One thing that frustrates a lot of people about working for a large corporation is feeling like a faceless cog in a very large wheel. Even the most talented and dedicated employee will get passed over if they’re flying under the radar. So how do you raise your profile and make sure your hard work and accomplishments get noticed? Try a few of these strategies.
1. Find a mentor
Not only will a mentor help develop your skills, he’ll get your name out there. A mentor will brag on you, recommend you for projects and promotions, and steer interesting assignments your way.
2. Seek out opportunities to learn
Be on the lookout for seminars and classes that will help you do your job better, and ask for approval to attend. Afterward, send your boss an email thanking her for the opportunity, summarizing what you learned, and explaining how you plan to use that new knowledge on the job.
3. Play the role of social influencer
What do social influencers do? They take the pulse of the industry and act as a gatekeeper, sharing knowledge they deem important while not overwhelming everyone with the mundane and trivial. When you find an article or blog pertaining to your industry or profession, share it with your department and anyone else who might find it useful. Not only will management be impressed with your initiative, they’ll start to see you as a resource for valuable information.
Don’t be one of those employees who hides under the desk when the boss asks for someone to start up a new project, represent the department in a meeting, or participate in a cross-functional team. Taking on more work might not be very appealing – especially if you’re already overloaded – but the experience and visibility are worth it.
5. Be philanthropic
Volunteering for work projects is important, but another good strategy is to volunteer for your bosses’ favorite charities. Corporate executives are often encouraged to be active in the community, and helping out with their causes is a great way to stay on their radar.
6. Be a social butterfly
The bigger the company, the harder it is to get to know people out of your own little silo. To counteract that, seek out opportunities to socialize across departments. Work out in the company gym. Join a lunch-time walking group. Participate in a brown-bag lunch series. Join the softball or bowling team. The point is to network with people throughout the organization so that your name will be more likely to come up for opportunities outside of your own functional area.
7. Speak up
Everyone knows a loud-mouthed know-it-all: the person who dominates meetings by prattling on as if they’re the resident expert…even when they’re not. That’s the kind of visibility you don’t want. However, neither do you want to leave a meeting only to hear the person running it ask, “Who was that back in the corner?” The bottom line is, don’t talk just to be talking, but speak up when you have something to contribute. Keeping your ideas to yourself isn’t going to advance your career. Don’t worry about being a little off-base; just make sure your questions or comments are relevant and (potentially) valuable.
Raising your employee profile is easy. Raising it the right way and for the right reasons takes commitment and planning. Follow these suggestions to make sure the people who matter in your organization think of you first when new opportunities arise.
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