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If you want to rise in the organization or get a raise, you not only have to do great work, but people have to know you’ve done it. If you are working long hours in seclusion, you’ve probably fallen off the radar. Isn’t it time you get noticed and get promoted?
It’s sort of like the tree falling in the forest. If no one’s around to hear it fall, does it make a sound? Here are five things you can do to help get noticed and promoted.
Visibility is vital to becoming the kind of person who gets promotions, raises, and access to opportunities according to Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. There’s a great article on this on 99U. But, as easy as this sounds, it is often difficult to put into action. Most people feel like talking about success is like bragging. Actually, it about taking credit where credit is due.
Does this sound like brown-nosing, playing politics, and unfair? Look around. Who are the people getting promoted in your organization? You don’t have to sacrifice your integrity. You may have to step outside your comfort zone.
Unsaid Goes Unnoticed
Even well-meaning managers have difficulty tracking the team’s individual achievements. It isn’t that they don’t want to notice, but lack time due to a demanding workload, managing crises, and conflicting priorities. Make it easy for your manager to keep tabs on you by sending a weekly or monthly email update. State what you accomplished in objective, measurable terms. And always try to tie your achievements back to organizational goals or how it benefits the bottom line.
Working long hours or coming in early doesn’t earn you brownie points, especially if no one knows. If you must work overtime, consider choosing a time of day your manager is around. For example, if your manager is an early-bird, plan to do your work in the morning and arrive early in the day. You may even want to swing by your manager’s office and say a quick ‘good morning.’
Taking on a highly visible project is another way to gain exposure. Look for opportunities to take on an assignment that holds potential for visibility, such as work on a new product or service, revamping a process impacting the company or even a company-sponsored community service project.
The next time you attend a meeting or event and asked to introduce yourself, be sure you have a solid pitch. Don’t just state your name and title. Go one step further and add something you are proud of achieving or include a mini-testimonial, for example:“My name is Jane Doe and I’m in the Sales Support Division. My team says I’m the one who makes their lives easier.” Most people hate talking about themselves so they rush through their introduction. Please, don’t be that person. This is your chance to sound confident and capable. First impressions are lasting ones!
Soft Spoken, No Problem.
If you have difficulty speaking up or broadcasting your achievements, enlist the help of teammates or colleagues. Your peers know you and how you work. Ask if they would be willing to help talk up your strengths. Reciprocating this favor is a wise career move that will not go unnoticed.
Beginning today, keep track of your achievements using a simple grid. Label three columns: task/goal, actions, and results.
Task/goal is the project or assignment given or that you proactively took on. For example: “collect articles and information for monthly newsletter to share with employees.”
The Actions column identifies the steps you took or the things you did to move toward accomplishing your task/goal. Here is an example of how to summarize actions:
- Determine articles, contests, news for content
- Request information from necessary divisions
- Edit, format and gain approval
- Distribute to intranet and distribute hardcopies to Sr. Management
The third column, results, contains the outcome of your actions. For example: “Communicated company news and events to build community among 2,500 employees across four locations on a monthly basis.” Whenever possible, you want to incorporate quantitative results.
Hold on to this log, you’ll need it for your annual review. And don’t keep in on your work computer. This is your personal property so keep it separate so you will always have access to it.
Shine During Your Annual Review
Have you had a performance evaluation recently? You should ask for one if it’s been awhile since you and your manager sat down to review how you are stacking up and what your goals are for the future. Sometimes your manager will ask you to complete a form or submit a list of projects you worked on during the year. Trying to remember everything you did over the past 12 months means some achievements will slip through the cracks. And if you don’t mention them, will your manager remember them? It is easier to recall recent events and major blunders, which aren’t necessarily the best reflection of you or your work!
Regularly use this easy system to communicate your achievements when you check in with your manager when preparing for your performance evaluations and even to update your LinkedIn profile.
What about visibility outside your company? Here are 15 simple ways to own digital terrain.