You’re smart, talented, and you work hard. You come in early and stay late. All things that get you ahead, right? Well, not always.
If you’re watching others get promotions, key assignments, or the recognition you believe you deserve, it might be because you’re not making yourself visible enough at work.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can stay tucked away and head down. Sure, your boss probably loves you because you are low-key but the problem with that behavior is that things may work so smoothly that you’re forgotten about.
If you hide in your cubical or operate in a silo, it becomes more challenging to build key relationships and it’s harder to toot your own horn — because nobody is there to listen!
P.T. Barnum said, “Without promotion something terrible happens—nothing.”
Self-promotion is tricky and it’s certainly not always a comfortable act, but it’s crucial because it can affect your advancement and compensation. If you are serious about getting ahead, you can’t wait for someone to tap you on the shoulder. You have to put yourself in the driver’s seat.
You have to be noticed.
5 Reasons You’re Not Noticed
1. YOU THINK YOUR BOSS KNOWS WHAT YOU DO
You may have a lengthy list of career accomplishments but if you’re the only one who has access to that list, your boss will never understand the full extent of your contributions. So many employees are disheartened with their annual review because they don’t think it tells the full story of their achievements.
You owe it to yourself to make yourself heard. Help your boss out. When it’s time for raises and promotions to be handed out, your contributions need to be at the forefront of manager’s mind.
Have regular conversations with your boss because systematic conversations will remind your manager of your value—on an ongoing basis, instead of once a year at performance review time.
2. YOU PLAY IT TOO SAFE
Did you know that studies have shown that men apply to jobs when they meet only about 60 percent of a job’s qualifications, but women only apply when they meet 100 percent of them?
If you are too afraid to apply to new positions, you become your own stumbling block. You get in the way of your own advancement. If you are waiting until you meet 100 percent of the qualifications, you might be waiting a while. Use a little realism in your search but failing to act on an opportunity that could be a great match will only lead to regrets.
3. YOU DON’T KNOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE
People who get recognized are people who know people. Build your reputation by forming key alliances.
Many people focus hard on trying to impress only their boss and then they alienate or diminish their relationship building efforts with their co-workers, customers, or clients.
And, don’t focus exclusively on your co-workers who are on the same level because relationship building with all levels of employees will be the formula for success.
4. YOU DON’T PARTICIPATE IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
I know, I know. I hear your groans. The infamous “forced fun.”
This may not be your thing. Maybe you despise large gatherings. Maybe you have a full schedule. Maybe you just don’t want to hang out with the people from work.
Make yourself to do it – at least a little. The extra exposure and the opportunity to build relationships and alliances will never hurt you.
5. YOU DON’T STRIKE YOUR POWER POSE
Confidence talks. According to an NYU study conducted by Dr. Michael Solomon, we make critical decisions within the first seven seconds of meeting someone new and our body language plays a key role in defining us.
Projecting power, authority, and status is a critical element to your nonverbal strategy to impress and get noticed.
Hold your head high, push your shoulders back, and keep your rib cage up. This posture makes you look intrepid which helps you project a sense of authority.
Wrapping it Up
The bottom line is be an active participant, not a bystander in your career. Stop watching others get ahead, and start taking an active interest in your profession.
Here’s a great Ted talk by Amy Cuddy on how body language shapes us.
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