How to shine at work without burning out

Getting ahead in any career can be a challenge and being the boss' superstar employee sometimes seems impossible, but Consumer Reporter Sorboni Banerjee gathered some experts who say there are ways to become a top performer and get noticed by the top brass.

If you want to be a star performer, you need to have alignment.

Kristen Sherry wrote a book on it - “YouMap: Find yourself. Blaze Your Path. Tell the World” - and then started a company based on the book's principles. Her goal is to help people figure out their strengths, their values, their preferred skills, and their personality - all in an effort to shine at work.

Sherry launched YouMap after finding herself unhappy in corporate America. She says if your career doesn't align with your values - it's a nonstarter.

“Someone can be a star employee, but [if they are] using burnout skills, eventually they will burn out,” she explained.

Simon T. Bailey is a customer service consultant who wrote "Be the Spark." His research uncovered customer loyalty often comes from a single factor.

“There was a man or woman who was a spark for that brand, that connected with that customer - emotionally,” explained Bailey, of how customers interact during shopping experiences.

So how do you become the spark?

Bailey says, “[creating] a human moment, through eye contact, a 'hello,' going the extra inch," will always help you stand out for customers, fellow employees, and higher-ups.

Basically, Bailey says, happiness shows.

To make sure you're on the right track at work, Sherry says to ask yourself this: “What are the times I felt most happy and fulfilled in my life and what was it about those things that made me fulfilled and drill down to the values? Were you growing, was there empathy, accountability, and align your life to that.”

Your career may not be your life, but becoming a spark could lead to better living, more money, and workplace change.

As Bailey says, “when you hire someone who is the spark - you ignite a blaze.”