You ever wonder what it takes to stand out and get noticed at your job? Who do the bosses recognize? Why did Tiffany get selected to lead the project and not you? Why did Sharon get the promotion to team leader and not you? These are all valid questions and I am sure most, if not all of us have had these thoughts either on our job, in school or in organizations we are a part of. There are certain things that cause people to stand out positively in the workplace. I will talk about 3 key elements and they are all part of a bigger workshop I do specifically on Career Fundamentals. The key elements are what I call the three A’s- Ability, Attitude and Appearance.

Ability – This is your price of admission. You must be competent in the job you have in order to stand out and be noticed. It is critical that you know your job well and also perform it well without unnecessary support or constant supervision. Meaning, if you do your job well but you constantly have to ask your supervisor or peers for help with the same tasks over and over, this is the not the top ability that will get you noticed. Strive to know your job and perfect it. Always be conscious of being able to show your ability to do your job well.

Attitude – There is nothing better than a great attitude! It is often said that attitudes are contagious and that is true. A positive attitude is even more potent. People love being around positive and pleasant people. The people that get noticed are those that do not complain, they always have a can-do attitude and they are always willing to help and a be a team player. Focus on having a positive attitude at work daily and make sure all interactions you have with your leaders and co-workers are good.

Appearance – This is the last tenet of the 3 A’s, but certainly not the least. First impressions are lasting impressions and before you utter a word each day, people all around your workplace are sizing you up and making assumptions and predictions based on your appearance.  Whether their assumption is accurate or not is irrelevant. The key is that decisions on who is the most talented are often made on perceptions around your personal appearance.  If you routinely project an appearance that is untidy or unprofessional, you may get overlooked or not taken seriously even though you could be the best talent on the team. Being neat, tidy, dressed appropriate for your company’s culture and a professional look go a long way in being noticed at work. 

Be in tune with your company’s culture on dress and duplicate or exceed what you see as the cultural norms of dress and appearance.  Make sure you pay attention to all aspects of hygiene, grooming and clothing so that your appearance positively reflects the brand and image that will get noticed.

It can be disheartening when a colleague is chosen for the project, promotion or job that you felt you deserved or was better qualified for. I encourage you to make sure you are living out these 3 essentials of Ability, Attitude and Appearance daily in your work. I am confident you will be noticed and your talent will be utilized.

As always, please reach out if I can help you in these areas in your career.

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