A lot of people work in an office where everyone is vying for that next rung on the corporate ladder, whether it be a creative or technical position. But with so much competition and possibly even some backstabbing, one has to be tactful and persistent to get noticed without seeming like an overbearing try-hard. Then again, merely doing the best job you can without going ‘above and beyond’ can easily cause one to fall by the wayside. Here are five tactful, proven ways to get recognized for your talents and abilities in your competitive office environment.
Take Credit For Your Work
Don’t feel bad speaking up to take credit for your work. If credit is going to the team, or possibly to another person who feels he or she should or can take credit for your hard work. Find a tactful way to let your boss know what you think you should be recognized. While calling it out in front of the entire team is probably going to make you look like an arrogant ass more than anything else, pulling your boss aside during a quiet one-on-one will probably earn you both respect and the credit you deserve. Repeatedly letting credit go elsewhere is going to make you seem like just another part of the team and possibly nothing exceptional; your boss isn’t a mind-reader and is probably too busy to scrutinize each project to see who did exactly what.
Build a Network
Head bent over your computer all day? Make some time to network with your coworkers; you never know who will be able to help you out in the future. It’s also useful to notice what type of people you’re surrounded by, lest you need to defend yourself from them to your boss in the future. Focusing on the positive aspect of networking, most people will be willing to support you as long as they know they’re receiving support from you; it’s the “I scratch your back and you scratch mine” mentality that’s existed forever. Beyond helping you out directly, coworkers who know you personally are more likely to refer you for projects and want to work with you.
Beyond networking with your coworkers, it’s a good idea to look up meetups, message boards, or conferences related to your field of work. You never know who you might meet when out and about. Your new contacts may be useful at the job you already have (by way of picking up new clients, etc), or at finding you a new and better job entirely.
Take on More Responsibilities
Your idea of fun might not be staying an hour or two late for a week straight in order to finish a big project, but your efforts will be recognized in the end. Be patient. It may take a few big projects during which you take on extra responsibilities for you to be recognized as a solid, “makes-it-happen” type of person who deserves a raise or promotion. At the same time, don’t let others take advantage of your hardworking mentality. You want to make sure that your extra hours and efforts are not going unnoticed, so remember to document your completed tasks and let your boss know what you’re up to.
A good way to get yourself noticed is to praise your coworkers for their hard work in front of your boss. Be honest and genuine about your comments; let your boss know why you think your coworker did a good job. Not only will that person get recognition for their hard work, but you’ll be seen as a sincere employee and positive influence on your team.
Mediate a Conflict
If something goes wrong at work, try to suggest corrections for the situation without becoming emotional or overly involved. Especially if the problem is a result of an error you made, try to make neutral, ambivalent suggestions on how to fix it. If the problem is unrelated to you, you can appear helpful and laden with good management skills if you’re able to come up with a professional, rational solution for the issue.