Invincible means “too powerful to be defeated or overcome.”
Even though the above words sound the same, there is a colossal difference between both words. Imagine this - you are a dependable and teamwork-oriented employee who is conscious of completing projects before the deadline. Proactively, you structure each day to make progress to long-term professional goals. Furthermore, you are well-liked and consistent. So, what’s the problem?! Based on your attributes and profile, you should be valued and noticed in your workplace, right? Well, not quite. The same work environment also has colleagues and peers that may exhibit the same characteristics in addition to being achievement- and results-oriented. Additionally, since business and employment opportunities are more global than ever, you are competing with talent domestically and internationally that can tickle the fancy of recruiters and hiring managers. Thus, it is easy to see why your value can get lost in the shuffle if you can’t remain top of mind.
To get on the radar of your manager and chief decision makers, you will need to do more than be a good employee. Instead, take it to the next level by conceptualizing a series of small action steps that will prove meaningful to the right people while positively benefiting the organization.
“Jump In the Ring!” Assess the opportunities that are currently available and visualize how you can leverage your knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and experience for the betterment of the project or initiative. By offering your help, you are taking a proactive approach to show your worth. Don’t fear the situation if you need particular soft or technical skills that you don’t currently have. Rather, this can be your chance to acquire KSAs that will soon enhance your work experience while showcasing your value in a project that is worthwhile to the company.
“Dress Better Than Your Boss, As Long As...” “Dress for Success” is an old cliche, but it still has so much importance today. However, there has always been a debate as to how well you should dress in the office. There are some many things to consider including, but not limited to, (1) the negative implications of dressing better than your direct report, (2) the work culture and office environment and (3) hate or shade given by your colleagues for your over-the-top look. While outdressing your boss and other senior leaders may accentuate your confidence, how can you be in position to successfully defend your debonair look?
Understand and gauge the atmosphere of the office because you are sure to get feedback from your colleagues and direct report if the work environment does not require suit and tie. Your ability to handle the reactions gracefully with these individuals is the key for your co-workers and leadership personnel to “approve” your style sense. As long as you are not trying to outdo your boss’s boss, then you should be fine to express your confidence through your fashion. You will have a green light to be who you are. You will bolster your reputation. As a result, you may become a trendsetter as people will witness how your dress is opening more pathways to success.
“Become the Business Development Maven” If organizations do not grow, then they will decline and eventually go out of business. This is a fundamental fact, so it makes sense that valued employees are always on the hunt for new business. Developing new business pipelines are directly tied to enhancing the growth of a company, so if an employee is a magnet for courting relationships that translate into potential revenue growth, this person will be seen and treated more as an asset than a liability. “Shake Hands and Kiss Babies” Maybe you shouldn’t shake hands and kiss babies during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the use of the phrase reveals the need for networking to get notice. The most powerful contingent of a business is its human resource, so the energy that you need is within the current of the people. Being amongst the people will allow you to escape from your personal and proximal echo chambers, learn the systems and the people behind them and absorb constructive criticism and specific feedback from customers and vendors.
The key is to build and nurture these relationships over time. Time is the limitless factor that allows space for two or more entities to cultivate a bond that can be eventually leveraged for business development. Face-to-face interaction is the richest and most direct mode of communication, but as the world has adapted to COVID-19 implications, advancements in technology have made it possible to replicate this connection through Zoom, email, phone, text message, video chat and social media, to name a few. Oh, did I fail to mention that people like working and doing business with people they get along with, too?
Lastly, building rapport with your network allows a professional to find support and mentorship opportunities. For example, leadership is lonely, so having an outlet to discuss thoughts or receive more education from respected authorities provides a proper balance while bolstering mental health and well-being.
“Read Between The Lines!” Place laser focus on your written communication skills. Improving email correspondence, for example, is a highly-overlooked facet of exchange that can figuratively and literally pay off in terms of raising your profile.
Since I was a middle school student, I prided myself on how well I could write, speak and present my points to the people. College provided the first real chance for me to show how well I could communicate via email and in projects/presentations. I obsessed over the structure, length and clarity of my emails because I wanted to simplify key points as a means of “managing up” to my direct report. From the attention-grabbing Subject line to the bullet-points and appropriate use of bolding, italicizing and underlining throughout the email, I was lauded by my superior for simplifying the main points while alerting her to the priority of the email in the Subject line. Other authority figures took notice and asked me to train their assistant on the method I learned from David Allen’s exemplary book “Getting Things Done.”
Overall, the suggestions listed in this article are not the end-all-be-all of ways to finally get noticed at work. Yet, these recommendations will certainly provide a foundation to conceptualize a plan of action that will position you closer to your goals. To turn over a new leaf from the invisible to the invincible side, it is vital to first be open to the change in order to stay committed to the process. Every day is a moment to move closer to being recognized and then regarded for your body of work over the next 60 days. Make a move, take ownership of the opportunity, set your goals and make sure to execute them to the tee.
Justin Tyler is a International Communications Strategist who partners with CEOs, leadership teams and managers to communicate messages and narratives - with a human touch. Today, as a co-founder of Mercer County Works, he is actively living in his passion to create a win-win career resource for job seekers and job creators that is hyper-focused on the growth of the local economy and employment opportunities.