For many of us, we want to see our job as more than a place we go from 9 to 5. We want it to be a true career, something that brings us growth and fulfillment, challenging us to better ourselves and our output. We want to excel, go above and beyond, and ultimately achieve our full potential.
Here are 3 simple ways to exceed expectations at work and make your mark in a meaningful way.
How to Go Above and Beyond at Work Every Day Video
If you’d rather watch this in video form, you’re in luck!
On to the tips!
#1. Recognize others.
I’m pretty sure that thanking and recognizing others brings me more happiness than it does the other person!
Recognition is a fantastic tool as it shows leadership, helps to form better working relationships, and makes you stand out as a positive force in the organization.
My post Spread the Love: 3 Meaningful Ways to Express Thanks shares a bunch of ideas on how to actually do this, but here are a few:
Send a quick thank you email and copy their manager.
Use your company’s formal recognition program (if there is one).
Give them a shout out in a meeting.
#2. Spend time on the front lines.
The definition of “front lines” really depends on what type of Industry you work in and what type of job you have, but the key is to spend some time with those working directly with your “customer”, whether that be a consumer, business, or other key stakeholder.
Here are some examples of ways I’ve done this:
When I worked for a bank in head office, I spent a few days in the branches shadowing employees and sitting in customer meetings. I also met with some of the employees individually to understand their challenges and opportunities they saw for improvement.
In my marketing role for a restaurant company, I spent the first three weeks training in the actual restaurant. This involved flipping burgers, serving customers, and running the drive thru. It was WAY more challenging than I thought it would be, and gave me first hand experience at what restaurant life is about.
And lastly, when I worked in brand management for a consumer packaged goods company, I did “ride-alongs” with people that worked in the sales force. This involved visiting different retailers, looking at different merchandising set ups, and observing meetings with buyers.
These experiences gave me a unique perspective that was deeper than I would get in my daily work, and ultimately made me better at my job.
To do something similar at your company, reflect on what types of front line opportunities would best help you in your current role, and then work with your manager to set something up.
#3. Initiate something new.
My last piece of advice is to initiate a new team, task force, or event. This should ideally be something that you’re passionate about, since that will make it much easier and more fun to work on!
Here are a few examples.
Like team building? Organize an offsite team building activity like volunteering at the local food bank, attending an event, or going to an escape room. Many leaders will appreciate this and may even have budget for this type of event.
Passionate about learning? Start a Learning and Development coalition or committee and organize Lunch and Learn events or a speaker series for your team or department. This has the added bonus of leaving attendees more knowledgeable than before.
You may also want to focus on things that are important to the leadership team so that it will be more aligned, and easier to get buy in. For example, if the organization recently announced that they want to focus more on diversity and inclusion, then that would be a great initiative for you to start if it doesn’t already exist.
Those are three areas that I really recommend exploring in terms of going above and beyond at work and excelling in your career. Have other thoughts, ideas, and suggestions? Leave them in a comment below – we’d love to hear them!
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