Getting Noticed at Work

Two women look at a magazine

What’s the secret to getting noticed at work?

You work hard and you deserve to be recognized for your efforts. And in a perfect world, your boss and your boss’s boss would notice all the hard work you’ve been putting in day in and day out.

But in reality, your boss and the senior leaders in your organization are probably busy with their own work and goals to truly notice the remarkable work you are doing. So if you want to put yourself in the running for a raise, a promotion, or the cool projects you’ve been eyeing, then you have to make an effort to get noticed

But how do you toot your own horn without coming across as self-promotional or braggy? How do you shine a light on your accomplishments without feeling self-conscious about it?

Below, we take a look at the best ways you can get noticed at work while also feeling confident and comfortable about it. 

Be a pleasure to work with

More so than being the smartest person in the room or the hardest working, it is your attitude that will ultimately get you noticed at work. 

Think about it: you spend more time with your coworkers than with your own family. So it pays to be the kind of colleague that other people want to be around.

Here’s how you can make sure that your attitude is getting you noticed for the right reasons. 

Convey genuine excitement. Whether it’s leading a meeting or being asked to give feedback on a report or coordinating lunch orders for your team, showing genuine enthusiasm for the task in front of you can go a long way. So much of the work day is such a grind, so it’s refreshing to be around someone who is genuinely excited about their work. Your enthusiasm will rub off on your coworkers and they will feel more positive about their own work and with working alongside you.

Express gratitude. Did an intern go out of their way to help a meeting run smoothly? Did your assistant arrange your business travel like a pro? Did a coworker connect you with an important client? Make sure to show your appreciation with a thank you email or card. You’ll make the other person’s day and they might just talk you up the next time they’re meeting with a senior leader at work. 

Be a problem solver

Every office has a Negative Nelly (or several of them). 

A Negative Nelly is the coworker or boss who loves to point out problems and flaws but never offers any solutions or alternatives. Examples: Oh that marketing idea will never work / What’s the point of doing X? / That client is so hard to work with. 

The antidote to a Negative Nelly is to be the person in the room with a can-do, problem-solving attitude.

Is the client hard to work with and demanding? Then offer up ideas on how to engage with them better.

Did an event speaker cancel at the last minute? Go through your contact list and help book a new one.

Did a customer’s shipment arrive late? Send an apology note and offer them a complimentary product.

If you’re worried about ruffling a few feathers, especially if there’s a chance that a Negative Nelly will refute your idea with a dismissive: “But we’ve always done it this way,” then approach the discussion with grace. Example: I recognize that we’ve always done X, and it’s been so successful in the past, but I wonder if we’d be open to doing Y idea, and seeing how it goes.

Your ability to problem solve and work well with others will surely get you noticed for the right reasons. 

Promote other people’s accomplishments

If you feel uncomfortable promoting your own work, then try promoting other people’s accomplishments.

You see this type of cross promoting happening all the time with musicians, professional athletes, creatives, and published authors. 

For example, an author will promote their new book by thanking the team of people who made it all possible, such as their editor, agent, and publicist.

A musician will thank the artists they collaborated with. Or an athlete will discuss all the other athletes they look up to and whose accomplishments inspired them to do what they do.

As a result of cross-promoting, your reputation will grow and people will start to associate your work with the awesome people you’re promoting. This technique is also helpful if you’re shy about self-promotion. It’s so much easier to gush about other people’s success than it is your own. 

 So the next time you want to get recognized for a job well done, send an email to your manager and let them know about the amazing work your colleagues did, and how you wouldn’t have been able to pull off a successful project without them. 

Your colleagues will appreciate the recognition and you will have promoted your own work without being overly boastful. 

Celebrate your coworkers’ milestones

In addition to promoting other people’s accomplishments, you should also be celebrating their professional milestones.

If your coworker recently landed a promotion or if your boss is becoming a partner, you’ll want to congratulate them on this big milestone. It can be as simple as leaving a nice comment on LinkedIn or sending them a congratulatory email. If this person played an important role in your career, then go the extra mile and send them a handwritten card. 

People like to be thought of and they’ll remember you for your thoughtfulness. 

Seek out projects that align with your goals

You want to go above and beyond at work, but at the same time, you don’t want to burn yourself out in the process.

One way to go above your job title without overwhelming yourself is to seek out projects or assignments that will specifically expand your goals or skill sets

Want to improve your communication skills? Then volunteer to lead the next team meeting or presentation. 

Want to expand your network at the office? Then attend more inter-departmental meetings. 

Want your boss to start handing you the big-name projects? Then start by volunteering to manage projects that no one else wants to do—and do an A-plus job on them. You’ll gain invaluable experience and you’ll be on the forefront of your boss’s mind when it’s time to assign the bigger projects.

By shifting your approach to promotion, you can get noticed for a job well done, and feel comfortable about being in the spotlight.

Written by JiJi Lee

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