1. Know What You’re Doing and Do It Well
Of course, providing fast, steady, and efficient work is going to go a very long way toward making you stand out for all the right reasons in your company. Little things like having an organized workspace will show those around you (as well as yourself) that you are a person who can handle your current responsibilities and may be able to take on even more.
Understanding exactly what is expected of you and providing that should always take priority over “going above and beyond.” Once you’ve met all current expectations 100%, you can begin going the extra mile and standing out from others.
2. Be Self-Directed
Your work productivity will play a huge role in how those in charge view you. If you are a person who can properly manage your own time and resources, it speaks highly to how you would manage the time and resources of others. In many ways, taking initiative is going to make you stand out a lot more to managers and others in charge.
If you are a person who doesn’t need a lot of guidance and discipline, those in positions over you will likely notice and understand that they can rely on you, making you much more valuable to the company.
3. Respect and Empower Your Coworkers
How you work with and handle yourself around others is another giant aspect of how the company as a whole will view you. While it is easy to think that being authoritative and always getting your way is the key to getting into positions of power, sometimes this kind of thinking can cause more harm than good.
Instead, working to empower coworkers, inspiring positive interpersonal communication and keeping morale up will go much farther in showcasing your skills as a leader. This is true for coworkers both at your level and “above” you. There is no limit to the benefit goodwill can bring to your career momentum, and that doesn’t always come from those who are in positions of immediate power. Garnering respect from your peers is just one important step along the road to garnering respect from your leaders.
4. Offer Your Services When Training New Hires
One area where offering to go the extra mile might be beneficial would be in asking to help out with job training for new hires. Being the go-to person to help get trainees set up and ready to work on your current level will show those in charge that you have the interpersonal skills to excel in a leadership position.
Not only that, but working with new hires in this way will give you experience and skills that will actually be useful in your future endeavors. The transformation into a leader doesn’t happen overnight and it always starts with just one small little step.
5. Ask to Shadow Those Above You
On top of helping out with job training for others, seeking opportunities to shadow or mentor those in higher positions can both create positive relationships and give you some second-hand leadership experience. While appearing too eager may turn your managers off, showing a healthy curiosity and interest in pertinent matters related to your work can lead to natural growth and upward movement.
6. Aim to Be Well-Rounded
It’s important to remember that your career success rides on more than just any one single thing. If you work hard but don’t have a personality that gels with your coworkers, you are going to have a hard time climbing the ladder at your respective workplace. If you have poor work productivity yet have the social skills to climb to the top regardless, you may be able to wriggle your way to a leadership position but you will have no skills or authentic experience to show for it.
In this way, it’s important to remember that growth is a gradual process. You should embrace every opportunity granted to you at your workplace for even the slightest chance of growth, allowing for you to become a more well-rounded individual in the long-run.
7. Don’t Be Too Eager to Stand Out
It may seem contradictory, but even though you want to seem engaged in your work and willing to take on responsibility, you don’t want to come off as too eager — at least not in the bad way.
When you’re attempting to capture the attention of those in a higher position than you at your workplace, it’s easy to fall into the trap of attempting to be the loudest person in the room. While this is a surefire way to garner the attention of those around you, that attention won’t always be positive. Sometimes, it’s better to wait to make an impression naturally than it is to force an impression that feels unnatural and awkward. Wait for the spotlight to shine on you and then capture that moment by being honest and authentic. If you’re a hard and honest worker, you’ll get your time to shine.
Bonus: Embody Success and Success Will Find You
A great leader is someone who knows what it’s like at the bottom, so never be unappreciative in your struggle to be noticed. When you’re at the bottom, the sky’s the limit, and you have the ability to make anything you want of yourself. If you really want to grow, you shouldn’t just stop at the workplace.
Take your growth home with you and try reading inspirational and educational books on success and leadership. Success is a lifestyle, and you get to define what “success” means to you. When you embody it, those who matter will eventually take notice.