If you are one of the many people who feel as though you are going through life unnoticed, then it’s time you got some attention. After all, you’ve worked hard to get where you are. So, what does it take to experience the career success you desire?
Career success depends on your ability to step up and get noticed, but not in an obnoxious, intrusive way. You must be able to add value in all that you do. Building relationships and sharing relevant feedback will help get you there.
These five practices will get you noticed in the workplace and add to your success. They are easy to implement, and will undoubtedly add more visibility and credibility to your employee profile.
- Start a conversation. When you meet new people be prepared to ask powerful, open-ended questions to begin a meaningful dialog. Instead of the standard, “What’s your job?” try a variation such as “What was the most pivotal moment in your professional career? Follow that question with, “What did you learn from the experience?”
- Voice your opinion constructively. For example, if responding to an application in development that you feel is off track, clarify the intention with questions. “What event or perceived need drove the initial development of the product?” Or, “What is the intended value add?” From there, formulate a question that links your observation of the gap to the desired outcome. You might say, “I like that this application is geared toward improving our internal sales tracking, but I don’t see the alignment between the data being captured and the strategic direction of the company. What would it take to ensure that what we measure supports the company’s overall strategic goals?” If you find giving constructive feedback difficult, check out my recent article that explains how to make it much easier.
- Be willing to give more than you get. Not only that, but you’ve got to be able to give and feel good about it. You want to be a contributor, to add value, to help move the company in the right direction. That will be harder to do if you attach quid pro quo to everything you do. No matter if you are part of a team or working independently, contribute without holding back. Feel good about your contributions and don’t sit on pins and needles waiting to receive something in return. Elkhart Tolle writes in his book The Power of Now that if you release your attachment to the outcome and just focus on what you are doing in the now, everything will take care of itself.
- Believe in yourself and take chances. What good does playing it safe do for you other than keep you right where you are? If you want to get noticed, you must have the courage to put yourself out there. Set goals without inhibition. Ask for a stretch assignment. Apply for a job in a different part of the business. Request a mentor or two. When you believe in you, others will take notice and believe in you, too. Your value to the organization begins with what you think you are worth and the myriad of ways in which you demonstrate it!
- Smile and share the achievements of yourself and others. Leonard Mlodinow, author of Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, writes in Psychology Today that “nonverbal communication forms a social language that is in many ways richer and more fundamental than our words. In adults, nonverbal ability bestows advantages in both personal and business life, and plays a significant role in the perception of a person’s warmth, credibility, and persuasive power.” When you smile, you are considered open and authentic. From that place of authenticity, you want to share information that will get you (and others) noticed. When someone asks why you are smiling, you have a perfect entry to acknowledge your most recent contribution or the outcome of a successful team meeting. Recognizing the contributions of others is even more important. Not only does it help build relationships and demonstrate you are a team player, but it also adds to your evolving image as a motivational leader.
Using these practices will create opportunities to get noticed. They will also help you build and nurture valuable workplace relationships. Your career success is important. So go on, be your best self!
Sheila Callaham is an author, motivational coach, and longtime communications and change management professional.