Good news. The US Economy is coming back! Corporate profits are up, inflation has slowed, lending requirements have eased and gas prices are $2.00 a gallon. WOW! Even the website Profit Confidential, in the midst of their usual tirades, had to admit things are going quite well. All this upward momentum might just trickle down to your company creating advancement opportunities for greater numbers of employees. You will need to boost your profile to be one of the chosen few. Here are 5 ways to get yourself noticed.
1. Adjust your priorities
Face it, upper management doesn’t have any idea what you’re working on. And if it doesn’t align with what’s important to them they probably don’t care. As much as we may think that corporate executives don’t know what’s going on, they do spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with business goals and targets. The way to get their attention is to make what’s important to them, important to you. Look at all of your goals and prioritize those that support the goals of your executive team. When you report out on your work frame it with the stated business goals. This makes upper management feel like you “get it”. You understand what’s important and you make it a priority.
2. Lead on trends
We’ve all heard of Big Data. Well big data can be a big problem. There is so much information out there that it’s hard to keep up with it all. Your supervisor and those above them aren’t always plugged into the next greatest thing. You to have you finger on the pulse of the next greatest thing and also know what other businesses are saying about the greatest thing. The goal is to be relevant. You want to in-the-know with everyone else during both business and casual conversations. People in whatever business you’re in expect you to know what’s on the horizon. Think about it, why should you be promoted if you don’t know what’s going on?
3. Strategically Participate at Meetings
Following on from point #2, be mindful about what you say in meetings. Meetings are dominated by two types of people; the people who just can’t wait to say something and the people that can’t wait for the meeting to end. You want to stand out among your colleagues by always adding value to the conversation by contributing valuable information. Ensure that your comments either advance the conversation or present valuable information. And whatever you do, don’t parrot back what someone else has already said. No matter how brilliant it may be!
4. Get on key committees
Every company that I’ve worked for has set up cross-functional teams. These teams get a lot of regular work done by bringing diverse talent together. However, a select few have high profile deliverables. You want to find your way onto those select teams. Participation can quickly put your talents on display to influential audiences and top executives. Positive press gets you noticed and helps you advance.
5. Know your numbers
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched managers squirm when senior executives ask them about their “numbers”. All business work is numbers driven. Numbers relate to activity. Activity relates to money earned or money spent. The top brass is interested in both. When you are asked about your “numbers” what you are really being asking is “How valuable are you to this business?”. If you don’t know the numbers then you can’t prove you’re adding value. And if you’re not adding value, how do you expect to advance?