Do you feel like you work as hard as every one else? Do you feel like your deliverables are better than others? Do you feel like no one notices how hard you work, or how good your work is? You may be right. Working hard, in and of itself, isn’t usually enough to be noticed. Doing great work isn’t the only thing that people get judged on.
During my time as a manager and an executive, I usually noticed people who were:
Proactive: People who don’t wait to be asked to do things, but who suggest that they can contribute, or who even just do it usually stand out. When you think of it from the manager’s perspective, making sure that you’ve circled back with everyone and made sure that they know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, adds to the job. If you have someone who steps up and suggests or asks if they should do something, lifts some of the load. If you show that you are seeing more of the big picture and some of the things that need to get done, then you have marked yourself as having potential beyond your current position.
High Energy: People who display high energy stand out in a crowd. They are fun to be around (even for managers). Not only do they usually do a lot of work, they are perceived at doing more than they do because they just keep at it.
Able to Jump on Something and FINISH It: Part of this is being obvious about starting and part of this is being obvious about finishing. Some people are good at one of these and others are good at the other, but it is the people who are consistently good at both who get noticed. These people who seem to start quickly and consistently and obviously finish the job are the ones that managers and executives come to rely on.
An Expert: Become the specialist on something. Become known in your organization as the person to go to for answers with . . . whatever. Make sure you are quite knowledgeable on the things that are important to doing your job, but also on the things that your boss thinks are important.
Able to Get Things Done With Other People: People who are networked, who work well in teams, who are persuasive, who are leaders–basically, who get things done through/with other people consistently get noticed. It is a surprisingly rare talent.
Not a Diva: People who take more energy to deal with than they are worth don’t last long. The thing is–if you are worth a lot, people are willing to deal with a lot. Its hard to know when you cross over that line. It is just better to not take a lot of work to deal with so that you won’t be surprised when they get tired of your drama. (Of course, you have to NOT BE A DIVA in addition to one or more of the others to be visible–just NOT BEING A DIVA is not noticable in most organizations. People who are the noticeable in the ways listed above, but who are also divas, are noticed in good ways.)
What Kinds of People Do You Notice?