Understand your business
Do this by thinking about where you sit on the company food chain and then understanding the process on either side of you.
Demonstrate to an employer that you not only know your job, but how your job impacts other parts of the business, says career author Amy C. Baker. Set yourself up as one who is truly committed to the success of the business, not just doing your own gig.
Sharpen your speaking skills
"No matter what your ideas are, no one will buy into them unless you can present them clearly and compellingly," says Dr. Bill Lampton, president of Championship Communication in Atlanta.
Hiring a speech coach or enrolling in a presentation skills course can be well worth your time. You should also practice what you learn by speaking in civic clubs and your own professional organization.
Learn how to listen
"Listen patiently and openly to ideas that differ from yours," says Lampton. "Listen to evaluation - even criticism - of your work without feeling paranoid. Think of the people you respect and admire most. Aren't they all keen listeners, giving you their full attention every time you are with them? Follow their examples and you will get promotions and raises others will miss out on."
Dress like a pro
Outdoing your co-workers with your attire is another way to stand out.
"A participant in one of my communication seminars said it well: 'I don't dress for the job I have now, I dress for the job I want to have next,'" says Lampton.
Just do more
Going above and beyond the call of duty is sure to make your boss sit up and take notice.
"If your counterparts shy away from advanced technology that they don't need yet, find a technology mentor who will train you after hours," says Lampton. "By doing so you illustrate that you are preparing yourself for greater responsibility."
Image is everything
What is the perception of you at the office? What do your co-workers think of you?
"Do you always skate into meetings right at the start, or are you the first in the room, relaxed and ready to go," says Baker. "Are your e-mails or other written communications filled with typographical errors, or are they spot-on perfect?"
Thinking about how you do your work can be a big factor in standing out in the crowd.
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