Active Voice: 7 Tips on How to Get Noticed and Progress

How to Get Noticed and Progress

By Inge Woudstra

When was that moment when you thought how to get noticed and progress in this organisation? Do you remember the feeling of slight desperation and urgency? After all, you want to be heard, valued and respected! In fact you are ready to get better projects and move up. However, somehow it doesn’t quite happen for you.

You would expect that when you work hard you get a good review, which opens other doors. In reality, however, it doesn’t always work like that. Interestingly it works even less like that for women in male-dominated environments.  Or really, any under-represented group. So, here are our tips on how to get noticed and progress.

1. Focus on your value add

Ask yourself how your way of working is different from that of others. Then consider how your way of working adds value to your team.  What do you typically get asked to do?  What do you and others consider your strengths, skills and capabilities?  Remember to consider the things that come easiest to you, as those may exactly be those that others find hardest.

2. Speak up about how you add value

Talk about your strengths to others and find ways to illustrate each strength with a specific work-related example. Ideally, wrap them into small anecdotes that you can casually drop into any conversation. “When I was working with [x], what they found helpful was when I …”

3. Speak up about your way of working

People have different ways of working. In an environment that is dominated by a type (for instance young, white men in tech companies), it’s harder to see how a different way of working brings value. So you may need to preface a different way of working with a few explanations: explain that you first need to know why before you start a job so that you can deliver to the objective; explain you ask questions and what they are for; explain it may look like you are an invisible leader but that you do a lot of work in the background to keep the team running smoothly.

4. Network with others like you

It can be very powerful to have a place where you can connect and share with others like you. It gives recognition and validation. That in turn builds your self awareness and confidence. But not only that, your network contacts may also have tips on how to get noticed and progress.

5. Network with peers and superiors

Make regular time for coffees with peers and your manager. Ask for a 30-minute informal mentoring session with their manager. Consider the same for anyone at a more senior level whose career or style fascinates you. In the conversation try to find subtle ways to let them know about your strengths and achievements. Also find out what they did to get to where they are. And drop what you would love your next step to be.  If you’re brave, you may even ask for their help!

6. Get a sponsor

Find someone in the organisation to be your champion and advocate – sometimes a good mentor does this. Make sure this person knows about your strengths and achievements. Also ensure they know what you want to do next.

7. Push for change

Advocate for a more inclusive culture. Suggest reviews of recruitment and promotion processes, so they can be more inclusive.

Need more help on how to get noticed and progress?  We can offer specific guidance.  Get in touch to book a free Ask Me Anything call with us. Email to book.