How to Stand Out in an Office Full of Slackers

In a competitive job market, employers are likely to be carefully evaluating the performance of employees. This means, employees who want to stand out as high performers can take the high road and avoid becoming complacent. A Forbes article advises that, “Job security comes from making sure that your daily performance is so amazing that any company would be crazy to let you go.” As a professional who wants to stay employed, standing out at work counts.

Complacency happens over time, and is a form of laziness from being uninspired and unchallenged at work. It can also occur when an employee no longer gets enjoyment out of the tasks assigned to him, or is mismatched to the assignment itself. Like an office illness, complacency eventually effects the entire team structure and reduces productivity.

5 Ways to Rise to the Top and Avoid Slacking

It’s a fact. When employees make the effort to work hard and avoid the temptation of slacking off, they tend to stick around for the long term. There are several ways to stay on board and not become complacent in your job, even if you are currently in a role that doesn’t fulfill you personally.

Keep seeking new projects and opportunities.

One of the hallmarks of a professional is the ability to accept new challenges at work. Yet, how can anyone stand out if they are doing the same things day in and day out? The secret to standing out is being willing to take on new challenges by asking for them. A good time to do this is when you have your annual performance review with your manager.

Maintain quality and consistency of work.

Want to become indispensable to the company? Take the time to continually produce your best work on all projects. Even if you think you are just pushing buttons, you can be the best button pusher. When the time comes for any staffing cuts, the employees who do a good job and produce quality work are often the last to go.

Update your skills with cross-training.

In a Harvard Business Review report, employees who focused on skills cross-training excelled at a higher rate than their equally qualified counterparts. The authors advise, “Doing more of what you already do well yields only incremental improvement. To get appreciably better at it, you have to work on complementary skills—nonlinear development.” Further, “To move from good to much better, you need to engage in the business equivalent of cross-training”.

Don’t worry if people don’t like you.

A job is not a popularity contest, so try to keep this in perspective. While it’s important to be professional and courteous, trying to fit in with groups of slackers at work is not the way to go about this. Instead, participate in activities, but remain focused on your career development.

Learn to be a leader at work.

Getting to the top in a career path requires learning what it means to lead your career path and eventually lead others. Leaders are typically considered to be influencers and experts, which can increase stability. Narrow down to the things you do well, and then become a leader in these areas, even if you are not currently in a leadership role. You’ll set an example for others instead of being considered an underachiever or a slacker.

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