Career Advice for Job Seekers

3 ways to stand out among your coworkers

Sean Kelly
March 8, 2022

It’s not always easy to become a standout employee, even if you’re doing your job remarkably well. This is especially true for those who work for larger organizations where there are several people in one department and many people doing quality work. While businesses try to understand their customers, you may be trying to find ways to stand out among your coworkers. It can certainly be frustrating when you’re trying to stand out and you can’t get to the front of the crowd, so to speak.

Even though it can seem like a lengthy and challenging thing, standing out can actually be rather simple. Let’s explore a few ways that you can be a standout employee that involves more than just the standard examples of going “above and beyond.”

Help Others

One of the most impactful ways that you can stand out among your coworkers is by putting yourself out there and helping. This is something that can take on different meanings depending on what you’re doing. Offering help on projects that could use your particular expertise is a great way to make your mark on the company and its success. Even extending a helping hand to new employees who may be navigating the challenges of onboarding and getting familiar with the company can be a great way to be noticed.

Beyond that, you can be of help to coworkers who may be struggling outside of work and express the need for some assistance on tasks. Even reaching out and being a friend to a colleague who needs someone to talk to can go a long way.

Be Proactive and Adaptable

Standing out in the workplace really starts with having an ability to adapt to unexpected situations and work effectively. If you’re able to thrive under circumstances that presented themselves without warning, you’ll signal to leadership that you can do your job effectively no matter what obstacles may be thrown at you.

Being proactive is also important when it comes to standing out. Don’t always wait to be asked to contribute to things; find opportunities and seize them. You’ll be glad that you did and you’ll certainly get noticed for it. This can be anything from starting on a task that may not be due right away but requires serious attention, to putting together a presentation on an idea you have that you believe has value and potential. It’s not always worthwhile to wait around to be instructed. Use your judgment to find ways you can be proactive, and you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

This may not be as obvious to some, but it’s a universal truth—asking for help is not a bad thing. It’s not a sign of weakness or inability. There’s a difference between not fully knowing how to do something and not having the skills needed for a job overall. It goes without saying that there will come a time in your work life where you’ll need to ask for help, and that’s more than okay. In fact, asking for help from a supervisor or someone in leadership shows that you have an investment in the work you do and the success of your company. Otherwise, you wouldn’t care enough to ask the questions.

If you need help at work, ask for it. It makes an impression and shows that you want to be part of a team and aren’t just concerned with yourself. In turn, you’ll stand out as someone who cares enough to make an effort beyond the things you know well enough to do completely independently.

Standing out among your coworkers really comes down to a willingness to commit yourself to being part of something, and that can be accomplished in big and small ways. If you can contribute to the greater good of the company and its culture through offering to help, asking for help, and being proactive when necessary, there’s no doubt that you’ll turn all the right heads.

— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.

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