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5 ways to make the right impression at work

5 ways to make the right impression at work

Want to stand out in your job – without grandstanding? Here’s how you can show your value in the workplace.

Starting a new job can be confusing and even terrifying, but it usually gets easier once you’ve learned the ropes. And when you understand the ins and outs of your job, you can start thinking about ways to stand out from the crowd.

But what if your performance review is still a long way down the track – and you don’t subscribe to school of self-promotion?

Here are five subtle but effective ways to show them what you’ve got.

1.  Understand your role

OK, so you know what you job title is, but do you really have a grasp of why your work is important to the organisation? If not, it might be time to ask your manager about how your piece of the puzzle fits in.

But before you do, think about your own strengths so you can suggest ways that your boss can make the most of your skills.

And of course, no one’s going to be a stellar performer in every area, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling in some aspects of your job. At the same time, put in the effort to address areas where you know you need to improve.

2.  Pay attention

It’s great to share what you know with your colleagues, and it’s important to have your say in team meetings. But it’s just as important to listen to others – and not just the big boss.

Take the time to really hear what your colleagues have to say, rather than waiting for them to finish so you can get in your 2 cents’ worth. A bit of reflection can go a long way in your career – and you’ll be helping to create a workplace where people feel valued for voicing their opinions.

3.  Be low maintenance

You probably spend more time with your work colleagues than most other people you know. That’s why it’s important to be a pleasure – not a chore – to be around.

Simple actions like thinking before you speak (or email) and being polite, pleasant and helpful will mean that people enjoy having you on their team.

4.  Know yourself

While it’s important to be a team player, that doesn’t mean you have to sell yourself short. Like all your colleagues, you have your own strengths, so why not explain what they are? Your team members will appreciate knowing they can ask for your help when they need it.

It’s also possible to let others know when you’ve done something well, without sounding like you’re blowing your own trumpet. For instance, you might email your manager thanking them for their help with a task, while also outlining how their guidance helped you nail it.

5.  Be a self-starter

In many jobs, performance is measured by key performance indicators (KPIs). But even if your role doesn’t have any, it’s a good idea to come up with you own. That way, you can track your own progress and see if there are any areas where you could use some extra training.

By taking the initiative at work, you’ll impress your boss – and you’ll enjoy a sense of achievement too.

Read next: Find out how to take your super with you from job to job.


Things you should know: Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFS) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 (Essential Super) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (Bank). This document may include financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for Essential Super before making any decision regarding this product. Download the PDS ( or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super and an investment in this product is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. Where we mention ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’, we mean CFS.