Getting noticed at work–working better and not harder
A few years ago, I noticed a frustrating phenomenon in my jobs. I was consistently the hardest worker, I won achievement and performance awards, and I got great reviews…but people with less experience and smaller results were promoted to management positions ahead of me. Why was that? Isn’t doing the best work the way to get to the top? Sadly, it isn’t. In fact, I think sometimes that being the best is a sure way to get stuck in one place! I got to talking with a girl who was a bit younger than me, who went to the same university and had a less challenging degree with less experience, and yet made far more money. I told her about my problem and asked her if she had any tips. She did! She encouraged me to promote myself more and make sure my bosses saw my achievements. At first, I thought this was weird. Why would I show them the obvious? But, I am open to learning from others, so I tried promoting myself a bit. I was in the habit of alerting managers and supervisors when things went wrong at work or if I noticed things that needed improvement, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. So one day, I sent an e-mail to the director instead. She was excited by what I had to say! Within a few weeks, she had invited me to go on a business trip to a sister-company to share my views and experiences. Soon, I was invited to go out to lunch with the vice-president of the company thanks to my performance…and the fact that the director had noticed me. But, she had noticed me because I put myself out there. It was quite a lesson learned!
I was re-reading Napoleon Hill’s “A Year of Growing Rich” recently and one of the chapters reminded me of that lesson I’d learned. In Hill’s book, chapter 14 emphasizes showmanship and getting noticed. He uses an example of an employee who works hard and gives much of his own time, but watches less devoted employees get promoted ahead of him. (Hmmm…sounds familiar!) Hill recommends exactly what my peer had recommended. He says that we need to recognize others and let them see us, but in a sincere manner rather than just showing off. I know from first-hand experience that it works!
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