Scientists team at modern hospital lab, group of doctors.jpeg

In healthcare especially, it can seem impossible to stand out from the pack. Everyone has a million things on their plates. Every move you make has an impact on people's well being. Everyone else is also working long hours, on their feet all day and night, and constantly feeling like there's more they need to know or new skills they are trying to acquire.

But as humans, we have a natural desire to be noticed, especially when we are giving our jobs everything we've got. So how can you ever hope to rise up in rank when there's so much competition, exhaustion, and ever-increasing demands? Let's take a look at a few things I've found to be helpful in achieving this goal:

  1. Do your job -- As simple as this sounds, it's the most obvious thing you can do. Many people take a job in the hopes of climbing the corporate ladder. They sometimes focus too much on the job they want, that they fail at the job they have. Focus on what you can and should be doing right now to excel at your current position, before you try to reach for the one you want. 
  2. Add value to others -- Would people miss you if you didn't show up to work? Find a way to make others better at what they do. Who on your team is better off because you are on the team? This is at the heart of what it means to be a team player. People will notice that you make their jobs more enjoyable, easier, and more efficient if you work hard to channel this tip.
  3. If you see a problem, own and solve it -- I'm sure you've heard this before: "that's not my job." If this phrase is part of your vocabulary, then you need to erase it. Put it in the commode and flush it, never to be heard again. Identifying problems within a team or organization is easy. It's another thing altogether to own the problem and do the hard work of bringing a solution to the table. This is what we call ownership, and it's far less common than most of us believe. Commit to owning and solving a problem when you see one, regardless of whose "responsibility" it might be. 

We live in a world where it seems like so many people are becoming an overnight success. It’s easy to see and hear these stories and walk away with the crippling message that the reason we haven't been noticed, or promoted, or otherwise chosen is because we haven’t had our big break. Luck may play a part, but it’s just one ingredient in the recipe. Luck means nothing if you haven’t done your part to be ready when that time comes.

What are your tips for standing out at work?


Shane Elmore, RN

Written by Shane Elmore, RN

Shane is Pulsara's Vice President of Clinical Innovation, and is certified in CCRN, CEN, and CFRN. Shane is a former Chest Pain Coordinator at Trinity Mother Frances Health System.