4 Ways to Stand out at Work
I am not asked to attend certain meetings where I believe my input would be helpful. I don’t know what to do.
I am being slighted at work. I don’t get the good assignments. And I need those skills to move up in my organization.
These comments and others from my seminar participants suggest that some people believe they are being overlooked at work. Yet there are often two sides to a story. As the quote below illustrates, sometimes when people are given opportunities to be noticed, they don’t make the most of them.
I was nervous when I attended the senior management meeting. I stood by myself and didn’t talk to anyone. My boss was furious at me. She said it was my opportunity to get known and I blew it.
Regardless of which side you identify with, here are some general guidelines to help you stand out – in a good way:
Don't make it easy for people to ignore you.
Walk into a room like you belong there. Go up to people and introduce yourself, shake hands correctly, and make conversation with others. Pay attention to your nonverbal communication. Look people in the eye when you speak. Don’t cross your arms. Speak loudly enough to be heard – many people don't. And dress professionally. Your clothes need to be clean, pressed, in good condition, fit well, and be appropriate for your position.
Speak up if something is bothering you.
If you don't bring up situations that you believe are unfair, others may assume you are passive, and it’s unlikely anything will change. The key is to pick situations that are important, and to voice your concerns assertively. "Boss, I haven't been asked to attend the marketing meetings, yet I believe my suggestions on the budget would be helpful to the team. I would like to attend next week's meeting."
Make use of your network and mentors.
Talk to people you trust about your specific situation. Get their suggestions. If you don't have mentors or a network, start developing them. (Additional information on building your network can be found in my new book, The Communication Clinic: 99 Proven Cures for the Most Common Business Mistakes.)
Have “fire in your belly.”
Have a powerful sense of determination – of working hard to succeed. Some people seem to be born with this attribute; others have to develop it. To ignite that blaze, go above and beyond. Do more than what is expected of you. Help others. Show initiative and do good work. Make sure you have all the necessary schooling and/or certifications. Convey enthusiasm for your work. Meet or beat your deadlines. When you can, solve problems. Get to work early, and don’t rush out the door at the end of the day.
There are many other things you can do to enhance your career, but these four items are key to helping you get noticed – an important part of any professional’s development.
How to Introduce and Position Yourself the Right Way
Introducing yourself – more to getting it right than you think!
What do you say when someone asks you “so what do you do?”
You might say, “I’m a financial advisor”. Or “I’m an investment advisor”. If you’re a top advisor, you might be compelled to say “I’m Vice President and Portfolio Manager”. Or even “I’m a CFA”.
Well put all of those away if you’re introducing yourself to a woman you might want as a client. None of the above will impress her – she might even “run for the door” thinking you’re going to try to “sell” her something.
Your goal is have her say “tell me more about that”.
So what do you say?
Here are 4 quick tips:
- Make it about your clients
- Make it about outcomes
- Make it interesting
- Make it fun
How about something like this: “I help people have their cake and eat it too”. Doesn’t that beg the question “what does that mean” or “how do you do that”.
Okay maybe that’s a bit over the edge but it’s important you make it about the people you help and not about what you do to help people get there.
I help <type of people you serve”> <achieve this>. Something like:
- I help retirees create a sustainable income.
- I help women understand money on their terms.
- I help young couples get a good start towards financial security.
Now you try it! Send us your best one.
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