“Get exposure.”  “Work hard.”  “Exceed expectations.”

These are super great tips to stand out at work. Yet, if you are an early careerist or a mid-careerist who just seems to be passed over while working harder, looking like you are working harder may only represent what you are Here I am! (1)doing. Working harder. Yes, working harder and more efficiently is one way to move to the top. But what else will help you stand out at work and be noticed when everyone else may be working as hard as you are and producing outstanding results?

There are many ideas on the public domain related to how and what you can do to stand out at work as a high potential employee worthy of moving upward both in position and salary. Great tips such as arriving a little early at meetings, sitting in the middle of a meeting table so you are able to address individuals to your right and left, taking notes, sitting on committees, presenting a fabulous Powerpoint deck of information and being an expert resource to others are certainly worthwhile options.

In addition, it’s important to build organizational business savvy while you are identifying and developing your own “one thing” that people identify you by. When a role or a promotion comes available, they just “know” you are “it” and are the first person that comes to their mind.

The French call it “je ne se quoi” – that elusive “it” that someone has that sets them apart from everyone else. It’s a pleasing quality that sometimes takes a moment to describe a wonderfulness that is, at first, indescribable.  My HR hat tips to the side for a moment as I know hiring practices specifically target skills, competencies and proficiencies in great detail, and sometimes ad nauseum.  There is the variously defined “person – organization – position fit” that comes from intuition and past experience, or evidence of what will or will not work in a team or organizational culture.

With technical skills and business acumen being equal among a group of individuals, what makes one stand out over the other? What can you work on to stand out in a crowd in a positive way? What will help others say “Yes!” at the mere mention of your name? Below are three ways to stand out at work.

  1. Build Your Personal Charisma – Be the person everyone wants to know and know more about.  Be the person people want to be around and are attracted to for the right reasons.
  2. Develop your Power of Influence. Influence is how you get things done. There are varying types of positive influence, yet, influence has a dark side. Are you engaging or manipulative? Are you collaborative or coercive?
  3. Understand how to command a room using interpersonal skills, energy, and social and emotional intelligence. Do people turn their heads because you are just impeccably dressed and have the right credentials or because you have credibility and are demonstrating fantastic interpersonal skills with everyone you meet?

Be the person you want to meet.

Be the person others want others to know.

Lisa Boesen, MAOM, CMC, PHR, ACC, CMC .

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