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In the busy and fast moving environment that is the modern workplace, it can sometimes be tough to make any kind of impression on your manager. Anyone who is ambitious will have to make themselves stand out from the crowd but there is a careful line that needs to be followed.
Of course you want to do your best and impresss, but no one, and that includes managers, is impressed by people who spend all their time trying to earn brownie points at the expense of others. We can't all get that promotion or pay rise every time but I have long believed that people who are prepared to put in the extra effort and commitment will be rewarded sooner or later.
(Read more: Ten British startups with super-fast growth rates)
Here are three ways that you can try and make an impression in the office.
Go the extra mile
It might seem obvious but there really is no replacement for enthusiasm and commitment.
Managers are always on the look out for people who are prepared to put in the effort because every enthusiastic individual can make all the difference in terms of morale and productivity.
Remember that every single employee has to justify their cost in terms of value added, so going above and beyond the call of duty increases yours. There is no big secret to doing so - it's all about having the right attitude. An enthusiastic approach to work makes a huge difference to the way you are viewed as an employee.
(Read more: Ten brilliant British entrepreneurs under 30)
Show some initiative
There is nothing worse for a manager than having to hold people's hands and do all their thinking for them. In reality, showing a lack of initiative is simply just another form of laziness. It's far easier to sit there doing nothing to seize control of a task.
As an employer I would expect any employee of mine to be able to think for themselves when a situation or issue arises. The character of a business is always going to be a reflection of the people who work for it so it makes perfect sense to employ creative and flexible individuals.
Have an opinion
Of course, you have to pick the right time and the right moment but there is nothing wrong with speaking up as and when the situation demands it. Once again there is a fine line between speaking your mind and being disrespectful, but employers will always appreciate people who are prepared to be honest and candid in a constructive and positive way.
(Read more: For small businesses, 'tis the season of survival)
A good manager will want to listen to staff; after all they are the ones who understand better than most how well the operation is performing. If you want to get noticed it's always better to speak up rather than to take the safe option and shrink into the background.
This article first appeared on James Caan's LinkedIn blog. Caan is one of the U.K.'s most successful entrepreneurs.