If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to see or hear it, does it make a sound? A similar question applies to the workplace: If you land a major account or nail a difficult project, but your bosses aren’t aware of your contributions, were your efforts in vain? According to career expert Lea McLeod, you can avoid pondering that one by making sure your manager knows how valuable you are.
In a piece for the Daily Muse, McLeod offers five tips for making sure “your boss knows just how awesome you are.” It’s not easy, since you don’t want to toot your own horn or come across as cocky, but there are ways to tell your firm’s higher-ups that you’re doing good work for them, and that you deserve more recognition. Scroll down to read McLeod’s expert advice.
1. Update Your Manager On Your Progress — Many workers wait until their annual reviews to sing their own praises, but once a year isn’t often enough, according to McLeod. The better move is to schedule bi-weekly meetings with your supervisor and update him or her on what you’ve been up to. “By having regular conversations, you’ll remind your manager of your value—and keep it in the front of his or her mind on an ongoing basis, instead of just once a year,” McLeod writes.
2. Talk About Results — When you have those meetings with your boss, talk about the bigger picture, and whenever possible, throw in numbers that illustrate your successes.
3. Seek Out Endorsements — Good managers listen to their employees and customers, and if your coworkers and/or clients are talking up your contributions to a project, the praise will almost certainly help you improve your standing. Make this happen by politely asking folks to speak up on your behalf, and of course offer to do the same for them.
4. Stand and Deliver — If there’s a project you’re particularly proud of, why not ask your boss to let you give a presentation to company brass and update them on where things stand and why they’re going so well? “Assure your manager you want to make her look great in the process,” McLeod writes. “Then, do so!”
5. Reclaim Stolen Ideas — In the event someone stands up in a meeting and tries to pass off one of your killer brainstorms as one of their own, take back your idea by throwing out numbers and data to show you’ve really thought about it. “In other words, take control of the conversation to direct the spotlight back to you,” McLeod writes.