After landing a job, most people begin to dwell within their comfort zone and then face a huge challenge to make themselves visible in their workplace. Their rate of work enthusiasm begins to fall down over a period of time, and suddenly the employee fades into a mass of “just another employee” within the organization.
This fading visibility and stagnant performance, without a doubt, blocks your path to promotions and added responsibilities, jeopardizes your career growth, and is a proximate cause for work dissatisfaction, frustrations and frequent job hopping.
Below are few steps you can use to gain and maintain that visibility in your workplace:
KNOW YOUR GOAL
Consider the analogy of climbing the Mount Everest for your career. Before the climb, you really don’t set the target of reaching only to the base camp or stopping at the height of 7,000 meters. Climbing the Everest means reaching to the top and conquering all of the 8,848 meters of the mountain. This should be your goal within the organizational structure, too. You really should not think you will go no more than the Senior Executive level, or head of some department only. Always know where your final target is and then you can work your way up to realize that goal. Networking within the office and maintaining favorable professional relationships with all employees can help you unlock buried treasures of organizational tricks of the trade. Understanding the organizational culture will always be helpful in climbing up the corporate ladder.
Dr Stephen R Covey, in his famous book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People,’ talks about the circle of concern and the circle of influence. The circle of concerns encompasses all the things that you are concerned about, while the circle of influence includes those concerns about which you can actually do something. Dr Covey further says that the proactive people focus more on circle of influence, and therefore is able to address most of their concerns.
Now, imagine yourself working at a bank which is about to be merged with another commercial bank. If you worry only about the bank merger and staff layoffs, then you are definitely not going to perform any better. It only increases your circle of concern, while shrinking your circle of influence, and draws only negative energies around.
On the other hand, if you adjust your attitude to the right direction and focus on sharpening your skill-set, your energy now becomes positive and magnifying. This positive energy, passion and commitment become infectious, and you will be no more invisible to anyone in the organization. Always be proactive, and not reactive.
Every other marketing ‘guru’ talks about customer delight and how it can help create a word-of-mouth buzz in the market. But rarely anyone talks about ‘supervisor delight,’ which shouldn’t be confused with buttering up your supervisor.
Supervisor delight doesn’t mean excessively praising your supervisor in the hope of gaining a favor. It is just exceeding the expectations of your supervisor or manager so that it creates a positive reaction, and like customer delight it creates ‘your’ word-of-mouth buzz within the organization. This can mean going beyond the regular call of duty, or even excelling the duties you were assigned to do.
For instance, let us assume you were asked to manage the client database of a company. Now you could either just manage the database as you were told to do, or you could delight your supervisor by adding some value to the database; for example, a feature to filter the database by location, or by industry. This shows your commitment, level of seriousness, and also is a good platform and opportunity to demonstrate your skills and abilities to your boss.
Like they say, a ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not where it really should be. Life, indeed, begins at the end of your comfort zone.