In the dog-eat-dog world of business, everyone is trying to get noticed. If you can land on your boss’ radar and stay in his or her good graces, you’ve got a much better chance of nabbing that big promotion and scoring that sweet corner office. At least that’s the mindset most people have. But simply sticking out isn’t enough. How do you make the kind of lasting impression needed to sustain a long, successful career?
In an insightful piece for the Daily Muse, Jeff Vijungco, vice president of Adobe’s Global Talent organization, outlines “5 Ways to Make a Lasting Impression.” “If you consistently make a positive, memorable impact on your boss, your co-workers, and even your employees, you’ll increase your chances of getting hand-picked for the best opportunities when they come knocking, paving your way to career success,” he writes. Scroll down to see his suggestions.
1. Be Yourself — While it’s important to come across as smart and capable, there are also benefits to showcasing your unique personality. “Sometimes, we get so caught up in trying to impress that we forget to show our true selves — we hold back opinions, squash our creative ideas, and downplay our personalities, all for fear of being judged,” Vijungco writes.
2. Energize, Don’t Exhaust — As Vijungco writes, every business dealing is “a deposit or a withdrawal.” That is, you either leave people feeling better off or somehow depleted. To ensure the former result, give people your full attention and focus on conversations.
3. Learn to Handle Pressure — Easier said than done, right? According to Vijungco, if you constantly put yourself in high-pressure situations, you’ll learn to handle yourself when the heat is on. “Being in your comfort zone for too long only creates a situation that makes it easier for you to crack under pressure,” he writes. “But if you’re constantly in the ‘stretch’ zone, you’ll create a habit of performing well no matter what the pressure level.”
4. Keep It Simple — Vijungco’s mantra: “Be bright, be brief, be gone.” Use simple language and be as direct as possible. It’ll make it easier to get your ideas across, and people will appreciate you not wasting their time.
5. Don’t “Manage Up” — Some people strive for the top by talking up their achievements to higher-ups and taking a “pick-me approach.” According to Vijungco, the better tactic is to work with a broad range of people and be the one other people are endorsing. You should “get elected,” in other words, and not try to elect yourself.