Many people make the mistake of thinking that showing up and doing the tasks assigned to you is enough to get a raise or a promotion, but the fact is, your co-workers are also doing those things and more. In order to make yourself stand out, you have to bring value to the workplace by actively showing you’re ready for more responsibility or deserve to earn more.
Here are four things you can do to get started.
- Really get to know your company. Before you can make an impact, you have to know why and how to make an impact. Take the time to understand your company’s big picture goals and your department’s supporting goals. This way you can bring more meaningful contributions that are in line with what your company has done or is already doing.
- Speak up. Don’t assume your manager pays attention to and knows every single thing you’re doing at all times. The truth is, they’re busy with their own day-to-day tasks! It’s up to you to bring yourself and your accomplishments to their attention.
This doesn’t have to be a public display every time. You can keep a record of your achievements and simply talk about them during your next check in. It’s helpful to include quantitative data in your conversations. How much did your sales, production, etc. increase after implementing this new process? The more specific the better!
- Participate. Now that you’ve spoken up about your achievements, your manager might be paying a little more attention to you. Be active during meetings and other work-related gatherings. Make sure to come prepared by learning what you can about the topic being discussed beforehand. Even if you don’t have new ideas, agreeing with what someone else said, adding to it or offering constructive criticism will go far in helping you stand out.
Other ways to participate in the workplace is to take on tasks outside your job description and to have more intentional interactions with your co-workers. The next step after pointing out your accomplishments is to have other people point them out too. A low-risk way to get involved and show off your other skills is to help with things like company picnics or fundraising drives.
- Think critically and offer solutions. As much as managers appreciate hearing about problems, they appreciate hearing about potential solutions even more. Instead of relying on them or other members of your team to do all the problem solving, take some time to come up with your own fixes. Remember that they hired you to get the job done, so show them you can do it. Don’t be afraid to get creative! The worst that can happen is your manager says “no”, but even in that scenario, you can ask for more specific feedback and use that information to develop your next idea.
If you’re still not sure, ask your manager directly what their expectations are for someone working in your role and what they want to see from you in order for you to advance. Doing this also clues them in that you’re seriously thinking about your future with the company, which will keep their attention on you. From that point, it’ll be up to you to find success in your workplace.