People will often get caught up in finding the perfect external hire. It may very well be that an outsider is exactly what an employer needs. A fresh perspective can lead to innovation, increased productivity, and a higher return on investment. But as we all know, employers don’t always make the best decisions for recruitment. Despite the best intentions, they may be missing what’s right in front of them…YOU! Read on to learn best practices for working smarter, getting noticed, and practical tools for asking for a promotion.
How Best To Get Noticed
Suppose you’ve been nailing your job precisely as written in your description. In this case, it would seem logical to be considered for a promotion after a decent amount of time on the job. But that’s not the best way to get noticed. Even if you’re constantly busy with work, working overtime and weekends, and cramming your sandwich down your throat during lunch to get back to your desk, it all could be for mediocre recognition.
If this situation sounds familiar, it’s time to take a step back and review the value of your contributions to the company. We will review how to:
- Break down your day to see what value you bring to the table.
- Build a positive narrative for your reputation.
Breaking Down A Day’s Work
You may be thinking that everything you do adds value to the organisation. But when you break down your day, you may notice way more tasks as lower value than others.
First, if you don’t have a system in place to track what you spend time doing on a daily basis, make one. Then, review that list to determine how much value each task contributes to the company’s goals. For instance, if you manage a small team and hold morning meetings each day for a brainstorming session on new ideas, put a value on the productivity of that meeting. For this example, we can ask the following questions:
- Are these meetings valuable to developing my employees’ skillsets? How so?
- How many times has there been miscommunication within these meetings? Why?
- Could these meetings be done without me?
- How many successful campaign ideas have stemmed from these meetings?
- Do these meetings affect our clients positively? Negatively? How so?
For each task you spend your time on, ask yourself similar questions to put a concrete value to the activity. Then, analyse whether you should continue the habit, change it, or admit that it’s a complete waste of time.
The idea here is to be constantly questioning your actions and their value. These meetings might not be necessary if you know that your team works better alone first, then gathers to discuss ideas already thought of. Perhaps you are doing the meetings because it’s been seven years and, well, that’s how you’ve always done it.
Yet when we dissect how our daily work lives affect the end goals of our organisations, we can see which tasks to keep, change, or ditch. And if your supervisor thinks you’re deviating too far from your role, have a conversation about why you plan to make the change or why you’ve already implemented something different. Do not assume higher leadership knows how long it takes for you to do something. Be respectful, but constantly challenge the status quo if it means a shift in lower-value tasks to growth in higher-value ones.
How To Identify What’s Valuable
If you’re at a loss as to what truly brings value to an organisation, consider the following:
- How does your company make a profit?
- What is the business model?
- What is my role within that business model?
- Which question do I need to ask often that I don’t think I should? Which answers must I often give that I feel should already be known?
- How can the company be better for clients, staff, and leadership?
These questions will get you started in understanding how to connect your value as an employee to the company objectives. And if you’re still lost, just ask. It will help you in the long run and might unveil some key opportunities to shift your role within the team.
Show Your Results
Sometimes, results do speak for themselves. But not always, especially when results are part of a larger workplace ecosystem. One fantastic way to get noticed at work is to communicate your successes. This helps to build a narrative around your reputation as an employee. Even though you might be trying to remain humble about your work, it’s critical to make it known that you specifically bring value to the organisation.
It’s essential to find the sweet spot between bragging and staying silent. No one likes a braggart. Even if you have results to back you up, be sure to remain self-aware. Here are some tips:
- Remember to ask for help when you need it. This shows that you are not too proud to request assistance and that you’re willing to learn no matter what.
- When talking about your success, note who helped you. It can cause significant contention within a team if you don’t.
- Ask yourself if it would be valuable information to share. If you think it helps in any way, let people know.
- If you receive feedback that you’re too showy about your success, take it seriously.
What should you actually say?
When you’re ready to make the ask consider these tips:
DON’T SAY: I’m really sorry to bother you.
DO SAY: I have something important I want to discuss with you.
DON’T SAY: I’m very undervalued as an employee.
DO SAY: Here is how I add value to the organisation.
DON’T SAY: Take your time, think about it. Get back to me when you can.
DO SAY: I would appreciate you considering what I’ve asked. Can I follow up with you on
DON’T SAY: If I don’t get this promotion, I’m leaving.
DO SAY: I want to understand how you view my professional growth since I’ve started here. I look forward to hearing your answer so I can weigh my options.
Remember that it pays off to evaluate how you spend your time and share your accomplishments to build a strong reputation as an employee. Good luck!