How To Distinguish Yourself

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 09 May, 2017
"Colossians 3:23  "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men."

There are many employees in the workplace. The Immutable Law of Labor states “if many people are both willing and able to do a job, the wage will be low.” And since we are trying to be more for God’s glory and use our careers to glorify His name, our best opportunity is to stand out from the crowd.

Being part of this crowd will erode our ultimate value and reduce the chance of getting promoted. The number one way to get promoted is to get exposure, to stand out, to distinguish yourself.

Here are a few ways you can make yourself vastly more noticeable:

Ask for assignments others won’t do or would never consider doing

The first and best way to stand out is to stand in a place others won’t. Ask your manager for tough side-assignments, extra work beyond your daily duties. Ask for work that is a nuisance to him or her. This is like extra credit in school. When you ask the teacher for it, the teacher will take notice.

Be filled with the fruit of the Spirit at work

Remember, you are working for God, not for man. Let your joy be evident to all. Be the positive one, the employee who wants to be at work. Greet others warmly and confidently. Be happy on conference calls, each interaction, sitting in meetings, at the break room. Let your light shine before your coworkers and your boss.

Lend a Helping Hand

How many times have you said or wanted to say, “I’m not doing that. It’s not my job.” If you want to distinguish yourself, then you will want to start thinking like you own the company, and everything is your job. Of course, you can’t take on the world and expect to get everything done, but you will be given the chance to help others or fill in the gap or take care of something others missed. Just do it. Don’t even hesitate. If there is a chronic situation where a process is broken and the same works keeps getting overlooked, be the one to create a fix for the problem. You don’t want to stand there with your finger in the dam holding back water, of course. Fix the leak.

Track Your Own Efforts

Many employees think their manager will keep tabs on all the great work getting done. This is not the case. While you are taking the steps to get distinguished, you want to make sure your manager hears about it. This is not boasting. It is measuring performance. And you want to get good at it. Keep a folder on your laptop or even within your email system, where you can store notes about your extra work. If a customer or colleagues sends you a thank-you email for your efforts, save it and send it to your manager. You can write in the forwarded email, “Just wanted to keep you in the loop on some extra work I have been doing to support the company.”

Be Available All the Time

I hear from Christians more than any other, “I want to leave work at work and my personal life at home.” Great employees take at least a little bit of their work home with them. Answer the phone when you are called, even if after hours. Okay, you don’t want people to take advantage of you, so be shrewd if it’s happening too often and get support. The point here is to be available. Most people are not willing to take calls after hours. When you do, you instantly distinguish yourself from the rest of your coworkers. And if you work for a company that expects this behavior (i.e. available 24 hours a day) focus your energy on proactively making calls to resolve issues instead of waiting for the call to reach you.

Speak Up, But Not Too Much

Managers have to run a lot of meetings. There’s a certain level of awkwardness to holding a meeting where none of your employees seem to want to be there. Take courage and ask well-informed questions. Be engaged in the topic and listen for opportunities to support what your manager is doing. This can be taken too far so be prudent about how many questions you ask. The key is to ask smart questions which show you know what you are talking about and care about the topic.  

Proverbs 10:4  "Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."

Be Diligent in All Your Efforts

Although Christians should know more about diligence than any other person on the planet, we are also susceptible to being neglectful of our duties. Why should we know better? Diligence is talked about in the Bible over 35 times, and many more examples are given where the concept is illustrated even when the word is not mentioned. It appears cover to cover in God’s Word. Get the job done on time, in scope and with a focused heart and people will see you are reliable. This will make you stand out.  

Refer to this section often. Share what you are learning with others and establish a career growth network with other Christians. Talk to each other about these concepts and watch what God will do.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

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