Identify Your Best Opportunities to Shine at Work

Are you looking for ways to show higher-ups your skills, strengths, and accomplishments—in other words, your worth to your organization? Here are strategies to help you determine what you want so that you’re better able to recognize opportunities to stand out—as well to create your own.

Define your strengths
Consider the parts of your job that make you feel happy, energized, and fulfilled. These are undoubtedly the areas in which you shine. Concentrate on refining them even more, so that you become known as, say, the organization’s PowerPoint expert.

Define what success means to you
Is it being promoted to manager? Helping to bring about a 20 percent boost in sales per quarter? Leaving the office behind once you’ve left work? If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never be able to identify opportunities to help you get there. 

Create a plan for achieving that success
Once you understand what you want to accomplish, it’s time to plan next steps. What will you need to do to reach your objectives and what’s your time frame? First think short term—what can I do today and in the next six months to a year—to make my goals a reality? Then plan for the long haul: three to ten years out.

Work at being the best
Are you presenting the latest company initiative to staff members? Spend your energies on making it a talk people will be buzzing about long after it’s over. Did your company land a big new client? Figure out how to over-deliver every aspect of client service. Are you participating in a meeting on your company’s latest product launch? Learn everything you can about the launch so that you can contribute on-target, concrete ideas then and there.

Help others
Last, but hardly least, remember that no one succeeds by themselves. Your coworkers, your boss, your suppliers, and clients—they’re all part of your support system. Help them and they’ll reciprocate. Get to know them personally and professionally, understand their hopes and goals, and find ways to help them achieve their goals. Most opportunities are presented to us through others; people who want to help us succeed. So become invested in others … and they’ll become invested in you!