Being an extraordinary employee needs to be more than something you slap on a resume as filler, it’s a lifestyle. Going the extra mile and showing management that yes, you’re serious about your career and want to be the best you can be is not always elaborate and over-the-top. Sometimes taking time to better yourself even in small ways can show the boss how serious you are.
Finish That Degree
No matter where you stand on the education scale — whether you’re finishing up your GED or are considering going back to school to get your systems engineering masters online — finishing a diploma of some sort shows that you have the determination and discipline to finish something that you’ve started.
Personal pride and accomplishment aside (go get ‘em, tiger!), professionally a degree can make the difference between a callback for an interview and your resume ending up in the recycle bin. Listing your qualifications like “telephone etiquette” and “understanding of the MS Office suite” can only get you so far, but additional training that resulted in a certification or degree? That’s the kind of rockstar qualification that hiring officers want to see. It might seem silly that a piece of paper can make such a difference, but it’s an important piece of paper: It’s a piece of paper that represents the years of struggle, determination and achievement.
Be A Team Player
We always hear this overused term at staff trainings and business meetings, but have you ever really stopped to dissect what it means? Being a team player is more than physically making the effort the show up for work every day, it has so many more layers than that. If you need some examples, they might include:
- Offering help when someone looks like they need an extra set of hands. This doesn’t only mean helping with unpacking boxes or manual labor but also offering to help solve a problem. Perhaps a coworker is having an issue they’re stuck on and you have some expertise on the subject. Together you might be able to resolve whatever’s going on and get to know each other a little bit better in the process.
- Not gossiping to and about coworkers. Mama always said that if they’ll gossip to you then they’re gossiping about you, so avoid getting wrapped up in any office drama. It might seem tempting to join in on the whispers about Brenda’s new sleeve tattoo, but are your reputation and your character really worth getting someone’s feelings hurt? Maintain a positive workplace and stay out of whatever is swirling the corridors.
- Stay additional hours to get the job done. Of course there are federal laws and standards to adhere to when you’re working overtime, but a few extra minutes here and there can show management that you’re dedicated to a job well done. Rather than leave the inventory spread across the table for the morning shift to complete, consider staying for the extra fifteen minutes to wrap it up. It reflects well on you and your coworkers will like you a little better.
Be Mindful of What You Share Online
Hyperconnected is only one word to describe the world we live in, and social media plays a huge part in that connectivity. Businesses and companies all over the world are using social media to help promote their brand, and following the company you work for can be a great way to show your support.
However, remember that your online profile reflects who you are as a person, which in turn reflects on your company. While what you do in your free time is entirely up to you, understand that the public might be watching you and judge your personal and professional lives as the same thing — justified or not, it’s the way of social media. Even if you had a fantastic time over the weekend drinking with your girlfriends and seeing the Thunder From Down Under dancers, you might think twice about posting pictures on social media. Not to deny who you are or to censor your life, but out of respect for the business you work for and their social media feeds too.
Big or small, there are many things that you can do to stand out at work and be recognized as extraordinary. Your boss might not know every minute detail of your professional history, but making efforts to better yourself personally and professionally can show them that you value yourself as a human and that you also value your company too.