How To Make Your Boss Notice You

By Gerald Walsh ©

Have you been passed over for a promotion and not understood why? Instead of doing what most people do—blame the boss—why not take a honest look at yourself and ask this question: Does my boss even know who I am and what I am capable of?

You might be surprised to discover that you are not even on your boss’s radar.

If this is the case, here are 10 steps you can take to help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by your boss:

1. Understand the big picture.

Don’t be the pessimist who proclaims to everyone why a new idea will not work. Be strategic and lead a discussion about how a new idea can meet your company’s overall mission and goals. If you do, you will align better with senior management’s way of thinking.

2. Handle difficult situations with poise.

Good leaders are expected to be able to handle stressful events without falling apart. Whether it is a difficult customer, a challenging employee, or an uncooperative computer, you must be resourceful and overcome this stress with poise, composure and confidence. And never lose your temper publicly. If you do, others will assume you cannot work well under pressure.

3. Display positive body language.

Certain habits like rolling your eyes, avoiding eye contact, or having a weak handshake, can be interpreted by others as unprofessional or rude and can have an impact on your career. Pay attention to your non-verbal cues. They say a lot about you.

4. Admit mistakes.

Mistakes are problematic only if you don’t learn from them, ignore or conceal them, or blame others for them. If you made a mistake, own up to it and let your boss know what you are doing to fix it. You will be seen as courageous, and your boss will forgive you.

5. Demonstrate good manners.

Simple things like saying “please” when you ask for something,  “thank you” when someone gives you something, or “excuse me” when you need to interrupt, will help you earn respect from others. All cost avoid: gossip, sexist or foul language, backstabbing, arrogance, bullying, and needing to be the centre of attention.

6. Practise good work habits.

Come to work early and stay late. If you schedule a meeting, set an agenda and finish on time. Don’t take sick days unless you are sick. Always be on time for meetings. Use a to-do list faithfully.

7. Be likeable.

Have a firm handshake and friendly greeting, ask good questions, listen well, maintain eye contact, be engaging, dress appropriately, and smile a lot. Employers prefer to promote people they like and who impress them.

8. Speak up at team meetings.

If you have something constructive to say, speaking up at team meetings is one way to catch the boss’s attention. Offer smart solutions to problems, ask meaningful questions, compliment others on their ideas and successes, and volunteer to help out on committees. If you adopt these practices, you will leave a great impression.

9. Leave your negativity at home.

Nobody wants to be around someone who complains all the time. A pleasant, upbeat and positive person is much nicer to be around.

10. Understand there is a social aspect to work.

Working behind a closed door all the time is not a good way to get noticed. Make sure you find time to attend birthday gatherings, happy hours, and holiday parties—especially is the bosses are going to be there.


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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and author. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career. You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh