There are wrong ways to get noticed at work, such as coming to work in strange clothes and looking like you haven’t slept in days. Then, there are the right ways to get noticed at work for being an amazing employee or executive. Roll up your sleeves and try some of these ways to get noticed at work.
1. Take some initiative
“Initiative” is defined as “The power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do". And that pretty much sums up what you need to do.
Find tasks that have been lingering and do not wait to be prompted to complete them. If you know something needs to be done, then do it before you are asked! This is a great way to get noticed because on that one day when the boss says, “We need to take care of this". You will look like a hero when you speak up and say, “I already took care of it”.
The reason many people avoid taking initiative is because it comes with accountability. You run the risk of being told, “You did it wrong. Ask me next time first, ok?” Ideally, if you have a boss who frowns upon people who take initiative, find a new boss to work for. These types of bosses are controlling and will not let you move in a direction without them saying so.
2. Build rapport between staff and other departments
People who get things done are the people who have built relationships with others in the office. They can get assistance from people who know what to do simply by asking for help. And people do not mind helping because a rapport has been established.
Building relationships are not about “making friends". Some believe it is too time-consuming and don't bother. But the reality is people who know people get things done faster than those who try to do everything by themselves.
For example, a person who works as a Customer Service Director may benefit by knowing people in Product Development. The relationships are beneficial to each other. If there is an escalated issue in Customer Service, a Product Development staff may be able to make a quick fix and solve the problem quickly before the escalated issue becomes known to everyone.
Positive relationships at work are all about kindness, helping others, and having a mutual understanding that everyone is trying to make things better for everyone...so they get better for everyone.
3. Take part in extracurricular activities
Does your office ever do charity events, such as assisting local schools donation campaigns? Lead the charge and take part in it!
Extracurricular activities involving office parties are great to be a part of as well. Keep in mind that moderation is key. Do not go to these events or parties and hurt yourself. Do not get drunk and make a fool of yourself. Simply show your support for team unity. Try and take a leadership role in creating such events, if you can.
For example, years ago a corporation was holding a charity event in which the entire office was asked to paint a local school with a bunch of grade school kids on a Saturday. Because the event took place in the summer, and it was held outside in the sun, there was staff who chose not to attend.
Those who did attend ended up sunburned and sweaty. Sounds awful, but when the news media showed up and filmed this and some of the staff were interviewed, it became a very positive PR move for the company that led to new business. More so, the CEO of the company paid the office a visit the day after the news program aired. And guess what he saw…
All the people with sunburns were personally thanked by the CEO and privately received a bonus from him “for the pain endured and with sincere thanks”. This was important as the company has 130,000+ employees globally and was filled with growth opportunities.
4. Think outside the box to bring in new business
You make yourself priceless to a company when you bring in new business and sales, even when it is technically “not your job”. It does not matter what you do at a company. If you can bring in new business, then you will get noticed (and increase your job security).
This does not mean “invest in swag and walk around like a company billboard”. But try to have a keen awareness of new opportunities when they present themselves. It could be anything from bumping into a great contact at a coffee shop or meeting and speaking with someone at a conference.
Timing is key and if you can create your own “perfect timing” by being in the right place at the right time, the chances of you developing a business further will be greater.
5. Be a team player
You read about this a lot, so much so it almost sounds cliche. But the importance of being a team player means knowing when to be the star of the show and when to back off and support others for their successes. Sometimes, you are recognized for your “assists” as much as you are “scoring goals”. Being a team player is an unselfish, emotionally mature behavior that involves more “giving” than “taking”.
Warning: It is never wise to be the team “martyr” or “sacrificial lamb”. Although you may be noticed in the short-term, in the long-term your actions of sacrificing yourself for everyone will appear extreme, reckless, and even at times, narcissistic.
6. Speak up when you know you should
In today’s sensitive world, it can be scary to put yourself out there to make a difference when you see it is necessary. However, the risk is often worth it.
Use this analogy: You are watching the staff as they work on something and you know something they do not. You know what they are about to do will lead to disaster, almost like a person walking down the street about to get hit by a car.
How do you handle it? Do you let the person get hit by a car or let your team fail because you fear the consequences of speaking up? Or do you help the people involved and rest easy knowing that no one will fail or get hurt?
Over time, people will trust you because you put the well-being of others before your own. You have a strong idea of what you believe is “right” and that makes you a “leader”, not a “risk”. This may seem like a difficult path to follow but the reality is that your career grows faster and better the more you assert what you know, speak up, and behave like a leader!