Professional success can seem daunting with the myriad of educational requirements, certifications, and experience you need to obtain.  Couple those prerequisites with networking, opportunity timing, and office politics and it can seem impossible for you to be noticed and get ahead.  Therefore, it is important to make the most of what you have.  In my 30 year career these 3 attributes have always set people apart from their peers.  They don’t require special training, access, or even money…maybe just swallowing a little pride.

  1. Positive regard (AKA assume noble intent)

It is the extremely rare exception that someone gets up in the morning with the intent to sabotage or otherwise frustrate you.  As much as we think the world revolves around us, people generally have other things on their mind.  They have significant others, children, pets, bosses and other commitments we can’t know.  When they come to us with a requirement, wanting help or assistance they are likely just doing their job, fulfilling an obligation from their boss that comes from their perspective.  We impose that same self centered view when we view their request as unreasonable.  After all, don’t they know all the requirements and obligations we have?  The answer is of course ‘no’.  Taking the time to understand their request and share your obligations gets you noticed for listening and helping where you can.  It is the person that listens and makes others feel heard that attracts positive attention.

  1. Be Kind

The old saying goes “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.  No one likes to deal with someone difficult, and typically will go out of their way to avoid such a person.  We may feel entitled to be angry but those around us don’t know our circumstances, just as we don’t know theirs.  Through being kind you make others feel good and it inspires them to do something kind for you or someone else.  Being kind makes other takes notice of you and seek you out for opportunities causing a positive ripple effect.

  1. Positive Attitude

The impact of positive attitude has a disproportionate affirmative effect on the successful outcome for people, programs and activities.  Making the choice of a positive attitude draws people to you.  It is infectious and compels you and others to overcome obstacles and achieve.  It empowers and engages people around you.  Psychologists tell us that humans need 4 positive comments for every 1 negative we receive.  People are often negative because they are afraid, disappointed by failures of past experiences, or put down by those around them.  Therefore, innately people view those with positive attitude as brave and courageous.  This gets you noticed as someone who accomplishes tasks and gets results.

So continue to learn, obtain skills and network but always remember to use these attributes you have already to set you apart from your peers, get you noticed in a positive way, and get ahead.