09/23/2013 09:37 am ET Updated Nov 23, 2013

5 Ways to Get Noticed for all the Right Reasons

Being smart about your connections with others can have a real impact on your success in the workplace. Whether you are trying to get hired, make the most of your network, or make work feel more meaningful, these steps will help you stand out of a crowd and tap into your own potential for growth.

1. Find a way to support someone in exchange for their time and attention

Making real connections is so much more than exchanging contact information and fading into the background. Look for ways to provide high value, asking the right questions and looking for how you can contribute to their success as well. Don't wait to establish relationships until you need a favor. Build relationships built on mutual support and value from the beginning.

2. Tell your personal story

Being open about your story and values helps you make stronger connections with others and develops real, lasting relationships. Feeling afraid about being honest about yourself is natural, but limits your potential relationships with others and keeps them from better understanding you as a person and a partner.

3. Make the most of your day

Life is about commitment, connection to outrage, hope, and a belief that you can make a difference. Limiting yourself because you don't have enough time could mean that you aren't making the most of the time you have. Make good use of your energy, and learn to say 'no' when saying 'yes' is doing a disservice to someone else and yourself.

4. Balance passion and skill

Find a mix in your work life of what you are good at and what you love. Blending passion and skill is important for building a balanced career you enjoy. It's easy to end up working at what you do best, rather than what you love most. But looking for opportunities to do both can lead to a future where those skills translate to passion and success with less compromise.

5. Respect the time of others

Everyone is busy, and wants to feel like others are respecting their time. Make each conversation count and communicate as efficiently as you can. Be direct about what you want from them in your emails and conversations, be succinct in your introductions, and ask what you can offer them in return. Be intentional with your contact and look for getting a commitment from people rather than asking for favors.

Check out the author's new slideshare: How to Get Noticed, Get Hired or Get Just About Anything You Want