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Promotions, opportunities, and big raises generally go to the employees who manage to stand out from their peers. To become one of those people -- an employee who is clearly a leader among equals -- there are a handful of things you can do.
It's not about promoting yourself or saying how great you are. Instead, it's a question of putting in the work to make it clear that you are something special. That's not easy, but it's certainly possible if you are willing to do whatever it takes.
Don't be the kind of employee who watches the clock. Your official hours may be 9-5, but standing out requires that you go above and beyond. Get to work before everyone else, and be one of the last to leave.
That's not to say you should just make a show of working more hours. Instead, use the extra time you spend at work to do more. Be productive while you are at work and people will notice (and appreciate) the extra time you put in.
When your boss asks for volunteers for a project, be the first person who puts a hand up. When a coworker needs help with something, do the same. Build a reputation as someone who is willing to do whatever is needed -- not just for management, but also for any person on the team who needs your help.
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