Decades ago, you might have done fine at work by following the advice,” Keep your head down and do good work.” Today, even if you do good work you’ll barely be noticed—but if you “keep your head down,” no one will even know you’re there. This isn’t about showboating—it’s about communicating your contributions, talent, and passion. Here are three tips on gaining the attention you need and deserve:
Who knows you?
“Company politics” simply means there are certain people in your company who have more influence and therefore more power than most. Wouldn’t it make sense to be on their radar? Start by finding out what’s important to them, personally and professionally. Then begin building your relationships based on what’s important to them. Business is all about relationships. Ask yourself once a week: “Who are the people I need to get to know me and what can I do this week to make that happen?”
What have you done lately?
You can’t be the center of attention based on what you did three months ago. The shelf-life of work achievements is getting shorter and shorter—as is the attention span of those you need to impress. This means you can’t get complacent. What are you working on now that is attention-worthy? If you can’t answer that question, you’re not in the center of attention where you belong. Fix that.
Are you blowing your own horn?
Alan Weiss, Ph.D., author of Million Dollar Maverick knows how to get attention and he’s right when he says, “If you don’t blow your own horn there is no music.” Do it everywhere and do it consistently. If someone is claiming credit for your idea, don’t let them. You deserve that attention, not the thief. If your boss isn’t showcasing your work to his or her boss, is it because you haven’t asked her to? Take charge of being in the spotlight—it’s there for YOU.
Bonus Tips: Three Ways to Get Attention
- Get in front of more people: Write an article for your company newsletter or blog, volunteer to give a presentation to senior management, show up at the company party or fundraiser, send an email to your CEO or a senior leader.
- Ask your boss what you can take off her plate: Ideally something you’re passionate about. He or she will be relieved, and when you do a great job they will be impressed.
- Shine the light on others: When you talk positively about another team member, who is everyone paying attention to? You, of course. And what’s wrong with looking good by doing good? Everyone wins that way.