Stand Out Work

How To Stand Out At Work


Nowadays, it seems like many employees at work really zone in on the job requirements of their position. Some employees will make sure they stick within their job requirements and do not do much more. Others will work very hard at their job and excel in it.

However, there is a minority group of employees who really step up and contribute in any way they can. So, how can you stand out at work?

If you want a chance to advance in your company, you will have to be a part of that latter group.

How To Stand Out At Work

If you do your job and do it well, you will brand yourself into a person really good in that job. However, when it comes time to promote, the management team is looking for a leader and leaders typically need to be fully engaged in the company. They need to care about their job and role but also need to care about the business in its entirety.

What Else Am I Supposed To Do Besides My Job?

I think many people do not realize while you were hired to do a job, it’s also your responsibility to be a part of the company and to do whatever it takes for the company to be successful.

These are the top 10 things that I think are important for everyone to do. If you follow these guidelines you will stand out at work and will have the best opportunities to advance:

1. Always Offer Ideas And Suggestions

Start with your own job and if you have a way it can be done more efficiently, suggest it. Even if your manager balks at it, keep making suggestions wherever you can.

2. Do Not Sit Quietly In Meetings

We have all been in meetings where there are people who talk and people who do not. Contribute any way you can and contribute on a high level. When management is in meetings with you, they take notice of the contributors. Leaders are not silent in meetings.

3. Do MORE Than What Your Job Requires

For example, if you work in customer service and someone needs help, go beyond offering “standard help.” Instead of saying to a customer, “Call this number and they can help you,” do it for them! Customers like to compliment great service. It is a big deal when upper management or the President hears from customers and they are complimenting YOU.

4. Always Offer To Help Others

Become the “go to” person- the person that can be counted on to help. If you are that person, it will go a long way!

5. Be Proactive

Anticipate problems that might arise and come up with suggestions to fix them. Do not wait for things to happen and be a “reactive” employee. We all have had those moments where we know we could do more if we wanted to. When you have that moment, come up with a plan and do it (or share it with a supervisor).

6. Become A Part Of The Company

Join a safety committee or a diversity committee or any other group where you feel you can make a great contribution.

7. Do Things Without Being Asked

If you see that something needs to be done and nobody is doing it, DO IT. Even if it is just cleaning up after a potluck lunch or helping with a company party. I am amazed by how few people do this. People who hang back and help out stand out.

8. Volunteer Wherever You Can

If someone sends an e-mail out asking for volunteers – do it if you can. If someone sends out an e-mail about a new initiative in the company, reply and say, “This sounds great! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I would love to be a part of this!” Management loves this.

9. Take The Lead If You Can

Someone has to be the leader, shouldn’t it be you? If it is not you, still contribute at a high level. Throw out ideas and suggestions. Challenge things that do not make sense. If you do this respectfully, you will stand out. Once again, silence does not get you noticed, it gets you overlooked.

10. Never Bad Mouth The Company

Talk it up and do your job as if you ARE a leader there. If you do not agree with something, ask questions. Running around badmouthing the company or complaining about your job is a cancer in the company. It will kill any opportunities to advance and may even kill your job.

When you are at work, always seek out ways to improve the company. Become a integral part of taking your company to the next level.

If you show your interest lies far beyond yourself, your job, and your income, you’ll stand out and you’ll be setting yourself up to become a future leader in the company.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jessica Simko

Jessica Simko is a senior-level HR Consultant and job search/career strategist. Please feel free to download her FREE report on "The Job Interview Game."


  1. Become part of the process flow, look for ways to make the job easier, be helpful, take care of YOUR responsibilities first, and don’t be a pain in the behinds of others. Bring some good energy to the jobsite, but leave your ego at home, if at all possible. Finally, if you start hearing office politics, get ‘3 monkeys’, pronto, make a sharp right turn, and step off smartly. Steer clear of trouble, in other words. Misery loves company. If your job is misery, it’s because you’re not doing it right, and neither are others in attendance. Talk less, do more, let actions speak for themselves, ensure yours are of general benefit to the people and the organization that’s giving you employment.

  2. I am an HR professional also. My director would laugh at this article. This ideal employee that Ms. Simko described is that one busy-body in the workplace that other employees don’t care for. The one that knows everything, does everything, and thinks they have to be involved in everything. After I read this article, I thought it was a sarcastic joke-type article. Get a grip Ms. Simko…

  3. Wow. Where I work, anybody who followed these “tips” would be the person everyone hated – aka, they busy-body, know-it-all, smart-ass, brown-noser, etc. Many bosses don’t appreciate when someone else tries to run the show. These tips were way over the top and almost came off as a sarcastic joke.

  4. I have been on both sides for many years. Unless you are an expert politician and a master in the art of communication, you may come off too strong, or nosy or just teacher’s pet. !!!

  5. The last place I worked, they were determined to ignore me and any process improvement I suggested, and the company needed it. They did not know what my job required from co-workers and blamed me if it did not magically materialize. I have never been so dismissed and disregarded anywhere else. I did nine out of 10 of your suggestions but was not taken seriously. I could not succeed in this company’s culture because they did not want me to.

  6. The sad career realism is that not all projects, companies, and cultures fit this model of making waves or even ripples. ‘Better to lay back on the sand for a bit until you know the power posse and what they expect out of you. Do their bidding, let others get soaked, and your career will be fine as long as the money’s rolling in.

  7. Interestingly enough, these 10 points describe me by nature and perhaps because I had been self employed for most of my adult life. Seven months ago I took a position with one of the large American big box home renovation stores and six weeks after I had passed my probationary period and about four weeks after I got a new manager, I was “terminated without cause”. Two and two still make four and it was obvious to me that I should have left my brain at the door and picked it up on my way out.

  8. These are great for developing your personal worth but don’t assume that your employer or boss really cares. They really care whether or not your projects or tasks are successfully completed before anything else. Based on my previous employer, I performed these roles every chance I had and I still got laid off.

  9. Great advice! As the landscape of business has changed,works have to change as well. Its tough out there.. everyone trying to make a difference and make their mark.

    Lots of questions about “Why am I here”, “Is this the right job/industry for me” etc..

    My best advice, as this has worked for me in the past.. do your absolute BEST every minute of every day.

    Try hard to bloom where you’re planted. If you do these things, along with follow the advice of the article- you just might find youre exactly where you need to be!

  10. I would add: Learn how to manage up. Your relationship with your supervisors is also important to making you stand out at work. Consider it your job to make their job easier.

    • Allison – agreed! I just finished a short ebook about that: 10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss (or Anyone), available on my website,

      If your boss can see you as a support and advocate, your relationship will improve and the company with benefit.

  11. Jessica, it’s so true that employees should strive to help their company beyond their job duties. I think the main takeaway from your tips is that employees should make themselves known as a contributor and a person that can take a project from an idea to a reality.

  12. These are good points, but I caution about doing too much for other people. Sometimes one can get so bogged down helping others that their own duties fail to be completed. At that point the good done helping others is forgotten by management.

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