If you want to get ahead on the job, you will have to do more than hard work. To be honest, working hard is an expectation of employers – it’s a given. If you want to get noticed for a promotion or more challenging work, then there are other steps you can take that will move you forward and get the notice you desire.
If you’ve been in your job a while, you might feel like you’ve become part of the furniture, feeling like one in a crowd of not being acknowledged for your contributions. You might see others getting other opportunities but you are passed over.
There are a many ways, big and small, that you can do to get noticed in the office and put the “zing” back in your career:
Don’t sit back and wait to be allocated work. Volunteer for projects and become known as someone who won’t shirk responsibility.
Take the initiative and do what needs to be done, without waiting to be asked to do it. This can include serving on committees or helping out at events the company puts on/participates in. Being visible will get you noticed, not to mention showing off your skills.
Building relationships goes a long way in making you a familiar and likable person in the office. Make an effort to talk to people and find points of connection, whether it’s sport, pets or kids. Greet colleagues when you arrive and leave the office. Talk to people in the lunch room. Chat before meetings.
Work relationships are an important part of job satisfaction and engagement; they make coming to work more enjoyable and feeling like part of the team, both in your department and in the organization overall.
3. Be positive
Don’t be the person who always sees problems. Be the person who focuses on solutions. There will always be people who see faults or be critical. No one wants to be around a ‘Debbie-downer,’ or one others don’t want to be around.
The more positive in your outlook, which includes times when challenges arise, you will stand out by being one of the cheerleaders and a team player.
4. Steer your career
You can take control and be proactive in setting and achieving your career goals. Have a defined idea of where you want to go and when. Set your timetable for promotion and not someone else’s. You can build in skills development, networking and project positioning around your requirements as needed.
Learn all you can about the job you want so you know if your skills match and where you need to up-level them, or if any certifications are needed. Setting stretch goals for where you want to go will lead to getting them.
5. Be a good teammate
Make sure you do your best to help the team operate as one and do what needs to be done to get the job done. Help set up the room for the product launch or presentation, offer to proofread reports, and don’t talk about them behind their back. Be open and public in your support for your colleagues and your manager. Including staying late or taking over someone’s work when needed.
Think of the team’s needs – we don’t work in silos so looking at the end-result of the work will result in goal achievement and unite the team.
6. Network in good faith
Good networking is not a ruthless process of collecting people who will advance your career. Enjoy your networking by grounding it in kindness. Be nice to people because it feels good and oils the wheels of working together. Think of connecting laterally as well as upwards. You never know where colleagues or contacts will end up. They may be in a position one day to remember that you were the person who helped them clean up after a meeting or got the audiovisual equipment to work or called them a cab when they were in a hurry.
If you’re looking to transfer to a different department or move up into another role, start networking with employees in those areas, including the managers. You will not only make good connections but will be fresh on their minds when opportunities arise – you never know if you might be seeing them on the other side of an interview desk.