Our jobs aren’t just places we go to put in some hours, return home, and get paid once a month. They’re extensions of ourselves, and as such, it’s important that we throw ourselves into our positions with all the gusto and enthusiasm we can muster. However, while your career success is mostly down to your own efforts, it also depends on the people around you and above you in the office. In other words, if you want to get ahead, then you need to be noticed while you’re at work. If you feel like you’re constantly being overlooked, or that you don’t really feel a part of your working environment, then read on below. Your future success may depend on.
Act Like You Belong
No-one truly has a deep understanding of what they’re doing. Everyone is making it up as they go along; the ones that get ahead are the ones who can do so with confidence. So the first step to getting noticed is to stop second guessing yourself, and believe that you belong to your company. While there will always be a bedding in a period when you start a new job, eventually you’ll need to step up and believe in what you’re doing. No-one’s going to come along and give you the key to success. Simply act like success is coming your way, and invariably you will.
Look the Part
The actual mechanics of what your job entails is only a small part of what you need to bring to work. There are things too, like turning up on time, showing people that you care about your work, and looking the part. This last one, in particular, is vastly underrated when it comes to getting noticed. A well-groomed person that wears high-quality corporate wear will go further than someone with unbrushed hair, and who wears the same battered old shoes for years on end. Take pride in your appearance; a lot of people’s perception of success comes down to how much care a worker takes in their look. As the adage goes, don’t dress for the job you have, but the job that you want to have.
Contribute to Discussions
Yes, meetings might seem boring, but if you have them, then it’s for a reason. When you’re invited to a meeting, it’s not so that you can be an innocent observer; it’s so that you can make a contribution, and potentially have an input on the direction of the company. What you say doesn’t need to be earth-shattering, and there’s no point going overboard by driving home a half-baked idea. But when you have something to say – and if you’re invested in your work, then you will – then speak up and say it. Employers like to see that their staff are engaged, after all.
Be Open to Criticism
Getting noticed at work is all about communication. Giving it, but also receiving it; for example, as when criticism is given. If you’re one of those people – and they’re not uncommon – that closes up when criticism is given, then you’ll find it difficult to establish the kind of relationship you need with your superiors. On the other hand, if you can take constructive feedback as it’s intended, then you’ll develop a reputation for being open to development and improving your work. You’ll get noticed if you do the opposite, too, of course, but for the wrong reasons.
Own Your Work
If you work at a large company, then it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re just a cog in a bigger machine. You may perform your work on autopilot, doing the bare minimum that’s needed to keep things ticking along. This is the wrong approach! To stand out from the crowd, you need to own your work – that is; treat it as the most important thing in the world. After all, the bigger picture might belong to the company, but that little segment is yours: what does it say about you? If it’s your work; you also have the right to stand up for yourself, make sure that it’s noticed, and so on.
No More Half-Baked Emails
We know, we know, you might have a million and one things to do during your working day. But it’s important that it doesn’t look like you’re trying to leave the office as soon as possible, or that you simply don’t care about your correspondence. As such, make sure you put some effort into your internal communications. It’s a small gesture, but it makes much more of an impact if people can hear your “voice” in your emails rather than sensing that it’s been a quick copy and paste email.
There’s obviously a fine line between “getting to know your colleagues” and “crossing the line,” but still; it’s worth taking the time to break down the working relationship a little bit. Asking about one’s family, for instance, is absolutely fine. If you’re not comfortable with personal chat; then you can also show other friendly gestures, such as offering to get people coffee, help people out with their work, and so on.
And talking about getting to know your colleagues, make sure that you’re involved in the extracurricular activities. People that attend the after work drinks, or the fun out of work activities; are usually the ones that get ahead. You’re going to get noticed much more if you’re a “presence” on the social evenings than if you leave the office the second the clock hits 5 pm.
Stop the Gossip
Everyone gossips, or so people that gossip tell themselves. In reality, the chat usually reflects the gossiper more than it does whoever is being talked about. Ask yourself what you really gain from talking about others; you’ll find that you’re only making yourself feel marginally better, not that it’s actually doing you any good.
Be a Leader
Finally, be a leader! Act like a leader, and you’ll likely be promoted. It’s not just those in control with leadership qualities. Anyone can have them!