Have you ever wondered why you were passed over for a promotion or not given credit for a contribution? Do colleagues who don’t necessarily work as diligently as you advance more rapidly? If it seems as though you’re being overlooked at the office, there might be a simple explanation: you’ve been hiding behind your accomplishments.
Hard work is its own reward, they say, but without visibility there’s a good chance it’s the only one you’ll get. In a busy office, others are also vying for a higher rung on the corporate ladder, and your contributions will most likely get lost on the collective climb up unless you call attention to them. Don’t let modesty or a fear of sounding boastful keep you from getting the attention you deserve. Following are some tips for savvy self-promotion:
- Be an eager beaver. If you think you can handle more work along with your regular tasks, volunteer for extra assignments. Broadening the scope of your responsibilities shows your willingness to be a team player. Colleagues also will appreciate the fact that you took the initiative rather than waiting to be asked.
- Give voice to your ideas. A good idea may figuratively “speak for itself,” but it doesn’t count unless it’s actually heard. Don’t be afraid to pitch solutions during meetings or brainstorming sessions. Contributing ideas shows you’re an innovative thinker and demonstrates your desire to benefit the company.
- Own it. If someone acknowledges a contribution you made on a project and you respond, “It was nothing,” then don’t be surprised if nothing results from it. It’s perfectly acceptable to take credit for something that’s well earned. A simple, “Thanks, I’m glad what I did was helpful,” boosts visibility more effectively than self-effacement.
- Hone your skills. You can’t remain on the cutting edge of things with dull skills. Stay sharp by attending conferences and seminars and take advantage of your employer’s opportunities for professional advancement. But don’t stop there; sharing your new-found knowledge with colleagues shows your commitment to excellence.
- What’s in a name? Not much if more people don’t know you. Distinguishing yourself from the crowd requires being well known outside your own administrative group, as well. Make the rounds at corporate parties and events and introduce yourself to professionals in other departments. Creating new contacts builds camaraderie and is a good way to make sure you’re known throughout the company.