You’ve started your new job and seem to be settling in nicely. You’ve put the finishing touches on your desk space, could easily ace a quiz of coworkers’ names and are long past sharing that embarrassing story at your first staff meeting. Maybe you’ve even impressed the CEO a time or two.
While there’s good reason to celebrate that you’re excelling in your current role, now’s not the time to rest on your laurels. Just because you’re all settled in and no longer the “newbie” doesn’t mean you have to stop proving yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Rocking your job responsibilities is key, but let’s face it, it’s no longer enough in today’s working world. Everyone I know in marketing and PR, particularly my fellow young professionals, are all going above and beyond to set themselves apart, both in their respective workplaces and within a fiercely competitive industry.
So, what can you do to stand out? Newbie or not, here are eights steps to help you shine among your coworkers and in a crowded field of industry pros. Following these steps is going to take some extra time and effort on your part, so start tapping into that same drive that you had during the job search process. After all, that’s what led you to where you are today.
1. Get involved. Be committed to going beyond your job responsibilities to improve the company overall. Get a feel for what committees and programs your office has to offer, and see where you’d be a good fit. Even if it’s the party planning committee, getting involved shows that you’re a well-rounded individual who is invested in the workplace.
2. Write for the company blog or newsletter. You wouldn’t be in this industry if you couldn’t write. Since nearly every company has a blog and newsletter nowadays, don’t let your skills go to waste. This is also a chance to share what you’ve written via your personal social media accounts.
3. Take initiative on your team. Now that you’re more comfortable in your role, step up and offer to take the lead on team projects. This shows great initiative and gives you the chance to put your leadership skills on full display. This tactic also helps ease the burden on your boss and allows you to work with team members with whom you may not get to interact as often.
4. Join a local professional society. Whether it’s your local PRSA chapter or niche groups focused on areas such as tech or content creation, it’s time to get involved outside of work. This is the perfect opportunity to network and take on a leadership role. Chances are others around your office are already members, too, so look to them as resources.
5. Volunteer. Use your industry skills for the greater good by volunteering for a nonprofit organization, political campaign, or something similar. You never know who you’re going to meet, and it never hurts to hone your skills outside of the office.
6. Choose a mentor. Many offices and professional groups have mentor programs in place, so take advantage. If this isn’t your reality, personally reach out to someone you admire around the office or industry. Sure, everyone’s busy, but keep in mind that the people you admire were once in your place and are probably more than willing to give you a few pointers over coffee.
7. Be a mentor. You don’t need to be a senior staffer to serve as a mentor. Professional groups often have mentoring programs through which you can work with young professionals or high school and college students. Many times your own alma mater will invite you to do the same for current students. Don’t hesitate to pay it forward to new hires at your office, who will welcome your help in learning the ropes.
8. Network. Attend professional events around town and travel to regional and national conferences whenever possible. Be proactive in seeking out these opportunities, as networking helps you with everything from getting connected to practicing the all-important elevator pitch. And don’t forget that you can also network internally through company events. The free food isn’t the only benefit to attending those!