Last Updated on March 24, 2021
We’ve been taught since we were young to conform to the rules and be like everyone else. That’s why most people are scared to stand out from the crowd at work. But individuality and uniqueness are the very traits that boost people in their career and help them achieve the greatness they deserve. If you want to not just go to work every day, but, instead, make a big contribution to the place you work for, then it’s important to stand out from the crowd.
1. Finish Tasks Before They Are Due
Don’t work too hard or you will get more work added to your plate. This is the rule that most workers live by, so if you want to stand out from the crowd at work, break it.
Get things done before they are due to be done. Organize your time in a way that you can demolish tasks throughout your day and have time to do extra things that matter.
When you are known as the person that goes beyond their daily tasks and picks up extra tasks that benefit the company, business, or people utilizing your service, then you are going to stand out.
2. Relate To Customers And Overdeliver
Every job serves other people in some way. But many people get lost in their job and forget that fact. They view their job as a small room with four walls, relating only to them, and that’s when problems start.
Perhaps the biggest example of this that I’ve experienced is health care workers. They identify as nurses, doctors, porters, x-ray technicians, lab workers, or housekeepers, and they forget that their job is helping patients who are in pain or scared. They can become cold and compassionless and, while they may do their ‘job’, they don’t stand out as someone who is benefiting the people who keep them employed.
Taking the time to remember that you are serving others in some way, no matter what your job is, can be the thing that helps you stand out from the crowd at work. You start to think about the people you are serving, relate to them, and deliver things to them that they need – even if it’s not in your job description.
As you relate to customers and overdeliver, you become someone who is not just good at their job, but good at providing the service you provide. This is when you stand out in your boss’s eyes, coworkers’ eyes, and customer’s eyes as someone amazing at their job.
3. Have More Fun With Problems Than Anyone Else
All jobs come up against problems. Most people are not willing to take the time to solve the problems. They leave that up to their boss or someone else and keep trudging through their daily tasks not worrying about the issues at hand.
If you want to stand out from the crowd at work, be a problem solver. Enjoy the thrill of coming up against a problem and finding an effective solution to that problem that makes your job easier, better, or more beneficial to the people you are serving.
4. Avoid Fitting In With The Crowd
This probably goes without saying if you want to stand out from the crowd at work, but it’s worth mentioning.
When you interviewed for your job, chances are good that you tried to make yourself sound unique in some way. It helps the employer see you as someone who can add a fresh perspective and talent to the company. Yet most people lose that uniqueness as they start working and conform to the crowd.
If you want to stand out from the crowd at work, be unique.
You don’t need to be a jerk or antisocial, you just need to be unique and avoid agreeing with popular opinions when you don’t agree with them.
Embrace your differences and allow them to shine through.
5. Give Valuable Input
Don’t be scared to speak up during meetings or when you feel like you have something to say. Most people aren’t willing to show initiative and give valuable input at work. They would rather just do their job and get through their day. Giving valuable input could add more work or more expectations onto them, which is something they don’t want.
Not you. You are willing to give valuable input when you have it. If you think it will improve your job, other people’s jobs, customer’s experiences, or even improve the company in some way, speak up! Your job is not just to do your work, it’s to add to and influence the company and people around you to make work more efficient and valuable.
6. Do Things Differently
Sometimes the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented. But sometimes someone finds a new and better way to do something and creates positive change.
If you can clearly see that there is a better way to do your job, do it. If it saves time or boosts the business you work for in some way, then it’s going to help you stand out from the crowd at work in a positive way.
7. Be Authentic
Being authentically you not only allows you to stand out from the crowd at work, but it also reduces stress and pain in your life.
Being inauthentic takes a lot of work. It requires you to play pretend, lie, and do things that you just don’t want to do. It’s exhausting and can take away energy from doing your job well.
If you don’t know how to be authentic, here are some Mark Matousek quotes that can help you start living authentically.
8. Share Your Original Ideas
People often want to keep their great ideas to themselves. Either they don’t believe in their ideas enough or they don’t want other people to have access to them. But the truth is that great ideas need to be shared. Other people can help you shape your great ideas into something that works well. They have insights and can see angles that you may not necessarily be able to see.
So, don’t be scared to share your original ideas. Yes, someone may steal it and claim it for themselves (there are always jerks out there ready to take credit for someone else’s idea), but the chances are better that you will get recognition for the idea and stand out from the crowd at work as a forward thinker who people will come to for more original ideas.
9. Master What You Do
It doesn’t matter what you do, master it. Be the best cook, accountant, writer, housekeeper, vegan business owner, donut maker… whatever it is you do, master it and you will stand out from the crowd at work.
10. Play to Your Strengths While Improving Your Skills
Never focus on what you can’t do. Instead, use your strengths to help you stand out from the crowd at work. Your strengths will help you get noticed as you work on building other skills that will someday be added to your list of strengths.