Advancing in your career can be frustrating and exhausting. Unfortunately, just doing a good job isn’t going to get you noticed and accelerate your career. We live in a world now of having to constantly prove ourselves and it definitely doesn’t stop when it comes to our job performance. We have to constantly think of ways to shine and make ourselves stand out amongst the noise to progress our careers. So what’s the secret? Well, friend, you’re in luck because I’ve got five!
Know and Own Your Personal Brand
I recommend investing some serious time in assessing how you want to present yourself in the workplace and even in your life. It’s important to recognize what your strengths are, what skills you need developing, and what really strikes your passion. Write them down on a piece of paper so you can see it visually. Once you’ve identified those, own your strengths. Practice those skills that need developing. Being self-aware of who you are and how you present yourself is critical to success.
At the end of the day, we all want or have jobs for a reason – to make money. But if you only look at your job in that respect, not only is your performance going to suffer, but your connections at work will too. It’s important you treat your co-workers and boss like the people they are. Ask them questions about their lives outside of work. Get to know them. Collaborate together. Offer help in times of need. This is also applicable with the clients and partners you work with on a day to day basis. Showing compassion and thoughtfulness on the job is a surefire way to not only gain quality relationships, but also may be the extra push you need to get promoted.
Network, Network, Network
This goes along with the idea of forming relationships. Every chance we get, we should be striving to meet new people and make new connections. One way to do this is use your existing network to branch out. I challenge you to meet someone new at every event you go to, whether it be a happy hour, a work event, a conference, or just walking around in the office. Go out of your way to say hi to people. Ask them how their days are going. Give someone a compliment. Side note: I love giving out compliments to people (even if they are strangers) and aim to do it every day. Not only does it spread positive vibes, it can lead to some quality conversations!
Get Out of the Comfort Zone
As I referenced in this post, we need to get ourselves out of our comfort zones. Pushing ourselves to take on challenges and get through the uncomfortable is the path to high performance. It’s ultimately what’s going to help you stand out if you’re constantly breaking barriers and bettering yourself. I attended a leadership workshop at work last week and the speaker coincidentally touched on the comfort zone. He and his company created the below model to showcase the fact that when we push ourselves outside of where we’re comfortable, we initially hit that panic zone. We question our decisions and our capabilities. However, once we move out of that panic zone, we reach the performance zone – the zone we always want to be in.
Communicate Your Successes
We’re going to have special moments of victory in the workplace and it’s important to remember to communicate those. Share your successes with your teammates so they can learn from you. Share your successes with your manager so they can note that for when it comes time for promotions. If you’re not consistently sharing out when you’re exceeding expectations internally or with your customers, how will anyone ever know?
If you’re not keen on explicitly sharing it out, I recommend in this post how to document feedback and how to use that in your career and in conversations with your manager. You can also get a copy of the valuable worksheet I use to document my accomplishments and positive feedback right here!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Success Manager at Salesforce and has over 10 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.