Career OUTFITS work attire

How To Be The MVP Employee

...coming from someone who has little to zero experience at being one (a whopping 13 months lol ). But even still, I think it’s an interesting topic and one I wanted to try and write about! Plus I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. I think we could get a really cool conversation going in the comments!

flared white pants with gingham wrap top, red heels and red bag, workwear

trendy work outfit with gingham

how to be a great employee 11

gold drop chanel earrings, gingham wrap top

trendy work outfit with gingham

trendy work outfit with gingham

flared white pants with gingham wrap top, red heels and red bag, workwear

ruffle sleeve gingham wrap top detail

flared white pants with gingham wrap top, red heels and red bag, workwear

gingham wrap top, brighton keller short hair

flared white pants with gingham wrap top, red heels and red bag, workwear

ruffle sleeve gingham wrap top detail

ruffle sleeve gingham wrap top detail

gingham wrap top, brighton keller short hair

flared white pants with gingham wrap top, red heels and red bag

When it comes to work, there are two types of people. Those who meet expectations and those who exceed them. The former – those who simply get it done – are great, reliable, hard workers. They meet expectations and complete tasks in a timely manner. All good things obviously. But then there are the latter; those who take things to another level. Who not only get the job done, but go above and beyond. These are the employees that advance in their careers, stick out amongst their peers, and ultimately become almost indispensable.

I don’t work for anyone anymore (since I’m doing the whole full-time blogging thing these days), but I think many of the traits that make an employee indispensable are relevant no matter what position you’re in – whether you’re running the show, starring in it, or working backstage (ha! me and my analogies). As such, I thought it might be an interesting blog post topic that most everyone could find valuable.

Ask for feedback

I wish I knew WHERE I initially heard the phrase: it’s difficult for anyone to operate in a vacuum. But I always replay this in my mind – like several times a week actually (super relevant to my job, life, relationships, etc.). Regardless of which area of life you consider – whether it be work or even relationships, working out, medical treatment, etc. – we need feedback in order to keep moving forward and stay motivated. Without knowing how we’re doing, it’s hard to know how we can do better. Some offices do a really great job at facilitating the feedback loop, but a lot of office environments don’t. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to ask for it yourself!

Take Initiative

I feel like this one goes without saying because doesn’t every one think that this is every bosses dream? To have an employee that can read his/her mind – anticipating needs and taking initiative to get things done without being told to. Talk about an office MVP.

Once you’ve got the hang of your job and responsibilities, try to always be thinking of ways you can be one step ahead of management (or whomever) in making their jobs easier. They’ve got a lot to worry about already (like my old manager had 4 projects he was juggling – #ICouldNever), so anything you can do to make their job more seamless will be GOLD.

Be aware of the bottom-line

In every business, there is revenue, and likewise a bottom-line that can be improved. There’s some kind of product, service, or experience you’re delivering in exchange for monetary value (I’m sure there are exceptions but let’s not go there). The point is that just about every business has some sort of revenue structure sustaining operations (keeping the business going) that YOU and every other employee is a part of.

Being aware of how that works and understanding how your role plays a part in the bigger picture (revenue-generating, specifically) is important. You’ll enjoy your job more because you’ll see the value you’re providing, which will in turn motivate you to do an even better job. Also, if you understand how your responsibilities fit into the business as a whole, then you can anticipate ways to improve and take initiative. I feel like I didn’t explain this very well, but it makes sense right? Basically, try to understand the bigger picture and how you fit into the way the business makes money. Is there a way you can help cut costs? Generate more revenue? Be more efficient with time?

Avoid Spinning Your Wheels

I hadn’t heard this term until I started working as an accountant and just about all my “seniors” (my direct bosses) used it all the time to encourage us to ask questions rather than waste time. Basically, don’t be stubborn (or prideful) and waste valuable time trying to figure something out (making zero progress aka spinning wheels without moving) when you can ask a question. Oh and speaking of asking questions! Be sure to keep them grouped together and instead of interrupting with every question – ask them all at once if you can! That’s probably a dumb tip – but it just popped in my head from the good ‘ole days (ha).

Keep Up with Trends & News in the Industry

I don’t really know what to say about this other than I think it’s important. If you’re going to spend a lot of your time at work doing this thing, you might as well also understand what’s going on in the bigger picture with the industry.

Summarize Progress + Encourage The Feedback Loop

Like I said, I don’t have much experience working for someone but one thing I’ll never forget is an email I got from one of my managers while working on a year-end audit (if you’re new – I was a CPA). And the only way for me to explain this is to toot my own horn.

So let me set this up for you. A year-end audit is a very stressful time for just about everyone. And I’d only been working there for a few months, but it became very clear to me that my manager was juggling a lot. I’m trying to keep this short (very hard), but I realized early on that it was helpful to everyone on the team to know the status of my work – especially everything I was working on without having to ask. So I started an excel spreadsheet on google docs (this is just what worked for us – the concept is what I’m getting at) where I would document all my “tasks” and things I was working on. And if something was on hold – either because I was waiting to hear back from someone, etc. – then I would specify what that was and the date I had done something about it.

Note Your Vibes

I know it’s not realistic to be in a Positive Polly mood all the time, but I DO think it’s important to be aware of how influential our emotional states can be on those around us. There’s something about negativity that really KILLS things around it – even when it’s surrounded by momentum and positivity. I don’t know what it is, but negative energy is contagious. That being said, it’s really important to try and keep a positive attitude (yet also realistic of course) at the office. I called this “note your vibe” because I really feel like positive people have a certain “vibe” to them that rubs off on people – and others enjoy working with you too.

Voice Your Opinion

Obviously, there is a time and place to do this and the appropriateness of expressing you opinion will depend on a number of factors. But I do think it’s important to encourage you to make an effort to express your viewpoint or opinion on things you feel strongly about – even when you disagree. Some of the best blog post ideas (or projects, etc.) have come from conversations Lisel and I have had where she disagreed or gave me lots of push back. This is a good thing! And I respect her for it because I know I can trust her opinion and am able to bounce ideas off of her while I’m still in the “massaging-it-out” stage (ha if that makes sense?). Anyway, I think having an opinion is really important in the work place – especially when you’re able to articulate it confidently.

Don’t Wait for Work

If you run out of things to do, don’t wait for work to come to you. Be active and forward thinking in making the most out of your time and your position/responsibilities. It’s easy to check things off a list – anyone can do that. Instead, think about ways you can anticipate needs and take initiative (like I mentioned above).

Again, it’s easy to follow instructions and do what you’re told, but it’s going to REALLY stand out if you’re someone who goes the extra mile and initiates. Most employees will meet expectations (if they want to keep their job), but the BEST employees will continue to exceed them. And that hard work will never go unnoticed – no matter what industry you’re in!

Now let’s chat!

What did you think?! Did you find this article helpful and/or motivating to ramp up your MVP employee game? Or even if you don’t work for someone, I still think just about ALL of these concepts/skills/tips could be applied to work in general and even relationships in general. Let’s chat in the comments below – would love to hear your initial thoughts or what stuck out to you!

Outfit Details: Gingham Wrap top (wearing size XS – checkout how the model tied her bow, it looks SO much better than how I did lol) // Cropped Pants // Heels // Sunglasses // Chanel Earrings c/o Switch (I talked about them in this post)

Photos: Angie Garcia Photography

You Might Also Like

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Macy
    August 14, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Alternatively, I think it would be neat for you to write about being a good “boss” or leader as well. Ex: Lead by example not rule, be patient with your employees when they ask questions, be a mentor/allow your employees to grow (don’t withhold teaching them or sharing information to put yourself ahead), be positive & understanding. We spend so much of our time at work, being surrounded by good coworkers is so important!

  • Reply
    Amber Hluchan
    August 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I’m about to reach my first year work anniversary post law school – I think the point that stands out to me most right now is note your vibes. It’s the biggest thing that bothers me about my current work environment… the negative Nancy’s can really bring the whole team down. I also think it’s important to prioritize your goals and constantly reassess. I am by no means in my dream job right now, but I am at my dream company. So for me, taking the time to evaluate my future goals helps me be a better asset in the role I’m currently in even when I don’t love it everyday.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    August 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I really enjoyed this article and it gave me lots of tips, thank you writing it. In a year I will be starting my accounting job and have hopefully passed all four parts of the CPA so this article was very applicable to my life because of your experiences. I am “new” to your blog so I was unaware of your past until this article. It has certainly got me thinking about how to be successful and my best self in the work environment.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 11, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I found this article really interesting! I am about to be a freshman in college- I know I want to be a bussiness major but I also want to specialize in something like accounting, finance or HR! I found these tips very applicable to my future life (if that made sense) lol so thanks Brighton!

  • Reply
    Julianne
    August 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I’m starting a public accounting job in September & I’ve been out of commission for a year and a half at home with my baby – so this really motivated me and got me thinking about how to kill it once I start.

    • Reply
      Julianne
      August 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Also, how do you feel about open toe heels at work in the accounting industry?? Love the look with the Ann Taylor pants, but LSUCIA engraved in my brain that I have to wear closed toe in order to be professional!!

  • Reply
    Alecia
    August 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Love your blog!! Would love to see from you:
    1. What to wear to work (sitting all day in an office in uncomfortable clothes is the WORST, how can we look professional but be comfortable?)
    2. Online shopping- what do you look for? Fabric types? Sizing? Etc so you’re not constantly returning
    3. How do you get and stay involved in your community?

  • Reply
    Tori
    August 11, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I start working for KPMG Dallas in audit this fall so this was definitely applicable… especially your tip about the excel spreadsheet to keep track of tasks. Thank you so much for all the tips!!

  • Reply
    Ray
    August 11, 2017 at 6:55 am

    All the great tips you shared and I can’t stop looking at that Gucci purse..

    http://www.underaytedray.co.uk

  • Reply
    Nicolette
    August 11, 2017 at 1:38 am

    I’m a bit of (as majorly) a workaholic and so I’m always looking for something to do. My bosses in the past have always appreciated me taking the initiative to get more things done. Another great tip I’ve read before is to not say negative things about coworkers. If your coworker is a lazy idiot, odds are everyone else already knows it, making it unnecessary to come off as negative. People usually remember negativity before positivity.

    Nicolette | http://www.nicolette.co

  • Reply
    Paige Harvey
    August 10, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Love following your blog/insta! (I bought the Big Sexy Hair Volume Powder, because you’re my hair spirit animal.) I love the work-related blog in the mix! If you want to include more work related blog stuff I thought I would let you know that I work for a small woman-owned HR and Recruitment company in Austin called we.moxie. Would love to help or partner with you if you want to explore more! Check out our blog at wemoxie.com/blog! Thanks for being such an authentic blogger!

  • Reply
    Alecia
    August 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Note your vibes = 🙌🏼 Couldn’t agree more with that one.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    August 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    These are great. I would add
    – promote yourself it’s ok to brag about what you have accomplished; it a ok to say I vs we
    – network, network, network
    – always think about your “brand”, what does it say about you, your boss, your organization and your company

  • Reply
    Madison Carson
    August 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I don’t work (#momlife) but I think these are good tips for dealing with people in general! So enjoy reading your blog because it’s not just fashion (love your vulnerability and willingness to be transparent about your life!) You’re a blessing to many because of that!

    • Reply
      Amber Hluchan
      August 12, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Girl, we all know #momlife is work too!!

  • Reply
    Michael @ Mile in My Glasses
    August 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I found this so interesting to read! It’s so cool to hear everybody’s opinions about what would put you ahead at work, and I love that we’re more out of a culture of the idea that somebody who is first to arrive, last to leave should necessarily be seen as most valuable. I truly believe that it differs completely based on industry, but someone who is always open, encouraging, hardworking but also calm and well-headed should be seen as the MVP! If only it was like this everywhere, though! Ha! There would probably be a lot less office rows – ha!

    Thanks for the great post Brighton!
    I hope you’ve had a lovely Thursday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

  • Reply
    Brooke
    August 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I think this is all great advice!! The part about not spinning your wheels/knowing when to ask questions is one of the most valuable things I think you can do when you are first starting out in a new job. We just had new hires start at my office and I think I’m going to forward along to them…as well as implement myself!.

    • Reply
      brighton keller
      August 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      lol – forward along to them! BAHAHA. i agree – spinning your wheels is literally the worst! I was the most annoying first year (always asking questions haha)

  • Reply
    Natali
    August 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I work for myself so I’m my own worst critic, my own worst boss and my own happiness and success creator at the same time. Crazy wheel but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
    You’re looking incredibly chic and so elegant in this outfit! LOVE your top and earrings!

    https://lartoffashion.com/perfect-places-with-lovia/

    • Reply
      brighton keller
      August 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      thanks Natali! Hope you’ve had a great week!

  • Reply
    Kendal
    August 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I definitely agree with all of these! Before I left for the day I made sure to check with my boss to see if there was anything else I could do to help.

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  • Leave a Reply

    Read previous post:
    how to know when you need to slowdown pacsun
    4 Signs It’s Time To Slow Your Roll

    Close