(By Victoria Craw)
“Keeping it very short and clear is key because everyone is overloaded. Personally I would go for an in-person approach but if not send a short email or voicemail to say ‘I’m at a state where I would value a mentoring relationship, you have the skills and values I’m interested in and I would like the opportunity to take you out for a coffee.“
IN a workplace bustling with talent, it can be difficult to stand out from a crowd.
Here’s how to get noticed by the people that matter.
Career and leadership coach Nicola Styles said it might sound simple, but the best way to get noticed in the workplace is by making yourself known.
“Rather than sitting behind a desk and relying on email, make a point of getting up and introducing yourself to people, particularly those in upper echelons of the heirachy,” she said.
“In meetings, share an opinion, have a voice and not just for the sake of it but by being prepared and having something of value to say.”
Workplaces are filled with people that interact in different ways, but Ms Styles said there are certain ways of communicating that are sure to get you noticed.
“Being clear and concise about what you have to say rather than going into too much detail and waffling,” she said, adding that those who have a “glass half-full’ attitude seem to get more attention.
“Generally being a positive person gets you noticed. Not just positive but also solutions focused.”
Build a network
Having a strong network of friends and colleagues will not only make you better known, but it leads to more opportunities.
“It’s getting involved, being socially active or taking part in teams. Those people get noticed more, but don’t do it to the detriment of your actual role. It’s a fine balance between business stuff and extra-curricular activities,” she said.
Playing the game of office politics can be unavoidable, but be careful not to get embroiled in personal disagreements.
“Its about remaining diplomatic and unbiased and not forming strong opinions but also at the same time having your own views and opinions but expressing them in neutral or diplomatic fashion,” Ms Styles said.
Get a mentor
The advice of someone a little older and wiser can lead to huge benefits.
Ms Styles said workers shouldn’t be afraid to approach someone in a powerful position for help.
“Keeping it very short and clear is key because everyone is overloaded. Personally I would go for an in-person approach but if not send a short email or voicemail to say ‘I’m at a state where I would value a mentoring relationship, you have the skills and values I’m interested in and I would like the opportunity to take you out for a coffee.'”
It’s up to the employee to maintain the relationship.
“It’s key for the mentee to drive that relationship. A number of people I see feel like the mentor should drive it but it’s your development so it’s your responsibility,” Ms Styles said.
Manage your emotions
Board Portfolio director Mike Hayes, who places executives on boards of high profile companies, said those who have risen to the top of the corporate ladder tend to have certain traits in common.
“They are very focused, driven and engaging. They are able to articulate very quickly and assess and analyse problems from a business point of view. Some are able to look at the bigger picture very quickly, others like to roll their sleeves up and get into it before they can determine the path that needs to be taken.”
However when it comes to selecting the next generation of leaders, people need to gain experience and work hard.
“Getting in and making sure you’re honest, and ethical and professional and doing the best you can in that current capacity. If you want to be successful in life you’ve got to put in time and effort. If you want to be a manager you’ve got to work hard and build those skills,” he said.
Ms Styles said it’s also essential employees learn to manage their emotions and deal with stress, as leaders are also looking for emotional intelligence and leadership qualities when choosing the next round of leaders.
“If you’re looking at succession planning, you want to be putting people in who have good coaching and leadership qualities. Time and time again you hear how technical people are put in managerial psotiions but don’t have strength of character to deal with different people dynamics.”
Tips for getting noticed
• Be visible – don’t shy away from talking to people face-to-face. If you can have a chat rather than email, do it. And be prepared so you can speak up in meetings.
• Be positive – having a ‘can do’ attitude is more likely to get you noticed in a good way. But make sure people aren’t taking advantage of you and assert yourself where necessary.
• Build a network – getting to know your team members through taking part in work activities can make a big difference to your career.
• Get a mentor – don’t be afraid to approach a powerful person to act as a mentor. Just be sure they are someone you have a rapport with and make an effort to maintain the relationship
• Manage your emotions – even if you’re stressed out or overworked, keep your emotions in check. You don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”