Time to enhance your career?
If you're the employee who has been passed over for a promotion more than once and who is never the go-to person when your boss is under a tight deadline, then now's the time to take steps to raise your profile.
While some organisations may still be reducing the size of their work force, others are looking for new leaders to help guide them through the economic recovery. You don’t need to show off about your on-the-job achievements in order to get noticed, however increasing your visibility does require some self-promotional savvy.
Following are some strategies and tactics to help you increase your visibility at work:
Know your strengths & weaknesses
Before you seek ways to promote yourself, take an honest look at your professional abilities. Although you should strive to address any weaknesses, pay particular attention to improvements that could help you perform your job better or add value to the firm. Perhaps there's a regular need for individuals in your team to send out reports to other departments or outside clients. Improving your writing skills could help you take on some of these responsibilities.
It's also useful to know your strengths so you can seek out opportunities to use them and eventually build a reputation as an expert in a certain area. For example, do you have strong organisational skills? Volunteer to set the agenda, plan activities and take notes for an important meeting between your department and regional counterparts who are flying in for the gathering. If you're not sure what your strengths and weaknesses are, ask your line manger or colleagues you regularly work with.
Consistently convey your value
If you work tirelessly behind the scenes but shy away from the spotlight, it's time to take centre stage. Simply putting your head down and quietly doing quality work might not be enough in today's operating environment. Your lack of visibility may simply be the result of a poor public relations effort on your part, therefore it’s vital to promote yourself to your line manager and senior employees on a regular basis.
There are multiple ways to increase your status, but consider preparing a regular report that details your key tasks and contributions, that you can present to your manager at appraisals or touch-base meetings. Also be sure to quantify your contributions, linking your efforts to any positive impact they have had on the bottom line.
Don't be a wallflower
Do you ever sit in meetings and feel like you can’t participate in the discussion? Before you attend meetings, review the agenda and look for areas where you can provide input on the topics at hand. Don't be shy about offering your ideas or thoughts with the rest of your team.
You might also seek opportunities to make presentations at upcoming meetings, such as giving an overview of your department's duties during new-hire orientations or outlining your team's product idea to company executives.
Look for cost cutting measures
All companies continue to look for ways to save and cut costs. Do you have a suggestion for helping your firm accomplish this goal? For example write a brief document containing your idea and an overview of how you would implement it to your line manager. You will position yourself as cost-conscious and committed to the company's success.
Everyone has been in meetings where silence greets the person asking for volunteers for a particular project. But taking on extra tasks outside your primary duties, especially those that no one else seems to want, is a good way to increase your visibility. You'll show that you're a valuable collaborator and be able to strengthen or enhance your skill set.
Also, be on the lookout for cross-departmental projects. Participating in these initiatives is an excellent way to build recognition throughout the company and expand your base of internal contacts.
Internalise your networking
Many professionals think of networking only in terms of developing outside connections. But expanding your reach within your own firm is just as critical. Strive to establish strong relationships with colleagues throughout your workplace. Sign up for cross-departmental initiatives, attend company-sponsored events, and generally endeavour to be an outgoing and helpful team player.
As the saying goes, people like to work with people they like. The more allies you have in your company, the better your chances of keeping your job.
Strive for promotion
Increasing your visibility won't happen overnight. With the right approach, however, you can steadily build awareness of your contributions.
Take steps to continue learning, pursue new challenges both inside and outside the company, and get involved in team and company activities. You know that you deserve a promotion, but you'll be better positioned for professional advancement when others know your expertise and abilities.