Hustle culture is when a workplace places an intense focus on productivity, ambition, and success, with little regard for rest, self-care, or any sense of work-life balance. Gen Z’ers are every bit more ambitious (and even more anxious) than the overworked millennials before them, but they’re redefining what success looks like between work and life. We’re offering five ways to stand out amongst your colleagues that don’t threaten your work-life balance.

Actively listen. Active listening is a practice worth perfecting. Being an active listener could set you apart from your colleagues as it seems to be few and between. When someone is speaking, whether it be someone presenting in a meeting, your boss during your review, or your colleague, the number one rule is eye contact. If you are not making eye, contact it can be assumed you are not listening. You should also be active in the conversation, reiterating key points the speaker is making, and is applicable, offering your own feedback, and keeping the conversation moving in a productive direction. If you are not making eye contact or being actively involved in the conversation the only answer is that you probably don’t care about the information being given and the person speaking to you may refrain from including you in the future.

Adapt. The direction you are moving in on Monday may not be the direction you are moving in on Tuesday, so remain adaptable. Remember it’s a good thing if you are being tasked more frequently as whoever is tasking you is likely doing so because they know you are capable of completing the work. Be open to constructive criticism and new ways of doing things as it can likely enhance your performance and make you stand out amongst your peers. A new solution to a problem is just another tool under your belt and your goal day in and day out should be for your tool belt to be locked and loaded!

Take initiative. One way to make yourself stand out as a star employee is not only finding new and improved ways of completing tasks but when you have achieved completion of said tasks, asking for more work. Nobody will be impressed if you can finish X, Y, and Z in half the time it took Joe to do it if you spend the rest of the day twiddling your thumbs. Take the initiative in asking your colleagues if they need help or better yet, ask your boss for additional work. This will show them that you are eager to learn and do more and may keep you at the forefront of their mind for that upcoming promotion. Learn as much as you possibly can and keep your mind open to learning from every person you come across. You never know what lessons will stick with you and help you out in future endeavors.

Be resilient. Remember that every employee, yes, I mean every employee, makes mistakes. Do not let anyone tell you that they have completed each task to perfection since the day they started in their role because they are lying. We are human, we make mistakes. Honestly, if you’re not making mistakes, you are likely also not learning and advancing. Anybody can play by the book, but it’s those who make mistakes and put changes in place to refrain from making the same mistake again who will achieve greatness.

Stay up to date on trends. Focusing on not only key industry trends but also new and improved software systems can greatly help you stay ahead of your competition. Taking online courses or reading up on new trends in your industry is a great way to stay on top and potentially present your findings to your employer to improve the efficiency of operations. Knowing these new systems can greatly improve your chances of leading a new project or assisting with the implementation of said software into your company.

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