Get Noticed and Get Ahead at Work
Feel like you’re not getting anywhere at work? Right: the next promotion that comes along is yours! Don’t wait for your boss to notice you: take matters into your own hands and put yourself out there.
Here are our 8 ways to get noticed, get on and get your talents recognized:
1. Take on diverse assignments.
If it seems like the only thing that ever changes about your job is the day of the week, it’s time to ask your boss for “stretch assignments” to enhance your growth. Offer to help with new projects, even ones that fall outside your department. Or, if you have a particular skill that isn’t part of your job description, be on the lookout for opportunities to indulge your other areas of expertise.
2. Put out fires before they start.
Let your boss know as soon as you become aware of a problem or potential problem, and offer possible solutions. This approach shows your boss that you’ve got good judgment and that you’re trying to make his or her life easier by taking an active role in the problem-solving. Making things run more smoothly for your boss is a surefire way to improve your chances of getting a raise or promotion, she adds.
3. Ask questions.
While it may seem like you’re doing your boss a favor by keeping questions to a minimum, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure if you don’t ask for resources that will help you do the best job possible. When you’re given a new assignment, make sure you understand exactly what’s required of you and how to do it. If anything isn’t clear, ask for guidance.
4. Find—and learn from—a mentor.
If you want to increase your visibility start taking notes: Who gets noticed? What is she doing that you can emulate? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Model yourself after someone whose techniques are already working. Once you find a coworker you especially admire, let her know that you’d like to help out if she ever needs assistance with a project, or let your manager know you’re eager to team up with this particular person.
5. Get to the point.
We often over communicate for fear that we’ll leave out important details, but loading down listeners with too much information makes it hard for them to take it all in. The solution? Lead with the punch line. Whether you’re delivering good or bad news, “think about what is new, different or important, and start with that. Don’t make people guess at your meaning or listen to a four-minute voice mail when you could have delivered your key points in half the time.” If there’s time and attention to spare, then you can fill in more details.
6. Take control of your career path.
If you feel like you’re ready for more responsibility at work, meet with your boss to tell her what you’d like to take on while also asking for advice on how you can prepare for this next step. Be long-term focused and couch it in terms of your ability to contribute to the organization in a broader way. If you do a stellar job, you’ll be handed a similar project before you can finish the first one.” Of course, you don’t want to step on any toes, but if you think a project would benefit from extra research, go ahead and do it without being asked, and report the findings to your boss.
7. Mind your attitude.
A good attitude is arguably one of the most important things you bring with you to the job. If you are open-minded and willing to pitch in, or just do what’s asked of you with a smile on your face, people will want to work with and for you. But if there’s a problem that you can’t ignore, instead of griping, be proactive.
8. Tout your accomplishments.
While it’s important to keep your boss informed of your successes, don’t overdo it by sharing every detail. Instead, schedule quarterly discussions to update your manager about what you’ve been working on and a few of the successes you’ve had. Asking to sit down and catch up once a quarter is not too onerous, and any achievements are still relatively recent. Then, when you feel you deserve a raise or promotion, schedule a meeting with your boss in which you recap significant contributions throughout the past year and share what you plan to contribute going forward. If your boss refuses your request after you’ve laid out your case, you need to ask, ‘What do I specifically need to do to get a raise or promotion next time?’.
Find out so that you can meet those goals and make it happen.