Have you noticed that some workers receive more promotions and greater pay than do their colleagues? This, despite the fact that they are apparently not even as competent. This doesn’t seem fair. Why should some people get ahead when others who seem to be working far harder, and even longer hours, get passed over for promotion and the additional rewards that go with it?
The fact is that to be a great success, it is important not only to be good at what you do, but also to be perceived as being good at what you do. Human beings are creatures of perception. It is not what they see but what they think they see that determines how they think and act. If one person is perceived as being more promotable, then it is very likely that he/she will get additional responsibilities and more money, even though there are others that can do a better job, if given the chance.
Fortunately, there are several things that one can do to increase visibility and accelerate the speed at which they move ahead in their career.
Develop Competence. Determine what parts of your job are most important to your boss and to your company, and then make the decision to become very good in those areas. You must be perceived as being very competent at what you do. That perception alone will bring you to the attention of more people faster than you can imagine. The perception of excellent performance will open up opportunities for greater responsibilities, higher pay and better positions. Becoming good at what you do should be the foundation of your strategy for gaining higher visibility and rapid advancement in your career.
Pay Attention to Your Overall Image. How you appear to others makes a real difference.
A recent survey of personnel executives found that the decision to hire or not to hire is made in the first 30 seconds. There are many elements of your life over which you have no control. But your external dress and appearance are totally a matter of personal preference. Through their choice of clothes, their grooming and their overall appearance, individuals deliberately make a statement about the kind of people they are. The way you look on the outside is a representation of the way you see yourself on the inside. It’s a good idea to dress the way the senior people in your company dress. Dress for the position two jobs above your own.
Join Professional Associations. Research professional associations connected with your business or field. Begin by attending meetings as a guest to carefully assess whether or not a professional association can be of value to you. Determine if the members are the kind of people you would like to know and are well established in their careers. Then, if you have decided that becoming known to the key people in this association can advance your career, take out a membership and get involved. Pick a key committee and volunteer for service. Find out which committee seems to be the most active and the most influential in that organization, and then step up to the plate. Volunteer your time, expertise and energy, and get busy. Attend every meeting. Take careful notes. Ask for assignments, and complete them on time and in an excellent fashion. This gives you an opportunity to perform for other key people in your profession in a non-threatening environment. You give them a chance to see what you can do and what kind of a person you are. You expand your range of valuable contacts in one of the most effective ways possible. The people you get to know on these committees can eventually be extremely helpful to you in your work and in your career.
Join A Well-Known Charitable Organization. Become active by donating your services to its annual fund-raising programs. You may not be wealthy now, but you do have time, and your willingness to give of yourself will soon be noticed by people who are higher up. Many men and women with limited contacts and limited resources have risen to positions of great prominence as the result of getting to know the key community leaders who participate in charitable organizations and professional associations.
Be Able To Set Priorities. Learn how to separate the relevant from the irrelevant when facing the many tasks of the day. Managers place very high value on a person who can set priorities and move quickly to get the job finished. Dependability in job completion is one of the most valued traits in the American work force. When your employer can hand you a job and then walk away and never worry about it again, you have moved yourself onto the fast track and your subsequent promotion and pay are virtually guaranteed.
Upgrade Your Work-Related Skills. Continually look for ways to keep your skills current and make sure that your superiors know about it. Look for additional courses you can take to improve at your job, and discuss them with your boss. Ask him or her to pay for the courses, but make it clear that you’re going to take them anyway. Also, ask your boss for book and audio program recommendations. Then follow up by reading and listening to them and asking for further recommendations. Bosses are very impressed with people who are constantly striving to learn more in order to increase their value to their companies.
Develop a Positive Mental Attitude. People like to be around people they like and tend to promote them. A consistent, persistent attitude of cheerfulness and optimism is quickly noticed by everybody. When you make an effort to cultivate an attitude of friendliness toward people, they, in turn, will go to extraordinary efforts to open doors for you.
In the final analysis, taking the time to become an excellent human being will do more to raise your visibility and improve your chances for promotion than will any other single thing that you can do. And you can do it if you really want to.
About the author
Brian Tracy is a legendary in the fields of management, leadership, and sales. He has produced more than 300 audio/video programs and has written 28 books, including his just-released book “The Psychology of Selling.” Special offer: To receive your free copy of “Crunch Time!, just visit www.briantracy.com and click on the Crunch Time! icon. He can be reached at (858) 481-2977 or www.briantracy.com.