Rise and shine: 10 ways to get ahead in the workplace

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an employee looking to raise your game, these tips from the brilliant Suzy Ashworth – business mentor, founder of The Calm Birth School and author – are a must-read…

In my role as a business mentor I’m fortunate to work with a really diverse bunch of women and men, ranging from entrepreneurs to high-ranking government officials.

Whilst the roles they play may be different, there’s one thing they all want to achieve: they want to know how they can shine in their roles without sacrificing their families, authenticity or selling their souls to the devil.

And interestingly enough, whether you work for yourself or are in a 9-5 my advice for standing out in your market or office are the same. Here are my top ten tips that will help you sparkle your way to the top…

1. Know what you want
It doesn’t matter whether you want to leave to find a role that’s better suited, become the CEO or the leading provider in your field, setting a clear intention for what you want to achieve is your starting point for success. This goal should become your northern light, so that whenever it’s time to make a decision you have the simple, but very effective litmus test in which you ask yourself: is this action taking me closer towards or further away from my end goal?

2. Become a specialist
Look at your end goal and decide what the one or two actions are that – if you master – can’t help but carry you towards where you want to go. Maybe it’s networking, making the most sales calls, becoming a whizz at social media. Whatever it is that you choose to focus on, spend 80% of your time doing just that one thing. Become a master. Not only will you achieve your goal more quickly, because you won’t be distracted by unimportant tasks, but you’ll also become the ‘go-to’ person for that particular activity.

3. Be consistent
Whatever it is you choose to specialise in. Show up consistently. If you’re going to write a weekly newsletter, make sure it’s there every week. If you want to offer to put on the monthly social party for the office – do it. You’re the person that wants to be in early because you know that’s the time you get the most work done? Be there every day. You need to speak to 10 new leads every day, don’t give yourself a get out clause. You want to be known as the person who follows up with all of the clients orders with a thank you card – do it for every client, every order. There is a saying that the people who get ahead are the people who do the ordinary things extraordinarily well.

4. Shout about it
Everyone loves a safe and confident pair of hands. I mean, no one wants to be operated on by a surgeon who apologises every 10 words and says it was everyone else on the team, but him (or her) who did anything, do they? When you rock it – own it! Tell your peers, your boss and let them know what you have achieved.

5. Be a cheerleader
Don’t be afraid to big up your support team, or the other people who had a hand in your success. Or equally, letting them know when you think they have done an amazing job. When you approach your work or business from a space of abundance – and knowing no matter what skills and talents other people have, you have something to offer that no one else can give… YOU – any fear you might have about not being noticed will dissolve.

6. Don’t trash talk
It might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important and I’m not just talking about your peers and colleagues, but don’t talk yourself down. In case you need a reminder… what we focus on expands. Talking negatively about yourself or others, consciously or subconsciously, makes you a person who can’t be trusted – even if you’re talking negatively about the same person. Stay positive and if all else fails, if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

7. Celebrate your wins
Anyone who works with me will hear me say (a lot) what we focus on expands. Normally when a person achieves something amazing – we feel good. When we take the time to really sit in the space of feeling good, we attract, create and notice more things to feel good about. Think of it like the snowball effect.

8. Act as if
Have you ever noticed how nine times out of ten, it’s the person who everyone who thinks is going to get the promotion who gets the promotion? Why is that? Because they’ve already been doing the job, or acting like they’ve been doing the job, for months in advance – making their interview a forgone conclusion. Decide where you want to go and start acting like you’re already there and watch the magic happen.

9. Embrace your fears
Do the thing that you know you should be doing, or really want to but that scares the bejesus out of you. That’s the thing you know you need to do! As with every scary thing you’ve ever done, it’s never as scary as you think it’s going to be and the first time is always the worst. Once you’ve got through the first time reflect, learn, rinse and repeat.

10. Surround yourself with awesomeness

You may have heard the common adage you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Who are you spending your time with? People who believe in themselves, are embracing success, who are not afraid of acknowledging their ambitions? If you aren’t, change your crew. The energy of momentum is a beautiful thing – when you see other people doing what you want to do and achieve around you. People that will inspire you and you can learn from… it’s amazing how quickly you start to shine like a light in your own arena.