There’s nothing worse than that feeling of stagnation. You bust your butt doing amazing work for your company, and yet time and time again, when it’s time to hand out promotions, you get passed up. It’s like running on a treadmill: lots of effort for no forward motion. It may seem hopeless, but according to Patrice C. Washington, author of Real Money Answers for Every Woman, it doesn’t have to be. In a Black Enterprise post titled “4 Ways to Get Noticed for the Job You Want,” she outlines excellent tips for making yourself standout and taking major steps toward your dream job.
1. Determine Your True Value — Before you can prove to your company how valuable you are, you’ve got to quantify it somehow and give them data they can’t dispute. Have you saved your company X amount of dollars or hours? Maybe you’ve boosted productivity by Y percent? Are you already super close to your yearly goal? “No team wants to lose their most valuable player and similarly no company wants to lose their most talented employee,” Washington writes.
2. Let Your Ambition Be Known — Since you’re so terrific in your current role, it’s possible others at your company think you’re content, and that you’re not looking to make a move. Disavow them of this notion by meeting with your supervisor and making your intentions know. A face-to-face is better than an email or call, since it cuts down on the possibility of a misunderstanding. Ask the boss what opportunities are available and what you might do in order to achieve your goals.
3. Dress for the Job You Want — It’s that old adage: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. This doesn’t necessarily mean cleaning out your bank account to buy name-brand duds. It does, however, mean taking a little extra time to look sharp.
4. Network on the Job — Most of us think of networking as that scary smalltalk at industry events. As Washington says, though, you can do plenty of networking within your own company. Make a friend in HR — they always know about the latest job openings — and reach out to folks in other departments. Maybe even see if you can pitch in and learn more. “As long as it doesn’t affect your performance, your manager shouldn’t be upset and you’ve let everyone know that you are definitely the one to watch for the next big opening!” Washington writes.