Have you ever noticed that it’s not necessarily the best performers who get promoted? I have. The television show The Voice is a good example of how performance alone may not take you to the top. In this show, vocalists compete for a recording contract with the help of superstar coaches. Viewers weigh in and vote for their favorite artist. The person who wins isn’t necessarily the one with the best voice. It’s the person with the largest fanbase.
I see the same thing happening in the corporate world, in terms of employee promotions. The people who get promoted aren’t necessarily the most talented employees. They’re usually the ones with a large fanbase.
Look, I don’t make the rules. I just call things as I see them. Here’s what you can do to increase your following at work and get the promotion you deserve.
Use Your Voice. If you want to get noticed, then you have to be heard. Otherwise you are whispering into the wind. I get that this concept can be a bit uncomfortable for those who are soft spoken. Here’s the good news. This is a skill that can be learned.
Try this. The next time you’re in a meeting and the boss asks a question that you know the answer to, say your answer out loud. Don’t worry about whether someone’s got a better idea. Share your thoughts so that others can build upon it. Do this consistently and it won’t be long before others are looking for you to respond, before they give their reply.
Clean up your social media. We hear a lot about personal brands these days. A personal brand is the image you’re projecting to others. It’s the means by which people remember you. You may have matured a bit since college, but others might not know this based on those Instagram pics of your head laying on top of a case of empty beer cans.
No doubt the person who is about to promote you will check you out on social media. After all, his reputation is on the line and the last thing he wants to do is promote someone who will not reflect well on him. Start cleaning up your act, including your online presence and begin building a brand that you’d be proud to share with the CEO of your organization.
Toot your own horn. You have to toot your own horn to be heard in a sea of cubicles. You do this by keeping your boss informed of all the great things you’re doing. Here’s an example of this. “You know Mary, when I was in the office this weekend, I noticed there was a more efficient way to manage all of our spreadsheets. I took the liberty of putting together a streamlined process that I’d like to share with you.”
This is an example of what I call strategic bragging. You let your boss know, in a subtle way, that you came into the office over the weekend and that you took the initiative to improve a process that will make the team more productive and will make your boss look great. No doubt she’ll remember this come promotion time.
There’s a ton more you can do to take control of your career and get the promotion you deserve, which I’ll be discussing in my upcoming teleconference on Managing Up in the Top Down World of Business. The first four people who register today will receive a copy of my book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. If you’re outside the US, I’ll send you an ebook.
© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.