At some time or another, we’ve all been in a position to prove ourselves. In the professional world, earning the opportunity to take on more responsibilities in the quest to climb the ladder, earn a promotion, and reach to the heights of your career is a lot easier said than done. Proving your leadership capabilities is, at times, a head-scratcher. You work hard, show up on time, and do everything that's expected of you.
It just doesn’t seem like it’s enough!
How do you prove yourself? How do you earn those bigger responsibilities and pull ahead of the pack?
If your desire is to prove what you’re capable of, get the recognition you deserve, and most importantly, receive more responsibilities in your given profession, don’t miss these tips.
4 Ways to Flex Your Capabilities in the Workplace
1) Step up, even when it isn’t your problem.
What is an indicator of leadership? Initiative. When outside of a role of leadership, you can show that you have what it takes by stepping up, even when it’s not on you. If a problem presents itself in the workplace, see it not as extra work or a headache, but as a challenge and an opportunity for you to prove your capabilities.
When you step up and follow through (because if you do step up and take on extra work, you have to follow through with excellence), you prove not only that you have the spirit of a leader in that you have the gumption to take on opportunity, but that you are versatile, motivated, and multi-talented.
2) Deliver above and beyond.
While no one can completely eliminate their potential for error, we can do everything in our power to deliver the best work possible. The longer we occupy any given position, the more comfortable we become. Tasks become routine, if not monotonous, and the easier it is to slack and slip into bad habits.
Someone who desires professional leadership, responsibility and career advancement must not do this. Instead, they must commit themselves to delivering results that exceed all expectations.
Sound easier said than done? Start with being on time and attentive to the responsibilities that are already set before you. Cut yourself off from distractions at the office, including social media. Avoid water cooler gossip and dedicate yourself to the tasks at hand. Take the brain breaks that you need to keep yourself energized, but don’t waste time.
3) Assert you value.
If you want to be noticed and recognized in the workplace, oftentimes, you have to ask for it. You can’t wait for people to notice you—leadership takes initiative, and oftentimes, so does earning a place of leadership to begin with. You often have to ask and simply call attention to your achievements and abilities in order to be given what you desire.
Step up and speak to your boss. Assert yourself and all of the reasons you deserve to be given more responsibility. Account for all of the value you bring to the table, the skills you have that aren’t being utilized that could benefit your team and the company, and just ask. If you don’t assert yourself when you have proven your worth in your actions, you shouldn’t be surprised when you are passed over.
4) Present an image of leadership.
Lastly, you have to cultivate an image of leadership. While leading through your actions and attitude is of primary importance, presenting an image of leadership is just as valuable. That means taking care of your physical appearance: dressing well, grooming well, and smelling great are just a few elements. You want to be magnetic, sharp, and put-together. The image you put out into the world should be that of a confident go-getter. Beyond your physical self, you should also mind your environment.
Are you organized and neat? It is more important than you think to keep your office space clean and tidy. This may seem like a minute detail, but it matters and it makes an impression. Leaders pay attention to details. They don’t let things pile up, including candy-wrappers and day-old coffee.
When it comes to professional leadership, it's a perfect marriage of big-picture thinking and a care for the small details. If you want to prove yourself, you have to show that not only can think and act like a leader in those sweeping, big-picture, awe-inspiring ways but that you can zoom in, find chinks in the armor, and really put polish on something.