Some employees slave away at a job for years on end, yet seem to get passed by for promotions. We all know these behind-the-scenes workers who do everything yet get none of the glory, their efforts grossly underappreciated. It's not who you want to be.
In order to make your boss more aware of your accomplishments--and of how valuable you are to the company--you need to:
1. BE Seen!
Dress for success. Speak up at staff meetings. Joke with the boss, and talk to her about her family, her hobbies, her interests. Get satisfied customers to pass on the praise that they send your way; have them speak to, or write a note to your supervisor. Get your name mentioned in the company newsletter. Walk quickly, clipboard in hand, and head across the room like you're on a mission that just can't wait.
DO NOT hide in your cubicle until it's time to go home.
2. BE Busy! (or at least look that way)
Get rid of your screensaver. Keep your computer running with an open file on the screen whenever you step away from your desk. Something like "cost-cutting ideas" should do the trick...
Keep a L-O-N-G to-do list in a very visible spot on your desk. Be sure to include several items at the top that you've already completed. If the boss passes by and mentions it, you can make a big production out of crossing off all of the items you've already completed.
Display some highlighted clippings that are related to your business. Have a useful business article (like the ones you find in New York Moves, ahem!) open on your desk. These will draw attention from anyone who goes by--not just the boss, but co-workers and customers as well.
3. BE Resourceful!
Those clippings? Pass them on to your boss: "Thought you might like to take a look at these...if you haven't come across them anywhere already.... I'd like to know what you think about them if you have a few spare minutes sometime." Become a mini-expert on one part of the company's business. Track the trends and let others know you do it.
Find out about your customers and what they do. (You DO know about CRM, don't you? Customer Relationship Management?) Then, when a need arises, you can be the one to say, "Hey, I know someone who--". If people start saying your name, followed by "She knows everyone," it's a good sign.
4. BE a Problem-Solver!
Take on that difficult customer no one wants to serve. Take responsibility for what you do--good, bad, or ugly--and work to find solutions. Find more than one solution if you can; give your boss a choice. And of course, you can always adopt the well-worn motto,
W. I. T.--Whatever It Takes!
5. BE Organized and Efficient!
Keep your dayplanner full and handy to show your boss, at a moment's notice, how you're spending work time. Keep a portfolio of important evidence of your success: number of customer complaints handled successfully this month; sales quotas met or exceeded; amount of money your ideas saved or earned the company. Have a rolodex full of satisfied customers (of course, you'll have these on computer too, but a rolodex is highly visible).
6. BE a User! (In a good way...)
Use your company's products and services. Notice the small items in your boss' office. Buy a dayplanner like the one she uses. Buy a book you see on her shelf. Read it, study it, and then "accidentally" notice it one day and talk with your boss about it. Surprise--you have the same taste in literature!
7. BE an Initiator!
Anticipate a problem and "head it off at the pass." Listen. Hear what your boss is grumbling about and find some way to help without being asked. Organize celebrations--your boss' birthday (you DO know when it is, don't you? Mine's July 27th, in case you're wondering); her 25th year with the company; her 15th wedding anniversary (Mine was on June 24th this year!).
And there you have it--seven ways to get noticed, in a good way. Oh, and by the way, if you found this article useful, can you send a nice letter or email to the editors about it? I've just started working for this publication, and I'm trying to get them to notice me a bit more. . .
BE kind and put in a good word for me, okay? I APPRECIATE it--and you!