Career development is not always about moving up in the organization. It's more about constantly improving yourself and getting the most out of your job and work life. Regardless of whether or not you are interested in promotion right now, you are interested in standing out at work.
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Stand Out At Work

Career development is not always about moving up in the organization. It's more about constantly improving yourself and getting the most out of your job and work life. Regardless of whether or not you are interested in promotion right now, you are interested in standing out at work. To stand out in a good way, you need to be aware of the consequences of what you think, say, and do.

What to Think, or Not

- Think you can (and will) succeed:

People have confidence in us when we have confidence in ourselves, and few things lead to success like self-confidence. We gain confidence as our skill and knowledge grows. The trick is to have confidence to try new things, when immediate success isn't as likely as when we do things we've already mastered. To do this, go slow. Create self-development plans that ease you into a new task. It is easier to overcome small mistakes, and small wins keep you motivated and moving forward.

- Think good thoughts about performance feedback:

Performance feedback - particularly in review meetings - are our chance to talk to our manager about where we are, where we want to be, and how we might get there, in our job and in our career. Your attitude about receiving positive and negative feedback will help determine the outcome - whether the feedback is more developmental and future-focused or evaluative and focused on the past. Help your manager give you constructive feedback that helps you grow and reach your goals.

- Think about your work as more than a job:

Most of us have to do something to earn a living, but few of us don't have a choice about what we do. If you're in a job where you have no energy or enthusiasm in the morning, watch the clock all day, pray for the weekend all week, and long for vacations all year, you're spending about 40 percent of your life in the wrong place. To improve your attitude, you have to be where you want to be or have a clear plan for getting there.

- Think "excellence":

Doesn't it feel great to get through the day without challenging ourselves to learn something new or do something great? No? You're right. Go beyond the minimum effort, the easy way, and the safe path. Work hard to be the best you can be at work and home. You might be surprised how your attitude changes when you seek out challenges and fully commit to what you do.

- Think outside yourself:

Listen to your own conversations and notice how often you say the word I: "I think," "I want," "I wish," etc. We tend to think in terms of I, which is okay until it gets in the way of thinking about and relating to others. Put yourself in the other person's shoes, ask questions, seek new perspectives, value the opportunity to work with coworkers different from you (sometimes very different from you). Most of all, open yourself to new ideas, innovations, changes, and different points of view. Don't go through life thinking "I" is all there is.

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