Want to raise your profile at work? Follow these ten tips from Highlands Certified Consultant Denise Taylor. It’s time let your superiors and colleagues know your contribution.
1. Too many people do a good job but don’t let people know about it.
When you get positive written feedback from others, be sure to keep it, and circulate the feedback to your senior people. If you get verbal feedback, ask that it be put in writing. Don’t hide your light: let people know what a great job you have done. You can also ask them to write a LinkedIn recommendation.
2. You may be doing a good job but is this really what matters to your boss?
Talk to your boss and find out what is important to him or her, then make sure you can deliver. You want to exceed his or her expectations. Can you draft a report, find out about a topic, or create or improve a system that will save them time?
3. Look beyond your role.
Don’t just do your job — look around and understand the bigger picture. Keep listening to background chat. You might hear about some upcoming changes in the organisation, the hidden agenda telling you what is really going on, or the personal thoughts of the person at the top. Also, read the financial press to see if any company details are being leaked to the press, or get the first sniff of an acquisition or merger. This sort of information can help you sound more knowledgeable than others on a topic, and you can use it to make a suggestion that ties in with the company direction. When you go for promotion, people expect you to be doing a good job in your current role. What they want is someone who can identify broader challenges, and this will help.
4. Keep your boss informed.
Our bosses are not always aware of what we have done — so keep a document with details of the positive feedback you’ve received and also details of what you have achieved through your job — this will really help at appraisal time. For most bosses, managing our careers is not their priority, so make it easy for them to provide a good write-up by providing examples.
5. Think about the impression you give — let’s think about image.
Look and sound as though you should be doing a higher-level job. Wear good quality clothes, carry an expensive briefcase and use a decent pen. You should act like you are already in the role you aspire to be in, so think also about what newspaper you should read, and the topics you can discuss. Don’t brown-nose but do look like you should be in the role you want next.
6. Begin to think like a boss.
The boss doesn’t moan about the volume of work, or that he or she can’t wait for the weekend. Instead, bosses focus on what the customers need and the impact of external events on the company. Change your mind-set so you think in a similar way. This could also help you to work more effectively by focusing on what is important rather than wasting time.
7. Are you clear on your strengths and weaknesses?
Understand what you do well and look for ways to use your strengths. Be aware of the areas which are more developmental and decide if you need to overcome these weaknesses or to find another way of dealing with them. For example, if your proof reading skills are poor, can someone else do it for you? Or is there a class or webinar that can teach you how to do it better?
8. Don’t moan about the job and organisation.
Too many people moan about the job and the organisation. Don’t get sucked into agreeing with these people. Before you know it, a conversation repeated to the boss will include your name as someone who agrees that something is wrong when all you did was stand mutely by.
9. Can you find a niche?
Is there an area you can become more knowledgeable about so people always come to you — perhaps you know a foreign language, can entertain visitors with your knowledge of the local area, or can explain that technical report very clearly. (No one need know you spent several hours the night before preparing your explanation.) By having an area of expertise, you will gain a reputation for your knowledge, and people will seek you out.
10. Don’t be afraid to talk with senior people.
Occasionally, we may find that we are in the presence of a senior manager, perhaps in a lift or in the staff restaurant. If you do see someone sitting alone, go up and say hello and use the time wisely. Don’t ramble, but ask questions about (e.g.) how has your career progressed? Or, how does the recent news about the merger affect the company? You don’t want to talk too much about yourself, but showing yourself as intelligent and interesting may help you to be remembered. Plus, later, you can follow up with an email and send some useful information you have collected.