If you seek real success in your career you need to learn how to stand out in a positive way from your competition. Think you don’t have any? The reality is that you have people around you who are competing for your job at this very moment.
Sometimes your competitors are already in the company, and other times you’re simply competing against potential employees that management could bring in to replace you. Although you may not have realized this before, and even if you’ve never thought of it this way, you are ALWAYS competing to keep your job! Remind yourself of this often, because it’ll help you stay focused while handling tough or frustrating tasks.
Since you’re always in competition, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself on a regular basis so that you get noticed as a strong asset to the company; someone they really don’t want to lose. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON not to work your hardest to stand out, and to make a concerted effort to improve your performance each and every day.
As a younger professional, many of you may be in positions that you consider temporary. Perhaps you’re in a job beneath your self-perceived skill level. Maybe you just took your current job so that you could make some money while searching for a better job. In some cases you are at a job you don’t like very much, but since it’s easy, you’re enjoying it for a while before you start your “real” job search and career.
Whatever the case, you have a great opportunity STARTING TODAY to stand out from the crowd and work harder and smarter than those around you. Every job has something to offer, and don’t treat a job that you think is temporary as a waste of time – use it to boost your skill set and get a great reference from your employer when you move on.
Always keep in mind that there are several people waiting in the wings for you to mess up. Working hard and standing out is a skill you absolutely need to master if you want to find career success. That’s right – constant development, regular hard work, managing those around you, taking on the less desirable responsibilities with a smile, etc. are all part of the soft skill set you need to continually strengthen and expand.
So get out there, compete like a champion every day, and see the effect it has not only on your job performance but also on those around you.
Matt Miades is a Career and Executive Coach, and founder of the The Edge, a professional training and development company in Philadelphia that specializes in empowering people to reach their full potential at work. Matt was formerly a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and made the radical decision to leave PwC at the height of his career to follow his passion for Talent Maximization. He ran a practice of over 100 individuals (mostly younger professionals) for 12 years. His clients included Campbell’s Soup, Tasty Baking, Heinz, the University of Pennsylvania, SunGard, IBC, Towers Watson, GlaxoSmithKline and many others. Matt has over 23 years of leadership, operations, coaching, training and recruiting experience, and has spoken to a wide array of audiences on the subject of soft skills.