Monday, September 12, 2016

5 Ways to Stand Out at the Office

I read an interesting article not too long ago about millennials in the workplace. The article is worth the read, but the gist is that millennials are ultimately looking for an environment that allows them to succeed and where they can look up to leaders in their field. I think often we get the reputation that we're always looking for the next best thing, but for me and many others, that isn't always true. In the work place, I look for ways I can grow as a person and as a professional, for a boss who is less of a "teller" and more of a leader, and for a place where I feel as though my opinions will be taken seriously.

While it's important to find a job that offers you certain things, it's also important to take an approach to work ethic that will make you stand out and be appreciated as an employee.

1. Speak Up
This idea was hard for me when I first started working three years ago. I was scared that my ideas wouldn't be good enough, so I would often keep my mouth shut instead of contributing to discussions. In my short time working, I've realized that your boss wants your ideas. Sure, they might not always run with what you suggest, but my participating in a discussion and offering ideas or suggestions, your boss and coworkers will see your dedication to the project and to your team.

2. Dress The Part
Ever heard of the saying, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?" I think this is a pretty good motto. Of course, this should be interpreted loosely, as not all situations are appropriate for that concept. My work environment is relatively casual, so during the winter I'll throw on a pair of jeans with boots and a blazer or a modest sundress with flats in the summer, but on days I know I'll be in meetings or seeing clients, I always try to dress the part. As a 25-year old, I also find that by dressing more professionally helps your clients and coworkers to take you more seriously as well.

3. Offer Help
It's easy to get caught up in your own day-to-day activities, but when you have a moment to offer help, do so. Whether it's listening to presentation practice, making copies, or tossing around ideas, it won't go by unappreciated, and it's highly likely the favor will be returned. 

4. Stay Positive
There are times when work has piled up, or you're approaching a deadline, or you've just had a bad day, and in those moments, it's easy to get a bad attitude - speaking from experience here. Instead, take a few minutes to walk around the office, grab a cup of coffee, check out a favorite blog - anything to distract you from the negativity until you've regrouped and are ready to jump back in on a positive note. And coworkers will notice your positivity, too.

5. Be a Leader
People gravitate towards those who are natural leaders. I once read this article discussing 5 ways to be a more likeable leader, and it really hit the nail on the head. Just because you're in a leadership position doesn't mean you're truly leading your employees, and to that same effect just because you're in an entry-level position does not keep you from being a leader to your peers. Making a conscious effort to be a leader in everyday life will translate over to your career. 
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