Used to flying below the radar at work? Think not being noticed will keep your job safe? Not anymore. The best strategy now is to figure out how you can raise your visibility at work - in positive ways.
Additionally, if your job is tedious or repetitive, you can request alternative activities to break up the monotony of your every day work. No matter the job, it is difficult to do the exact same work all day long, even if you love the work and the customers. Your request for skill developing assignments will make you stand out.
If you're underemployed and waiting for your next opportunity at work, request work that will help you grow into your next assignment. If you're thinking about looking for a new job, make your requests for more challenging work visible. Don't sit back and wait for your manager to give you something new or exciting to do. This is always the wrong approach.
Your manager is busy, too, and while your development as a person and employee may be important to your manager, he or she cannot read your mind. It is helpful to work in a company with a performance development planning process in place.
There, you have the opportunity to talk with your supervisor, at least quarterly, about issues such as your development and career growth. But, no matter your company's employment practices, you have the right to ask and to care about your career and personal development and visibility at work.
Six Tips to Raise Your Visibility at Work
These ideas will help you help your boss help you:
- Ask for more responsible assignments so you can exhibit that you deserve them and that your skills are underutilized. Go to your manager with specific suggestions about how you think you can contribute to improvement, departmental efficiency, or creating a new process or method. Make it easy for him or her to help you.
- Volunteer to represent your department at meetings, on planning committees, and on projects. A proactive approach to work is noticed by the bosses. Working on cross-functional teams also gives your talents exposure outside of your own work area. This is helpful when promotions or lateral opportunities become available. A "known" employee has the advantage over one who is not known.
- Build your relationship with your boss. Check in with him or her periodically whether you need to or not. The boss is a person, too. Don't make fake requests or pretend ignorance if you really have the answer. But, running the answer by the boss, telling the boss what's on your mind, and making suggestions for improvement are generally welcome interactions. You don't have to share your private life, or be friends with your boss and coworkers, but a friendly, supportive relationship matters for success and visibility.
- If you have skills that you are not using in your current position, look for opportunities to keep in practice. Use them; don't lose them. These opportunities will also bring wider company exposure and broaden your organization's thinking about what you can do. So, as an example, your creative talents, your willingness to experiment, or your ability to mediate conflicts will make you stand out as an employee.
- Request the opportunity to participate in seminars and training classes. Ask to belong to your relevant professional development association and for the opportunity to participate in its events. Then, visibly apply the new opportunities back in the workplace. Take the application one step further.
Tell your boss and coworkers what you learned and how you plan to apply the new information at work. This has three advantages. Your improvement efforts improve your visibility and teaching others is the best way to make sure you've really learned the concepts. Finally, your coworkers benefit from the time you spent and the knowledge you gained at the session.
- If your company has book clubs or interactive brown bag lunches on topics, get involved or start them. Make sure your boss has factored the time into your schedule so you can become involved. Just like the activities mentioned earlier, this participation brings all the benefits of broader visibility and you can be observed by others in thoughtful discussion.
These tips about employee training and development will give you more thoughts on how you can pursue your personal professional development at work.