Have you ever wondered how to stand out at work or how to make yourself noticeable to get a promotion?
This came from a conversation I was having with a professional whose company was overtaken by another company. They were bought out. They went from a company with around 50 employees to now in the 1000s.
She had some valid questions:
(Or for my entrepreneurs, These ideas can still apply to you. Ask yourself, “How can I be chosen out of all of my competitors?” Stay tuned for my next blog where I will specifically cover this for you.)
Here are five specific steps that you can do right now no matter where you are in your company and no matter what level you’re at.
Even if you’re not in a company, you can still think about:
And with every topic I cover, you can always think about how you can apply these to other areas of life.
First: Align Yourself with the Company’s Values, Mission, and Culture
If you are about to be bought out by another company or even if you are working for the same company, you have to think about:
If you can align yourself with that, it’s going to help you to stand out. When you have your next meeting, performance review and even in an interview, plan how you’ll share this alignment. Have examples or stories of your ideas, experiences, and actions to prove that you're in alignment with them, especially in casual conversations that happen, it's going to help you to make a name for yourself.
Second: Connect with Others
Whether you know every person in your company or not, this is an opportunity to reach out and get to know them or maintain and nurture that relationship. How do you do that?
There are so many different platforms that companies are on like Slack or you have another in-house messenger system. Shoot them a short voicemail or a short video or even just reach out and just say, “Hey, how's it going?”
If you don't know each other well, why not do a virtual coffee? Especially with Zoom and people being in their own homes, you get to learn a little bit more about them than you maybe normally would if you were talking in the office, workspace, or staff room.
Get to know them. Ask questions like:
I know these are basic questions, but when you get to know these things about them, then you can easily refer back to it the following week. You could say:
There are so many things you can talk about just based on you asking one question the week before or the last time you saw them. It might help to even write it down especially if you're going to be meeting a lot of new people. Write down one interesting fact about them. Then when you see them next time, follow up with that.
The cool thing is, in them sharing something about themselves, you can then acknowledge them. If you get to know them on a personal basis, acknowledge them for who they're being like:
Whatever it may be, you can do a very simple acknowledgment. You can use this formula:
“You are a” + “an adjective” + title
For example: You are a wonderful mother.
You can also compliment them. It can be simple or on a more professional basis:
Whatever it may be, you can compliment them on how they were doing in the job or how they were performing:
You can compliment them on who they were being like:
You can give people an acknowledgment or a compliment. There are so many different ways and versions of it and it can be personal or professional. You have two choices.
Third: Speak Up
You don't need to be the boss. You don't need to be the one that is going to dominate the conversation, but you should at least say something in meetings. Come up with ideas and share them.
When you have that opportunity to present something or even ask a question, do it. You need to have a voice to the name and the email. You need to have people see you when they normally just see your name up on a board somewhere.
If you're feeling like there's not really an opportunity for you to add ideas you can just add in one of these:
That shows interest. That shows that you care to know that what you’ve heard is right. If you don't have anything else to say, you can at least ask a question or provide a statement.
Fourth: Be Yourself
There can be many employees in a company and many people in your industry, so that everyone can start to blend into one another, especially for anyone that has a specific uniform that you have to wear. But:
Just be yourself so that you stand out in your uniqueness.
Fifth: Make Yourself More Recognizable
I don't know how many times I finally got to meet in-person someone I had only emailed with or spoken to on the phone and I was thinking, “Oh, I thought they’d look like this or thought they’d look like that.” People can be more connected to you when they know what you look like. In your emails, can you put an image of yourself so that you're recognizable when they see you?
When you jump on the meetings, get on video. I don't know how many times I've been on calls and people are not on video. They don't even have a photo when they're not on video, so it just says their name on a black screen. That’s not very memorable.
Get on video. Have people see you. Even if you're not the one speaking, be on video, to be smiling, nodding, looking thoughtful as if you're really listening, that goes a long way for someone who's presenting as a speaker.
I know I notice that. I was at a little meet and greet event the other week and one of the other women, as everyone was introducing themselves, was smiling and nodding and showing that she was really listening. That prompted me to reach out to her in a private message through the chat function of Zoom.
I told her something like, “Hey, who are you? You are doing such a good job smiling and nodding at people. I love it. Congratulations.” What started up as our own little conversation ended up having a virtual coffee date. She was making herself not just recognizable, but she was standing out as a good person.
When you go to a meeting or an event and you have a question or comment to make, start by saying your name. Don't assume that people know your name or know your department. You could say:
Let people know who you are. Say your name and say what you're working on or something just to connect people if they don't already know.
Those are the five ways that you can make a name for yourself in your company or industry. Most of them are focusing on great ideas for being an employee. However, if you are a business owner, you work for yourself, or in a different capacity and you want to make yourself known in the industry that you work in, then stay tuned in next week. This is exactly what I am going to cover. I'm going to share some of the tactics that I use as well.
Read more of my blogs here:
1. Stand out from your competitors... without it feeling hard or overwhelming
2. The Price We Pay for our Decisions
3. Stop Being Vanilla
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