In our ever-changing business
environment, how do you stand out amongst your IT peers? Below are tips
that I hope will help you get started down the right path. If you form these
habits properly, they will transcend the workplace and flow into your personal
life as well.

1. Evaluate your present position

In Robert Greene’s book The 33 Strategies of War, he explains that “…seeing things as they are…”
is a key component in any successful strategy. So, the first step in planning
for the upcoming year is to assess yourself honestly and make a change where
there is weakness, confusion, and self-doubt.

2. Give solutions, not complaints

There are always problems at
work; fortunately, problems come with opportunities. You should focus on the
problem rather than the hype and then map out solutions as a result of what you
see, taking into account all of the circumstances that caused the issue (be
sure to integrate tip #1 into this process). When you present your solutions, you’ll
be perceived as a problem-solver, and this could open more doors for you in the

3. Be strategic with project tasks

You should see every task as
being part of a larger project or goal — in short, look beyond your assignment
and at the big picture. As you break down projects into manageable parts, try
to foresee what could go wrong at each step. If something arises that was not
accounted for, respond accordingly, taking into account the present situation
and compensating/eliminating the emotional reaction. By seeing things as they
are and not just how they appear, you’ll separate yourself from those who

4. Serve others

If you’re a manager, you should serve
employees who report to you by providing them with the resources they need to
succeed. This can range from good communication and trust (the antithesis of
micromanagement) to actual tools they use in their work. In doing so, you
enable each one of them to successful, which in turn leads to your success.

The same concept applies to
working with clients; you should serve them in their expectations, and be
honest at each stage of their prospective campaigns. When you support others to
whom you are dependent, you also empower them and support yourself in the

5. Create opportunities for yourself

Every industry has questions that
need answering, so you find ways to answer them — even if it means creating
the project for yourself. This will show others where opportunities lie, and it
will create a lasting competitive edge for yourself and the company. Contrary
to popular, we are all responsible for what we do and don’t do, the latter
becoming a regret. You can create opportunities, even where none appear to