11 signs you’re a stellar employee — even if it doesn’t feel like it

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Are you a stellar employee?
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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

Most people don’t want to get cocky. That’s why it can be difficult to identify yourself as a standout worker.

Of course, you don’t want to be arrogant, but it’s also important to know your worth. Requesting feedback is a good idea, but, depending on your circumstances and your boss’ managerial style, this can sometimes be difficult to do.

How, then, can you tell if you’re just doing OK, or killing it at work?

Here are 11 subtle signs that you’re actually an exemplary employee:


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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

You get along great with your colleagues

Not only are you a delight to be around in the office, you’re an awesome team player. Plus, this probably means that you’re a great fit for the culture of your organization.


You’re honest

Good bosses love workers with integrity. You’re forthright with your boss and colleagues. You speak frankly and candidly. Most importantly, you don’t stoop to using nefarious means to get ahead.

In organizations with toxic cultures, honesty may be overlooked – it might even get you in trouble. But when you’re in a company with a strong, ethical grounding, honesty tends to pay off in the long run.


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Broadwaycom/Youtube

You’re constantly improving yourself

In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hit “Hamilton,” the titular Founding Father ascends to great heights by virtue of never being satisfied. (This drive also gets him into a bit of trouble, but let’s just ignore that for now.)

At a certain point, most of us settle for good enough. Truly stellar employees are never quite content. They’re constantly learning new things, trying new approaches, and striving to work smarter. They’re a bit restless and always seeking to improve themselves.


You hold yourself accountable

Again, in a workplace without integrity, doing this might be a bit of a disadvantage. But if you’ve got a decent boss, holding yourself accountable and taking on responsibility will likely go over well.


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Mark Hillary/Flickr

You’re reliable

You’re not flashy. You’re like clockwork. You say you’re going to do something, and you do it right every time. You’re trustworthy and dependable, which makes you invaluable on important projects.


You rise above office politics

In corporate America, no one is 100% immune to office politics. Learning to navigate your workplace is an important part of succeeding at your job. (Unfortunately, too often this takes precedence over actually being good at your job.)

However, if you’re one of those people who can successfully sail through potentially contentious workplace situations without ever getting mired in the drama, that’s a good sign.


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Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

You mentor others

If others are looking to you for guidance, you can rest assured that they already see you as an excellent worker. You’re so good at your job that not only are you successful on your own, but you’re able to reach out and help others succeed as well.


You’re proactive

You don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do. You go out, find problems, and then work to discover solutions. This allows you to seize each and every day.


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Nationaal Archief/Flickr

You speak out

Effective communicators make for dream employees. You don’t bottle things up, and you express yourself clearly. That’s an important skill.


You finish what you start

Ambition and imagination are nothing without perseverance. You might have plenty of great ideas and plans, but if you don’t finish any projects, you’ll never be a standout worker.

Managers love people who communicate what they intend to do – and then actually go out and do it.


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Capture The Uncapturable/Flickr

You’re a conscientious person

As Business Insider previously reported, being nice is good, but it won’t always get you ahead in the workplace. Employees who get noticed tend to be conscientious – characterized by being hardworking, persevering, orderly, and hungry for achievement.

Coming into work every day with a positive, conscientious attitude will allow you to establish yourself as a model employee.