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5 Ways to Stand Out at Work and Become an Asset

It takes more than doing a good job and showing up to become successful at work. So how can you make sure you stand out from the crowd and become a valuable asset to the company?

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It takes more than doing a good job and showing up to become successful at work. So how can you make sure you stand out from the crowd and become a valuable asset to the company?

Photo credit: Freepik

If you want to get upper management’s attention or get promoted at work, you will have to do more than the bare minimum. In today’s workforce, job security is not a guarantee. Your position could be done away with or outsourced at any minute. But if you are one of the indispensable employees in the company, it may be a bit harder for your supervisors to let you go as easily.

When you are a valuable employee at work, it means your colleagues and supervisors rely on you so much that they would not even imagine replacing you. It means you are the person people go to when they need someone who gets things done and does exceptional work. 

If you want to become valuable at work, here are a few ways to get noticed.


1. Go the extra mile

Most employees usually find something to do at work to pass the time, stay under the boss’ radar, and keep busy. But if you want to be an asset at work, do work that is essential, not just easy. Do your research and think about tasks that are important for the company’s success. Work on these projects first. 

Make a point to do things without being asked. If something needs to be done but no one is willing, then take the reins and do it. It can be something as simple as staying behind to clean up after an event, or even cleaning a spill on the floor. You’d be surprised that very few people do this and it is also something I learned at one of my very first jobs. Anyone who stays back to help out will often stand out. 

Offering to help others is also a way to do more than what is expected of you. It makes you the go-to person that can be counted on to offer assistance when called upon. This reduces your chances of being let go because you offer additional value to your colleagues and your manager. 


2. Be a willing volunteer

Stand out by volunteering to work on new projects and initiatives at work. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is never easy but once you do it, you will feel proud of yourself for accomplishing something new. Volunteering for certain jobs, especially high-profile ones, will send a strong message to your supervisors. It shows you are brave enough to take on challenges and willing to put in the effort to make the business better in the long run. Managers often take note of employees who volunteer for ambitious projects or good causes. 


3. Offer solutions and ideas 

There’s always that one thing at work everyone always complains about; it could be the disorganized warehouse, a computer system that’s always glitching, or a process that doesn’t work for the customers. Find a way to fix it or offer solutions on what to do instead of listening to everyone complain. Even if it is not up your alley, you can learn what to do. It could be an extra skill or accomplishment to add to your credentials. 

You can also stand out by always coming up with new ideas and presenting them to management, not just storing them in your work journal. It sounds bold, but if you have an idea that can make things more seamless or contribute to the company’s vision, pitch it to your boss. If your idea gets implemented, it could be a game-changer for your career. Employers like it when people think outside the box, so don’t be afraid to share ideas and suggestions even if they get shot down. 


4. Make the boss’ job easier by anticipating their needs

When you stick to the script and only do what is expected of you, of course, you’ll stay under the radar and no one will notice you. You’ll only get people’s attention by anticipating any problems or needs that may arise then preparing solutions or suggestions to deal with them. Be proactive and don’t wait for something to happen before fixing it. It shows that you understand what the duties of upper management involve and can put you in the running for a possible promotion. You may also find your bosses coming to you first and more often to work on good projects. 

Also, avoid asking your boss what you can do to help. It may sound like a reasonable question but it actually creates more work for them. Instead, make things easier by going to your supervisor with a plan for one specific thing. Instead say something like, “I know you are very busy, but I can help you with X and Y.” 


5. Master a specific skill or monopolize an important relationship

Learn a language or a skill that is not a requirement in your role. I know you are asking yourself what good that will do. Developing a unique skill that your colleagues lack makes you stand out. It could be a new language like HTML and coding or Mandarin. You could be the only one in your department or company who knows how to calm down angry customers or create excellent presentations. Improving your communication skills whether written or spoken also gives you an advantage. It is hard for employers to find people with outstanding writing or public speaking skills.

Building on a specific skill makes you highly valuable and gets you on management’s radar. Be the “X” person in the office; whatever skill that “X” is, will make all the difference. 

Keep learning about current industry and technology trends to make yourself an asset to the company. This will make you the go-to source on such matters and increase your value significantly. 

Also, find out which relationships are essential to the company and become the point of contact in maintaining these connections. It could be the biggest client or supplier; build up the relationship over time so they feel a sense of loyalty to you and the organization. 

The downside of being an asset in your current company is that the expectations will always be high for you.  So in case you fail, management will notice and you will be compared to, well, yourself. The pressure will be higher and you will feel a responsibility not to let people down. However, it is better to be seen as a valuable asset and fail once in a while, than not being considered essential at all. 

Keep in mind that even with all these tips, you are not completely indispensable at work. Anything can happen, and if you leave the company will still find a way to function without you. However, with these strategies under your belt you have a higher chance of increasing your value to your employer and the company.

Written by

Sandra Musonge

Sandra Musonge is a part-time writer at Fuzu with over five years of experience under her belt, helping numerous B2B and B2C clients with their content needs. She writes to inspire and not just to inform. Her educational background in Biochemistry has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. You can find her enjoying nature or trying out new recipes when she isn't writing.

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