When we talk about the future of work, we’re talking about both the management trends that are taking hold of boardrooms and HR departments today, as well as ultimately how the organizational structure of the most innovative and successful companies of tomorrow will look.

But to those whose jobs look pretty much the same today as they did yesterday, they may be wondering what they can do to separate themselves and elevate their personal brand above the status of mere employee. One of my favorite thinkers on the topic is Jacob Morgan, and he has three suggestions for what you can do to stand out from the crowd when your company isn’t necessarily ready to do so.

Be among the first to use any new tools. If there are talks to try out a new online collaborative tool like Slack or another digital project management tool, show your desire to be on the front lines of that experience. Any time there is a new technology to be implemented, being one of the first to become adept at it puts you in a position of leadership you otherwise wouldn’t have the option to be in.

Volunteer for new or experimental projects. The same principle applies to other kinds of new (or unpopular) work as well. Whether it’s some sort of pro bono work or providing a company presence at a local charity or networking event, being the one to step up means that you are going to stand out right away. Just as with the new tools, being an expert in a new area first is something that you can take with you no matter where you go.

Keep learning. Being a committed learner is perhaps one of the greatest advantages an employee can provide him or herself with today. What area you decide to keep learning in is not even the most important issue. It’s that you display a hunger to gain more knowledge, to evolve and grow as a person. This is the kind of person that forward-thinking organizations are looking for.

Would you like to talk more specifically about how you personally can stand out at work or how your company can adapt to the future of work? I’d love to chat with you. Email me directly at scott@doubledareyou.us.

photo credit: New Years Parade via photopin (license)