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How to Be a Star Performer at Work

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Being a star performer in the workplace helps you achieve job security, attain professional fulfillment and advance your career. Employers look for dependable, hard-working individuals who show critical thinking skills, are adaptable to an ever-changing workplace environment and have an exceptional work ethic.

Know Your Job

Make sure you fully understand all of the duties and responsibilities of your position and perform them consistently to the best of your ability. Achieve this by becoming familiar with your job description, participating in orientation and training sessions, and staying current on industry trends. If you don't know something, ask rather than guess or let it slide by.

Be Responsible

Consistently arrive for work on time, stay for the duration of your shift and be willing to work overtime on occasion. Manage your time wisely to ensure you’re giving your employer a full day of work every day. Don't conduct personal business while on the clock, such as online shopping, personal web-surfing, paying bills or talking to friends and family during work hours.

Be Proactive

Don't wait to be asked to do something. Identify opportunities in your organization to assist others, to bring new ideas to the table, and to take care of tasks and responsibilities that need to be done, regardless of whether they specifically fall under your job description. Offer to take the lead on projects or otherwise contribute in ways that go beyond the bare necessities of your job functions.

Make Your Boss Look Good

Take every opportunity to make your boss look good. For example, if you're putting together a presentation for your boss to deliver to a board, make sure the report is accurate and delivered on time. Compliment your boss to his immediate supervisor and share credit with your boss if you are recognized for your own work product. Never talk poorly about your boss or your company.

Participate in Team Work

Be an active and enthusiastic participant in team activities. Participate in brainstorming sessions, work on group projects and be a supportive colleague. Offer co-workers a helping hand if they are over-worked, need assistance or can use your expertise.

Ask for Feedback

Regularly ask for feedback from your boss and take recommendations and suggestions to heart. Continually look for ways to improve your skills and enhance your job performance. Take advantage of opportunities like executive training, professional development or continuing education. This demonstrates a commitment to the company and to your own professional enrichment.


Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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