We tend to think that landing a job is a science: if you combine all the right skills and do all the right things at all the right times, you'll be accepting an offer to your dream job in no time.

It's easy to accept this fallacy when so much is at stake, like your livelihood and professional ambitions. However, if you truly want to get ahead in your career and finally start making some bold moves, you'll find that sometimes you need to break the rules. Here are four unexpected behaviors of superstar employees:

1. They make their involvement in the company personal.

People often warn you not to bring your personal life to work, or not to take your work personally. And in some cases, this is often great advice: the nitty gritty details of your romantic relationships or your personal struggles likely won't offer anything positive or productive to your workplace.

However, that doesn't mean you should completely disconnect your personal self from your professional self. The best employees are able to align the company's vision and mission with their own personal vision and mission. This alignment will help you stay motivated and invested in your work.

2. They are willing to reject a job they're interviewing for.

Exceptional workers know that landing a job is not just about impressing your interviewers and trying to mold yourself into what you think they're looking for. It's about finding the right fit--where your skills and expertise match the job requirements, and the job is in line with your career goals and aspirations.

Superstar hires are not afraid to let their potential employers know when a job might not actually be a good fit. Instead, they open up the conversation and communicate clearly the role they envision for themselves in the company. Employers typically welcome these types of interactions, because it signals the employee's strong dedication to professional outcomes.

3. They focus on company culture first, then their customers.

The age-old mantra "The customer is always right!" perfectly captures the long-held view that the customer must always be the absolute number one priority for successful businesses.

However, there is a new paradigm of work that is proving to be quite successful: people-first leadership. In this approach to leadership, managers--and employees at all levels, for that matter--shift the focus to taking care of the people within the company. The idea is that when your own people are happy, supported, and in a safe environment to develop professionally, they will be in a position to provide even better customer care.

4. They approach a job that isn't a great fit as an opportunity.

Unfortunately, not all of us are in our dream jobs. However, the best employees don't use their current situation as an excuse to complain or underperform. They see these times of frustration as opportunities for career breakthroughs.

If you take the right approach, you can use the job that isn't right as a springboard for discovering what truly interests you, building your confidence for the job seeking process, gaining new experience, and so much more.

Published on: Nov 9, 2016