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Focus on these things to succeed in College Student / Recent Graduate

7 Powerful Words to Make You Stand Out at Work


By Lea McLeod, M.A. , Founder & CEO, Degrees of Transition

Being the new person doesn’t mean you can’t be a standout in the way you conduct yourself in the workplace.

{#/pub/images/7PowerfulWordstoMakeYouStandOutatWork.jpg}As you transition from college to organizational work, you may often feel like the one with the least knowledge and experience.

Here’s something to remember:  You will grow tremendously in your career by helping other people along the way, no matter how young, old or experienced they may be.

There are 7 words that should be a key part of your Fearless Self-Leadership platform – the thing that differentiates you from everyone else. And those 7 words are (drum roll please) …


Yep, that’s it. Not rocket science, is it? Most of the really potent stuff isn’t. It’s about developing a pattern of personal conduct that allows you to grow by helping others along the way.

Here’s what this powerful incantation does for you. Let’s break it down.

  • Specificity. If you ask a vague question, you will get a vague answer. This question invites the respondent to make a specific request you can fulfill.

  • Time bound. You are asking what you can do to help someone, now. Immediacy is implied.

  • Sincerity. It’s a question that says you are genuinely willing to help, exactly because it isn’t vague.

  • Initiative. It demonstrates your ability to proactively make an offer to help where you saw an opportunity to do so.

  • Teamwork. It positions you as a team player, invested in the success of others.

  • Humility.This offer says you are willing to help in whatever manner is needed, even if it means taking on a task you wouldn’t normally do. Humility, by the way, is a highly underrated workplace attribute.

  • Self-Leadership. It shows capability to look outside your scope, and intervene if you see an opportunity to help. You made a call based on the situation around you and the mission at hand. This is what leaders do.

  • Goodwill. Trying to figure out how to work better with a difficult personality in the office? This question extends a metaphorical olive branch.

Here’s the best part.

Picture a frantic situation. There’s a deadline, an angry client, a project that’s due, a last minute fire drill, an emergency of some kind. High stress.

{#/pub/images/FranticSituation.jpg}You use these 7 words in an authentic offer to help someone who appears besieged. You are AMAZINGLY EMPOWERED by making the offer. You GAIN CONFIDENCE in yourself, simply by asking the question. Imagine what will happen when you follow through.

You’ll find many ways in life to genuinely offer your support with these 7 words. (By the way, they work in your business life, AND in your personal life.)

Say them out loud. Practice giving your voice to them. Imbue them with your own authenticity. Practice making the sincere offer. Challenge yourself to find as many situations in all aspects of your life. See what happens.

Have you tried this approach? What happened?

I am passionate about helping college grads feel empowered and confident as they start their careers! Join us on line for more conversation!

{#/pub/images/LeaMcLeod.jpg}Written by Lea McLeod, M.A., Founder & CEO, Degrees of Transition 

Lea works extensively with new grads who are tackling the job search for the first time.  She is a guest speaker, as well as facilitator of the “Find a Job Faster” Job Search Program and “Developing Patterns of Success” Workshop & Webinar series, bringing over 20 years of director level experience, most recently with Hewlett-Packard, managing, leading and serving worldwide employees. She holds a degree in Marketing from St. Bonaventure University, and a Master of Arts in Organization Development from Seattle University.


Do you have a question for Lea?  Post it here in our College Student/Recent Grad Community, she will be happy to help: Ask An Expert 


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ManagingAmericans.com is a community of Business Professionals & Expert Consultants sharing knowledge, success tips and solutions to common job issues.  Our objective is to mentor and develop professionals to be better leaders, managers, team players and individual contributors. Ultimately, helping people succeed in their careers.

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