Turn Heads, Move the Needle

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If you want to move ahead in your career, you need to get noticed for a job well done. 

When you perform well, it’s only natural that your reputation will grow and people will start paying attention to your work. And while good work will certainly get you noticed, there are also other, less obvious ways to gain visibility.

Standing out is more than just performing well at your job. It’s about projecting competence and professionalism, having impactful interactions with your manager, and so much more. 

Below, we talk about all the different ways that you can get noticed at work, which can then help you advance in your career. 

Make a strong impression 

We’ve all been told to dress for success, but the tools you use, and the office space you maintain can also make a lasting impression. 

A messy desk, for example, might send the wrong message about your productivity and efficiency. Whereas a tidy and organized workspace gives the impression that you care about your work and how you go about it.

Even something as small as investing in your office tools can go a long way toward projecting confidence and professionalism. And when you feel more confident, it will reflect in your work and your interactions with others. 

So if you want to level up in your career, don’t forget to invest in your tools and your workspace in order to convey a professional image. 

Maximize short interactions with your manager 

Your boss has a lot on their plate and you don’t want to bother them. But at the same time, you’re not going to get noticed if you stay out of their way.

Depending on the size and structure of your organization, your interactions with your manager might be limited. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of micro interactions. These are the smaller interactions you may have in the margins of a team meeting or an elevator ride or getting their approval on a project. 

And the key to maximizing these micro interactions is to have a specific goal or objective in mind.

For example, maybe you want to get your manager’s advice on a project or you want to share a win or you just want to humanize your interaction. 

Be mindful about what you want to bring up. For example, if it’s your first month on the job, you probably don’t want to use this time to ask your boss about a raise. Prepare in advance so that you can use this interaction wisely and strategically. 

Of course, not every interaction will be career changing. But, by shifting your mindset and having a clear intention, you can transform a run-of-the-mill interaction into something that is much more impactful. 

Have your ear on the ground

Want to get noticed at work? Then make sure that you’re also cognizant of what’s going on at the office.

By being engaged and curious, you’ll meet new people, learn about new opportunities, and set yourself up for success.

Here’s how:

  • At meetings, take special note of all things that are “new” or in the pipeline. Whether it’s a new client, product, campaign—pay special attention to these initiatives. Later, tell your manager, “X project sounds so interesting. If you’re ever looking for someone to work on it, I’d love to be considered.” By pitching yourself, you’ll be in the forefront of your manager’s mind when it comes time to assembling a team.
  • Make an effort to get to know people outside of your team and department. First, you’ll gain a better understanding of your work in the broader context of your company. And second, the more people you meet, the more opportunities you’ll learn about. A colleague in marketing could tell you about a project that could use your help. Or if you know someone in HR, they might be able to tell you about a new position that’s opening. Networking outside of your team will help you stay apprised of what’s going on. 

Manage your manager 

As mentioned earlier, your manager has a million things going on. They might not always have the time to mentor you or the foresight to connect you with opportunities. So if you want to get noticed by your manager, you have to actively get them to notice you. 

Managing your manager means figuring out what their goals and objectives are. What are your manager’s priorities? What would they love to accomplish this quarter and year? What are their biggest challenges and headaches? Understanding your boss’s goals will, in turn, help you better understand your role and what you need to do to help them succeed.

Managing your manager also means sharing your wins with them. Because they’re so busy, they might not even be aware of all the work that you are doing. Send them a weekly status email with project updates and progress. Be sure to include measurable progress like the increase in social media followers or number of clients you’ve met or number of projects you’re spearheading.

Later, when it’s time for your performance review, you can look back on your status emails and assemble all the data and evidence that demonstrate your success. 

Be a problem solver 

We’ve all been to meetings where people have used the time to complain or point out problems about a project. Instead of adding to the negativity, use this as an opportunity to problem solve. 

People take notice when you are the person in the room who offers ideas and solutions, rather than someone who just complains or adds to the problem. 

For example, let’s say a meeting comes to a stand still because of X or Y issue. Instead of pointing out more problems, speak up and offer a,b,c solution. 

Do your homework and research beforehand, so that you have the facts to back up your ideas. And the best part? Your solutions will feel like a breath of fresh air, and participants will be eager to hear you out. 

Managers love having someone on their team who is solutions-oriented and your reputation for problem-solving could land you greater opportunities and further advancement in your career. 

Written by JiJi Lee.

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