According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, today’s workers spend an average of 4.6 years in each job position. If you’re between the ages of 25-34, you may only be in your current role for three years. With so much of the workforce exploring new opportunities as this trend continues, how can you make yourself stand out? It’s actually easier than you think.
Get to work on time
We have all heard the phrase “the early bird catches the worm.” There is still some truth to that. You may not need to be early, but getting to work on time is a great way to demonstrate work ethic. Of course, we all have mornings where everything seems to go awry and we end up strolling in a few minutes late. But don’t make a habit of it. The small act of getting to work on time can boost your character and shows you are dependable, responsible, and professional – qualities that go a long way when you’re trying to move up in your career.
Look the part
Speaking of professionalism, be sure your appearance reflects your work. Come to work rested and put together. Not adhering to your company’s dress code or just making unprofessional wardrobe choices could be giving your colleagues the wrong impressions of you. My best advice is this – if you have to ask “does this look okay?”, the answer is probably no. You can also take it a step further and dress for the position you want and not the position you have. If you want to move up, look at what people in that position are wearing and follow their lead. This simple trick can have you looking ready for the next career move.
Be a team player
Many of us (me included) are guilty of thinking we can control everything. But if you are looking to make a good impression, adopt a “we” mentality. Some small, simple things can help you be a team player and network with coworkers. Ask those around you about their weekend or current projects. Next, give credit where credit is due. If someone helped you on a project, be sure to share the credit. Also, give out thanks and compliments when deserved. You don’t have to compliment everyone on every little thing, but when hard work was put forth, acknowledge it. If someone helped you out or supported your successes, let him know he is appreciated.
Finally, if you want to stand out, start asking questions.
- Ask for clarification when needed but, more importantly, be sure to ask questions to understand the larger organizational reasons behind why a particular task or project is important. Taking this initiative shows that you’re engaged.
- Also, ask questions to help you gain more responsibility. In what ways can you assist on another project? Is there any follow up that can be completed? Are there future projects you could get a head start on, if time permits?
- Ask questions to expand your experiences. Is there a seminar or conference you could attend? A skill set you could work on? Many companies provide classes or other learning opportunities, so ask if you can participate. Even if you anticipate the answer to be “no”, it’s worth asking because it shows you are taking action to improve yourself and your work. Just asking the question can change someone’s thoughts of you and put you ahead of the pack for the next position.
What are your tips for getting ahead?