what.
People at all levels in organizations appreciate this ability.
In my experience, most people are kind. It’s usually the ones that aren’t that stand out for negative reasons in the office.
But the working world can drag even the best people down sometimes.
It’s important to bring optimism and kindness to your work. You don’t have to be passionate about your work, but you can bring passion to your work. And you can bring it to those you work with.
People want to be around kind people and people that are encouraging.
These are just some of the ways you can show your value in the office. Doing this over the long-term can lead to all kinds of opportunities. Promotions, raises, new projects and even outside opportunities. Hopefully these ideas help spark some inspiration for you as you continue your career.