At the end of the work day, how do you know your work makes a difference? While promotions are very visible recognition of success in the workplace, there is satisfaction in knowing that someone knows what you are doing and that they respect the work you do. Often being visible and respected can lead to future advancement opportunities. Here are some tips for being visible and respected in the workplace.
Do Your Current Job Exceedingly Well
- Do not get so absorbed in getting ahead that you lose focus on doing your current job exceeding well. Do all that is asked of you and more. Do it with a smile. Meet or beat deadlines. Earn a reputation for doing high quality work in a timely manner.
- Look for ways to improve the current process. Identify problems only when you can offer a possible solution. Put in the extra effort to research and develop a viable solution.
- Help others in the department – whether training the new person on the team or helping a colleague with a particular application. Look for opportunities to help others to make them look good.
Step Up to New Challenges
- Volunteer for special projects or cross-functional teams where you can add value or you can learn something. Let them see what you can do beyond the scope of your current job.
- Develop a reputation as the go to person. When something needs to be done quickly and accurately, be the one they turn to for resolution. Have a can do attitude that makes them want to give you other assignments.
- In proposing a solution to a problem, offer to do a pilot and track the results.
- If someone is going to be out for a period of time on the team, offer to provide at least a portion of the backup coverage and proactively identify a plan to learn the job.
Take On Aspects of the New Job Before You Have It
- If you know what role you aspire to next in the company, look for opportunities to stretch beyond your current position and take on aspects of the new position before you even have the job. Watch for projects that provide the skills you need to develop and the visibility it provides for the future.
- Sometimes the assignment that needs coverage would not be your first choice but taking it demonstrates that you are a team player and willing to pitch in to get things done. Think about it in terms of what you can learn and who you can meet while you are in the role.
- If someone leaves a position open that you aspire to obtain, volunteer to take on aspects of that job to provide the needed coverage. Show them you can do it rather than just telling them you can in the interview.
Invest in Yourself
- Take advantage of internal training opportunities, do your own external research and reading, start preparing for your next job before the opportunity even exists. Demonstrate your commitment and interest by deliberately building your skills.
- While your next desired career step may be to stay within the company, networking is still a critical part of the process. Networking extensively internally to learn as much as you can about the roles you hope to hold in the future and what skills will be necessary. Build a cross-functional network within the company.
- Ensure that people across the organization know who you are and how you can contribute to the success of your team and your company.
- Be sure that your manager is aware of your longer term plans and strategize opportunities to help you develop the skills required.
Train Your Replacement
- Be sure you have a colleague or someone who could step into your job well trained and visible within the team. It is easier for management to promote you if they know there is someone who can successfully do your current job.
Identify A Mentor
- Identify a mentor within the organization and nurture that relationship so you have a sounding board and source of advice internal to the company.
- Also identify an external mentor in your field of choice who is at least a couple career moves again of you so you can gain insight from that experience and some objectively from the external perspective.