There's probably not one single employee out there, who, at one point or another, wanted to impress their superiors at work. It's only natural that you want to stand out, make a good impression, and be considered for a promotion or raise in the future. If anything, you want your ego stroked, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. We all seek praise, and we all want to be rewarded in whatever way for a job well done.
Of course, part of getting noticed at work is excelling at your daily tasks. But there are other strategies you must employ for people to really pay attention to you. At the same time, you don't want to be the office grandstander. Remember those annoying people in class who would raise their hands constantly and talk just for the sake of hearing their own voice and getting noticed by the professor? Don't be that kind of employee. Here are a few tips:
1. Be sincerely helpful
When taking on extra tasks while at work, don't make it obvious that you are doing so just to get ahead. Develop a sincerely caring and curious disposition in which you take on extra work the sake of helping others who are overloaded with tasks. Asking for too much extra work just for its own sake can backfire, especially when you overload yourself and can't deliver as you promised.
2. Don't try to get noticed simply by bringing down other coworkers
Many employees try to get ahead by surreptitiously highlighting their peers' shortcomings. You might even be guilty of this without even knowing it. Instead of focus what others aren't doing, focus on what you are and aren't accomplishing. You'll get a lot more work done that way, I promise.
3. In order for people to notice you, notice others when a job is well done
In any pursuit to be noticed in any office around the world, likeability plays a big part, whether or not that's fair. But trying to be likeable to get ahead will always come off as insincere. Instead of slamming your coworkers, bring up morale by praising your peers even if it doesn't get you anywhere. When someone you work with does an excellent job, don't just congratulate them but tell your boss, too. It's in raising up and praising others that others notice you and your drive to make your team motivated and cohesive.
4. Be consistent with your work in both quality and quantity
Many who try to get noticed at work do so sporadically. They think, if I just really work hard today and the rest of this week, I'll get considered for a raise or a promotion. When employers are figuring out raises and promotions, however, they're doing so based on their overall impression of your work over the course of several months or a year. Instead of slaving away every few days, turn in quality work consistently, every single day. This tortoise approach is a much better ticket to getting noticed than working your butt of right before yearly reviews.
In the end, however, getting ahead can sometimes be race that's tedious and sickening. I don't think any employee should motivate himself solely for the purpose of being noticed by others. Just do your job, enjoy it as much as you can, and care about others with whom you work. You'll reap the rewards without even trying.
Samantha Gray is a freelance writer based in Houston, Texas, who offers college advice to those interested in furthering their studies and careers. She can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org