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 an honest look at yourself and ask this question: Does my boss even know who I am and what I can do?
You might be surprised to discover that you are not even on your boss’s radar.
If this is the case, here are nine 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. Instead, be strategic and lead a discussion about how a new idea can meet your company’s overall mission and goals. You will align better with senior management’s way of thinking if you do.
2. Handle difficult situations with poise.
Good leaders are expected to handle stressful events without falling apart. Whether it is a demanding 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. Others will assume you cannot work well under pressure if you do.
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 impact 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. At all cost, avoid gossip, sexist or foul language, backstabbing, arrogance, bullying, and needing to be the centre of attention.
6. Practise good work habits.
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 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.
Offer intelligent 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. On the other hand, a pleasant, upbeat person is much nicer to be around.