Office life can be downright unfair sometimes. Some workers breezily sail through their careers, collecting accolades and promotions for their efforts, while others seem to have an uncanny knack of missing out. No matter how many hours overtime they put in or extra miles they walk to get a project up by deadline, their work falls strangely under the radar of the bosses. The pats on the back, the warm greetings and bonuses all go elsewhere.
If this all sounds depressingly familiar, don’t despair. Just as hairdressers, the cosmetics industry, fashion boutiques and sellers of hot little red sports cars can get people noticed out of work hours, there are tricks that can help raise your profile at work.
One of the most elementary is understanding why you’re being passed over. It’s probably not because you’re not working hard enough.
“Unfortunately, just being industrious and doing quality work isn’t enough,” says psychologist Erica Frydenberg, associate professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. “An intent to be noticed is also important, so set yourself that goal.” Frydenberg says getting recognition means selling yourself at work, a process that is similar to making a favourable impression in a job interview. As an exercise, she often gets her students to imagine placing an ad for themselves in a newspaper so they can gain a better appreciation of the assets they bring to a job.
It can also help to assess any weaknesses in your professional skills – you’re awful at doing PowerPoint presentations or can’t get your head around your budget – and work on them. “An important part of contemporary professional life is knowing what help you need and where you can get it,” Frydenberg says.
Thinking about who you spend your time with at, and away from, work is also important.
Frydenberg has interviewed young corporate high achievers and she found that all had support networks outside of work – people they could trust and with whom they could discuss workplace issues. All felt networks were an important part of their continuing success.
“The company you keep inside of work also matters,” she adds. “Are these people going to be helpful in achieving your goals? Ultimately, getting noticed at work is about setting those goals and making small steps towards them.”
Scott Jacovou-Johnson learned the hard way how to get himself noticed at work. Now a consultant, in 2004 he started work as communications manager with a national retailer. He worked hard and assumed that his efforts would reflect well on him.
“I was always the sort of person who thought actions speak louder than words,” he says. “I wasn’t particularly skilled in promoting myself. I wanted to contribute, rather than tell people what I was doing.”
After a year a new managing director arrived who couldn’t see what Jacovou-Johnson’s role contributed to the business and made the position redundant. “To be fair,” Jacovou-Johnson admits, “I never actually sat down with him and said, ‘This is what I do.”‘
Jacovou-Johnson’s final day eventually rolled around and to his surprise the managing director asked him to continue in the job. He agreed and held the position for a further 14 months, having picked up a valuable lesson about getting noticed.
“What had happened in the interim is that my actions had been observed and they’d realised what I did,” he says.
“It’s changed how I interact with my colleagues. I’m very conscious now, for example, of the need to be fully prepared for meetings. I now make sure that everyone knows exactly what I’m doing and what the outcomes are for the business.”
Jules Collingwood, trainer and business consultant with Inspiritive, says if you feel overlooked you should try to see things from the boss’s point of view. Is there a problem with information about your performance getting to the boss? Does he or she know you’re the first in in the morning and last to leave at night? Is the boss overworked or just slow to pick up on things?
“If you feel unnoticed at work, identify how you would know if you were noticed and who can help you do something about it,” she says. “Decide what you want and tell them.”
Peter Tobin, director of career development solutions provider Worklife, says: “Look for external support, either from the HR department, or someone outside [the organisation], like a mentor or a career coach.”
Sometimes, though, Tobin believes the problem of “not getting noticed” can become a diversion from addressing what you really want to do. “There could just be a lack of ‘cultural fit’ between you and the organisation. Ultimately, you need to accept that you need to drive your career. No one else will do it for you.”
How to get noticed at work.
* Be good, or better still, the best at what you do. This will usually require continuing development and learning. Most large organisations will provide this but you have to make it clear you want it.
* Understand how you are being measured and assessed, and the importance of performance reviews and key performance indicators.
* Understand the importance of networking internally within your organisation and externally.
* Put your hand up. Volunteering for that tricky assignment or that unpopular secondment is a way to get noticed.
Source: Peter Tobi
n today’s economic climate, it’s never been more important to be appreciated by your boss. But if you feel your potential or skills are undervalued or overlooked, perhaps it’s time to get noticed at work.
|“Now is not the time to be invisible at work and let your work fall under your boss’ radar,” said Chris Mead,General Manager of Hays in Singapore, who offers the following five tips to help you get noticed:|
1. Make a positive impact
“Remember when you first started the job? You were out to make a good first impression at every chance you could through the quality of your work. It’s time to get into that frame of mind again and assume every opportunity is an opportunity to impress your manager with the good work you produce. What’s important though is that people notice your positive impact. Sell yourself at work by using the positive results you achieve. For example, in meetings make sure everyone knows what you’re working on and what the outcomes are for the business.”
2. Add value
“Businesses are understandably looking at increasing revenue as well as process and cost improvements, so look to where you can add value. For example, if you work within construction then demonstrate business development or bid skills.”
3. Upgrade your skills
“Take every opportunity to volunteer for additional tasks that will not only improve your own employable skill base, but make you even more invaluable to your employer.”
4. Made a mistake?
“Don’t panic, or worse, try to hide it. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you handle the aftermath that can show your real strengths. Be honest with your manager, and go to them with a plan of how you intend to rectify the error.”
5. Finally, remember the basics
“Arrive for work on time, show enthusiasm, look and act professionally and be organised. Don’t watch the clock and be prepared to do that little bit extra – it does get noticed,” Chris