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How to Become an Extraordinary Employee and Get Higher Pay

Updated on April 25, 2012
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

Everyone want more of this.
Everyone want more of this. | Source

The truth is the secret to becoming an extraordinary employee is not a secret. In fact, there are no secret formulas to use. If there is anything you need to learn from reading this it’s using your common sense that makes the difference. Unfortunately, it’s not as common as one would think.

There are employees who stand out and there are those who stand out for the wrong reason. Obviously you want to be remembered as the good one. But being good is not our objective here. You want to be extraordinary.

All of my employers agree that no one is indispensable. They are correct. If you’re not worth anything to the company, why even bother to keep you? There is no such thing as security of tenure especially if your performance is mediocre.

The Pareto Principle or the 80-20 principle suggests that 80% of the outputs are generated by only 20% of the workforce. Now, are you among the 20%? If not, you need to do something fast. Here are some of the secret steps that are actually not a secret.

How much effort are putting into your job?
How much effort are putting into your job? | Source

Do your job

Does this sound straightforward enough? This is a fundamental step in becoming extraordinary and getting higher pay. More than just being busy (or looking busy – there’s an art to this), you need to be productive. You were hired to do something, so go to work and accomplish it.

Let’s break it down further

  • Know your key results areas and key performance indicators
  • Identify your position’s responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Know what tasks you need to accomplish
  • Learn how your position fits in the grand scheme of things

I hear a lot of employees ranting about how much work they have. Little do they know that they should be thankful that the company still trusts them to accomplish tasks. Getting continuously diminishing work load is usually the calm before the big good bye.


Organize your life

Congratulations, you’ve reached this part. It only means you’re interested in being extraordinary and/or getting higher pay.

As highlighted above, doing your job is unavoidable if you want to standout and get a raise. The pivotal idea here is being productive. But exactly how do you do that? The simple answer is to organize your life. When you organize your life you accomplish more. Likewise, when you accomplish more, you build credibility and trust.

Let’s break it down further

  • Set goals and targets
  • Prioritize your work
  • Clean your desk, less clutter, less distractions
  • Balance work and rest – a sick employee is not productive

The more you organize, the easier it is to juggle work and your private life. Likewise, you get to accomplish more without getting derailed often.


Innovate even the mundane

A hallmark of an extraordinary employee is efficiency. This means finding new ways to improve even the mundane work. By improving turnaround time, increasing output or refining quality employees add value to their work and to themselves. Innovation will not just help you improve your work; it can help the whole organization.

Let’s break it down further

  • Suggest ways to improve your work
  • Think out of the box
  • Master your workflow to pinpoint areas of improvement
  • Learn about other departments and their processes
  • Know how your work affects other departments and processes
  • Expand your knowledge and skills
  • Learn the best practices from other companies and industries

More than just making your work easier, innovating shows you are concerned about the company’s processes. Likewise, it underscores your creativeness to find improvements where no one else saw.

How much can you handle?
How much can you handle? | Source

Expand your competencies and skills

How much you know and how much you can do is important in performing at your peak. Likewise, your potential to grow in the company increases when you have relevant knowledge and skills. The more you can contribute to the company the higher your value.

Let’s break this down further

  • Learn the necessary skills and knowledge in your field
  • Take additional lessons to update yourself
  • Learn from more experienced employees
  • Ask questions to broaden your perspective
  • Take note of feedbacks from superiors and co-workers

Add value to your self through additional learning. There are numerous online trainings that are free. Also, attend workshops, trainings and seminars that will help deepen and broaden your expertise.


Have a productive attitude and habits

Many employees are hired because of their knowledge and skills. In fact, competencies are integral in the hiring employees. However, many are let go because of poor attitude and habits. As such, an exemplary employee not only exhibits knowledge and skills, but he/she must possess exemplary attitude and habits.

Let’s break this down further

  • Exhibit professionalism at all times
  • Show discipline
  • Have a Win-Win attitude
  • Have a positive disposition
  • Show respect
  • Apply the company’s corporate values on a daily basis
  • Help others
  • Foster positive relationships in the office

The right mindset facilitates in productivity. In addition, it cultivates positive relationships.

Employees may not be indispensable. However, they can be seen as valuable assets to the company. Once you’ve consistently proven your worth, the company will take note of your effort and more importantly your contribution. As harsh as it may sound, employees are investments of the company. Increasing your worth to the company means increasing your value.

if you are more valuable to the company, they will invest more on you.

Quick Queries

  • What have you done to improve your competencies and skills?
  • Is your company helping you improve your competencies and skills?
  • Do you think your skills and knowledge are still relevant?
  • How important do you think you are to your company?


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 2 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there erorantes

      I am glad you like the hub. I've met different types of employees and not all have a positive take on employment. I believe that we can always make things better especially at work.

      Thank you for the kind words and the visit. see you around.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your article about working the correct and positive way. It is a fact and true way of getting things done for any kind of task. Thank you for reminding how to get to finish work with a positive mind. I love your hub mister jpcmc.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Dennis, Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 5 years ago

      Interesting hub. I tweeted and pinned.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello services4all. It's nice that you find value in the hub. Of course everyone wants a higher salary. But one must prove his worth before any company can give it. A resume can give a good idea of one's knowledge and skills. However, one's attitudes and habits play a vital role in the long run. Thanks for reading and sharing your ideas. See you around.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Nice to see you again BusinessTime. I'm currently working on how to pop the salary bump question. :) Thanks for dropping by.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      HI there MelChi. I appreciate the kind words. I just hope more people realize the importance of becoming an extraordinary employee. Good performance can be rewarded with higher pay. Thanks for dropping by.

    • services4all profile image

      services4all 5 years ago from U.S.

      this is really great hub it will help us a lot. Everyone needs to get handsome salary. the topic you have chosen is really fantastic.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 5 years ago from Twin Cities

      This is great, thanks! Once all of this is in place, do you have any hot tips on actually popping the question?

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      What a great breakdown of ways to improve your production (and attitude) at work, thanks! :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there yvonne16. It's nice you found this hub useful. It does make a difference if we perform better. With the right strategies, we can become extraordinary employees and get highr pay. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your ideas.

    • yvonne16 profile image

      yvonne16 5 years ago from Phillipines

      really great hub! reminds me that today I became an Extraordinary contractor as my client just sent me a bonus and increased my hourly rate for a hard worked I've done for him! thanks for the additional tips and i will definitely follow these to satisfy more of my clients and boss...