1. Too many people do a good job, but don’t let people know
When you get some positive written feedback from others be sure to keep it, and circulate the feedback to more senior people. If you get verbal feedback, ask for it to be put in writing. Don’t hide your light: let people know what a great job you have done.
2. You may be doing a good job, but is this really what matters to your boss?
Talk to your boss and find out what is important to them, then make sure you are able to deliver. You want to exceed his or her expectations. Could you draft a report, find out about a topic or create or improve a system that will really make a difference?
3. Look broader than your role
Make it your business to find out more about the other departments and business units. Don’t have a silo mentality. Don’t just do your job but look around and understand the bigger picture. Keep listening to background chat. You might hear about some upcoming changes in the organisation, the hidden agenda of what is really going on or the personal thoughts of the person at the top. Also, read the financial press to see if any company details are being leaked to the press or get a first sniff of an acquisition or merger. This sort of information can help you to sound more knowledgeable than others on a topic and you can use it to make a suggestion that ties in with the company direction. When you go for promotion people expect you to be doing a good job in your current role. What they want is someone who can identify broader challenges and this will help.
4. Keep your boss informed
Our bosses are not always aware of what we have done so keep a book with copies of the positive feedback received and also details of what you have achieved through your job – this will really help at appraisal time. For most bosses, managing our careers is not their priority, so make it easy for them to provide a good write up by proving examples.
5. Think about the impression you give – let’s think about image
Look and sound like you should be doing the higher level job. Wear good quality clothes, carry an expensive briefcase and use a decent pen. You should act like you are already in the role you aspire to, so think also about what newspaper you should read, and the topics you discuss. Don’t brown nose but do look like you should be in the role you want.
6. Begin to think like a boss
The boss doesn’t moan about the volume of work, or how they can’t wait for it to be the weekend. Instead they focus on what the customers need and the impact of external events on the company. Change your mind set so you think in a similar way. This could also help you to work more effectively by focusing on what is important rather than wasting time.
7. Are you clear on your strengths and weaknesses?
Understand what you do really well and look for ways to use your strengths. Be aware of the areas which are more developmental and decide if you need to overcome these weaknesses or to find another way of dealing with them. For example if your proof reading is poor, could someone else do it for you?
8. Don’t moan about the job and organisation
Too many people moan about their job and organisation. Don’t get sucked into agreeing. Before you know it, a conversation will include your name as someone who agrees that something is wrong when all you did was nod in agreement.
9. Can you find a niche?
Is there an area you can become more knowledgeable about so people always come to you – perhaps you know a foreign language, are a fount of knowledge on the local area for visitors, or you can explain the technical report really simply. (No one need know you spend several hours the night before doing your own translation to sound so clear). By having an area of expertise you will gain a reputation and people will seek you out.
10. Don’t be afraid to talk with senior people.
Occasionally we may find our self with a senior manager, perhaps in a lift or in the staff restaurant. If you do see someone sitting alone go up and say hello. Do use the time wisely, don’t ramble but ask them questions about e.g. how their career has progressed or refer to something you read in the paper related to the business. You don’t want to talk too much about yourself but showing yourself as intelligent and interesting may help you to be remembered. Plus later you could follow up with an email and send some useful information you have collected.
Can I help? Contact Denise Taylor, award winning career coach and author of ‘how to get a job in a recession’ and ‘now you’ve been shortlisted. Visit www.amazingpeople.co.uk for your complimentary copy of the eProgramme 10 steps to a job you love.
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