By Barbara Reinhold
Monster Contributing Writer
Hopefully, you're not still under the illusion that if you're talented and hardworking, somehow people will notice and you'll get your just rewards.
A lot of career Cinderellas are still out there waiting around for that prince of a promotion or raise to come, getting more disillusioned, and depressed with every passing day. Getting promoted means getting noticed, which is not something that happens on its own. But you can make it happen by using the following four strategies as often as possible.
Volunteer for Assignments
Stay alert for opportunities that will allow you to do any or all of the following:
- Showcase your best skills
- Stretch in some way
- Align your efforts with your boss's key interests
You must stay vigilant and watch for situations to arise. Make sure your hand goes up before others in the class realize there's an opportunity.
Speak Up at Least Three Times in Every Meeting
If you're an introvert, this might be a stretch for you, but there are ways to train yourself and prepare. This is an extrovert-dominated world, where people who take longer to formulate their thoughts often find that the conversation has galloped off in another direction before they have a chance to respond.
Here's a simple solution: Get the agenda ahead of time, read it over, and script (write out for yourself so you can check your notes during the meeting) some of the ideas you've developed. Then, a simple glance at your notes during the fast-moving debate will help you drop some dynamite ideas into the fray. When you're quiet, some may assume there is nothing going on inside your head. Don't let people, especially your boss, think this about you.
Stay Informed and Let It Show
Read, surf the Web, or talk with colleagues in your field, and keep in touch with what's going on in your profession. Then be sure to drop nuggets of what you've learned and your conclusions about the information you've gathered into conversations, memos or any relevant work material. Take the time to have some interesting and useful thoughts, and then make sure other people know about them.
In organizations today, being informed about what's happening this week is only part of the battle; the people who will be rewarded with raises and promotions are those who prove that they're thinking ahead in order to be strategic rather than reactive.
Document Your Successes
Let people know what's going on as a matter of course. When you have a brief meeting with someone and a plan is set, send an email confirming who is doing what and copy relevant people. When you get a positive comment or a thank-you from someone, forward it to your boss, assuming she'll want to see any good news that comes in about the work unit she's managing. After all, your success is ultimately her success.
So many people, especially women, complain that they're just not being appreciated and their coworkers and bosses take them for granted. Don't forget that you have to act to ensure your efforts are rewarded and your work is noticed. And if the rewards aren't forthcoming, start looking for a better opportunity.