Ask LH: How Can I Get Noticed At Work?

Dear Lifehacker, How can I raise my profile in the workplace without being an obnoxious "look at me" person? I have always tried to let my actions do the talking in the office. Recently though, I've noticed that I probably need to start developing a profile for career progression.

I have also noticed there is a kind of employee in my workplace who is very much "look at me". No matter what happens, their problems are always more urgent, their work is more important, they are always flat out, and the superiors seem to buy it. What can I do to raise my profile in the work place in a professional manner, where achievement is acknowledged, without causing a circus? Thanks, Low Profile

Ignored worker picture from Shutterstock

Dear LP,

Getting noticed at work when you're naturally shy or introverted can be quite tough. Most managers tend to be pretty busy with day-to-day business tasks: they don't have time to keep constant tabs on each worker's individual contributions. As long as things are running smoothly and profit margins are strong, there's little reason to whip out a microscope.

This means it's up to you to highlight your own work achievements. We're not suggesting you become an attention seeker or shameless self-promoter — but just letting the work speak for itself clearly isn't working either. What you need is a happy medium.

We've looked in-depth at how to promote yourself without being sleazy in the past, but here are some basic tips to help get you started.

If you're close to any of your co-workers, one option is to become "praise pals". This is a symbiotic relationship in which you promote each other's work instead of tooting your own horns. There's nothing particularly nefarious about this arrangement — you only say good things when they are genuinely warranted.

As much as it might pain you, recruiting the aforementioned "look at me" co-worker as your praise pal could be a smart move. As marketing professional Eda Utku explains:

Partner up with a loud mouth who loves talking about their achievements and do a you-promote agreement where in networking functions, meetings, or company events, you talk about each other’s achievements.

This type of person is used to being heard, so their promotion of your work is sure to make its way into conversation. (To reciprocate, you simply have to agree and elaborate whenever they talk themselves up.)

It’s also a good idea to liaise with superiors during business social events. The obligatory office Christmas shindig may be one of your only opportunities to get to know your higher-ups, so use this time to your advantage. In other words, don’t remain glued to your immediate peers and try not to get too plastered.

Other than that, working hard, asking insightful questions and acting as friendly and natural as possible will all help you to get noticed by your higher ups. In short, don't be the grumpy worker or the one that nobody notices is there. If you manage to be likeable and have valuable skills or talents, you will get ahead eventually.

We’re going to throw this one open to our readers too. If any meteorically successful executives want to share their networking secrets, do let Newbie know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Help people in the business, always be as professional and useful with dealings with anyone, speak to your superiors about what you want to do and where you want to go.

    The more you work well with others and highlight your aspirations to the right people it will help you get noticed. Being the loud mouth look at me person will only attract similar people. I've had reasonable success with the stuff outlined above. Pretty much if I have to deal with internal people I am always polite, do my due diligence and know what I am talking about, and being upfront if I dont. People notice if you're a nice person who is easy to deal with and can back up what they say and take appropriate action where needed.

    But in addition to that you still need to make it very clear what you want out of work; which means speaking to your managers, or to people who are where you want to be.

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