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Top tips to help you stand out at work for the RIGHT reasons

By Becky Postlethwaite on 19.01.16 in Your Career

Everyone wants to stand out at work - be recognised for his or her performance and gain the promotion they believe they deserve. We all know that working hard, getting involved and helping others are keys to success in the workplace, but we think it is time to update that outlook. Here are some of our top tips to make you the standout success in your organisation. 

Be Productive

There is a marked difference in being productive and being busy. Putting in long hours at work is fine - so long as you actually are being useful. In the end, results are what count - not how many hours you spend parked in front of your computer. 

Set yourself tight deadlines.

If you complete work in the actual time allowed, you will never have time for a breather or to engage in a side project that could help you to your next promotion. We find that setting a tighter deadline means you get projects delivered more quickly, leaving you time to work on other things. 

Work on a project that makes colleagues lives easier.

This may sound like 'worthy' advice, but try and identify an area that is a problem for your work mates and see how you can help. For example, if your organisation is often called upon to speak to the media, why not put together a spokesman's guide. Include company messaging as well as hints and tips to bear in mind when being interviewed. Even if the powers that be add to it or don't implement it, it shows initiative and a passion for your company. 

Be the first or last to speak in a meeting.

According to research, when you say something in a meeting is key. Being the first or last to speak - especially if it is something useful - will more likely be remembered, than if it is said in the middle of a discussion. 

Be empathetic.

In this cutthroat world, we often forget our co-workers are human beings with feelings. Building good working relationships with your team and the wider workforce is the quickest way to gain loyalty. Be open and honest and help where you can. You will reap the rewards if you do. 

Remember you are not indispensible.

Work as though your job is always on the line. This may sound dramatic, but never become complacent. You are only as good as your last project; so don't sit back on your laurels. In this highly competitive day and age, there is always someone waiting in the wings to fill your shoes, so make sure you put in the effort every single day. 

Remember you are not superhuman.

Being able to say 'no' is a tough thing to do, but essential if you don't want to overload yourself with tasks and as a result spread yourself too thinly. It will open up frank discussions about dividing the workload and is useful for setting boundaries. 

Give credit where it's due.

The best self-promoters don't toot their own horn, they leave their ego at the door and praise others who have helped them achieve a result or complete a task. No one likes a person who shouts about their own achievements - it often leads to colleagues trying to undermine you. Spreading the love means it will be returned and you will be recognised for your generosity. 

Get a life.

All work and no play … we all know how that saying goes. High stress and no outside interests are not good for your work-life balance or your performance. Make sure you take time out for yourself; get yourself a hobby to take your mind off your work. It will also enhance your CV. 

Lastly, keep your eyes and ears open. By listening to the perspectives of your boss and other 'star' performers, you can learn what works and what doesn't work in your organisation. Strong observational skills will also reveal whom you can trust and whom you should avoid. These skills will help you steer clear of conflict and allow you to make allies.