When embarking on a career after graduation, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re just starting an accountancy career or you have been in your job for a while, it’s easy to feel invisible in a sea of names and faces. If you want to develop, progress and get the most out of your role, here are a few important tips to take note of for professional development.

1. Network, network, network

One of the best ways to make a name for yourself is to make contacts within your organisation and to network beyond your team, and with other departments. Not only will this get your name and face into the minds of colleagues across the organisation, but it may also help you stand out from the crowd within your team. You can network simply by going along to corporate events and chatting to various people within the organisation. You can also seek out those who you feel could add value to your role by working more closely with them or by making an effort to speak to them whether that be in the lift, joint meetings or face to face, rather than over the phone.

2. Be proactive

Many people never take the time to put themselves forward for extra work, whether it be because of time, stress, or lack of confidence. Many lack the motivation to be proactive in their development. One of the best ways to get noticed is to step forward and offer to take on more responsibilities or projects; this will help you stand out as someone who takes the initiative and is a good team player.

3. Broaden your knowledge

Those senior to you will take notice if you recognise where you need to develop professionally and how you would like to address those areas in the future. Sometimes people are overlooked because it’s perceived that they are happy to stay in their role and have shown no interest in other areas. This may involve anything from shadowing someone (to learn more about their role), attending meetings (where you may learn more about the business) or being signed up for extra training. If this is you, then be sure to put yourself forward, no matter how trivial the meeting or training may be… it all helps!

4. Share your voice

Meetings and group activities are a great way to get your voice heard. This doesn’t mean forcing your opinions or acting aggressively, but it does mean having the confidence to speak up in a group situation. Be sure to fully prepare before any meetings or brainstorming sessions so that you know what you want to contribute. Remember to share any ideas you have, respect other’s views and ask questions. This will demonstrate your interest in the activity at hand.

Standing out from the crowd doesn’t always mean being the person who is the loudest or most confident. It is about showing your interest in the company, willingness to be involved and being proactive in your development. These sorts of behaviours will help you stand out far beyond someone who bulldozes their way through. Try out some of these tips, and you may just be surprised what a difference it makes. You’ll get more job satisfaction and have more control over the development you need to get noticed.

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