Do you remember that girl in your high school class? You know the one I’m talking about. She always aced her tests, was homecoming queen as well as class president and she STILL managed to have a social life. Yeah, that girl wasn’t me. She was actually one of my best friends. In adulthood she’s become the co-worker everyone turns to for advice. The workplace may not have history tests and school dances that highlight exemplary performers, but there are still ways to set yourself above the rest in terms of being a great employee and co-worker. Here’s a few tips to help you shine at work:
Be early, or be on time, but don’t be late.
Being late to work can leave your boss and your co-workers questioning whether you take your job seriously. Arriving to work early is an excellent idea because you can beat the morning rush, grab your coffee and write a ‘to do’ list for that day. Just imagine how much more productive this could make you.
If you say you’re going to do something, do it. No excuses.
Being dependable is a huge asset to everyone at your company. My boss knows that whatever is on my list will be done in a timely manner, no matter what. I know that when my boss tells me she’s going to take care of something specific, she’ll do it. We have an unspeakable trust whereby we know the other will finish tasks in a timely manner and that they will be completed to a high standard. It’s a great feeling to know that neither of us would let the other one down. That doesn’t mean we won’t ask for help if it’s needed, because that’s okay too. Just be sure to ask ahead of time, i.e. in plenty of time BEFORE a deadline.
Be the good kind of know-it-all.
Just because you weren’t an IT or Art major doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few new basic skills. These can go a LONG way throughout your office. With patience, dedication and a quick search on Google you’re on the way to being the office know-it-all; the person co-workers seek out for help with their questions or needs.
Be willing to help out with tasks, no matter how big or small.
‘Never be above the work’ is my boss’ favorite quote. I have to agree – it’s a pretty good one. Working and living by this philosophy takes conscious effort, but whether someone asks you to assist with a major project, or if it’s just a request for photocopies, look at the situation as working towards one common goal: playing your part in helping your company succeed and thrive. So, check your pride at the door and do what needs to be done each day.
Think outside the box.
I’m not telling you to pull a Steve Jobs and develop the next life changing gadget, but stretching your imagine just a little can do wonders for your ordinary work self. My boss is always looking for new ways to do things as opposed to sticking to the way things have always been done. She is set on eliminating wasted time by improving even the smallest tasks and procedures. Take note. Even streamlining the way you place coffee orders could show off how valuable you are to your organization.
Be open to suggestions.
Saying no to every idea just because it’s a little out there or because you didn’t come up with it wins you no followers. Now, please don’t take this advice as you should jump on every BAD idea, because that’s not what I’m implying, I’m just suggesting you be open to a few new suggestions. Approaching it from a different angle or tweaking a few words or numbers could make a basic idea a brilliant one. Plus, it could improve your image as someone others can bounce thoughts and ideas around with.
Be someone that others look to for an opinion/advice.
Being asked for your opinion on a departmental need (in an area you’re not an expert in) is definitely a pat on the back. Gaining that coveted position as someone who gives sound advice might not be easy, but it’s certainly achievable! Some might sleep on big decisions before they make up their mind, some conduct thorough research, and some just have great intuition. You might not make the correct decision every time but using valuable reasoning or data to back you up is always a good thing. Establishing yourself as the staff member others can bounce ideas off is just another way for your company to see what a great asset you are to them.
You don’t have to be the best at everything but carry a ‘can do’ attitude with you.
Don’t assume extraordinary people don’t ever make mistakes. I’m sure even my best friend got one B in high school, but the thing that made her special? She carried a ‘can do’ attitude wherever she went. She always strived to be better, and that’s what set her apart from the rest. So, you didn’t reach your sales goals this month? Ok, but believe you can do it next month! Did you flub that presentation in front of the CEO? Have confidence – you can do better next time!
Becoming an extraordinary employee isn’t for the faint-hearted. Some will choose to coast through life and their workday, but for those who want to make a real difference – follow our tips. Plus, being the extraordinary co-worker always creates a better workday.
Are there other ways you ‘shine’ at your workplace? Let us know!