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IN other words, how do I best make a vis­i­ble con­tri­bu­tion? It’s best that you seek out a ‘‘ stretch as­sign­ment’’ aligned to your strengths. Iden­tify with your boss an as­sign­ment that is over and above your ex­ist­ing area of ac­count­abil­ity and is im­por­tant to the busi­ness, while be­ing eas­ily mea­sured in terms of out­comes. When defin­ing what the as­sign­ment in­volves, be clear to un­der­stand what suc­cess looks like in the eyes of your boss and also be sure that you have a re­al­is­tic time­frame. Oth­er­wise, you may do more harm than good to your brand and rep­u­ta­tion. OK. You have five months to draw pos­i­tive at­ten­tion from your boss. Start by hav­ing a rea­son to in­ter­act with your boss, con­tribut­ing pro­fes­sion­ally at meet­ings or dis­cus­sions. Of­fer vol­un­tar­ily to do nec­es­sary ex­tra work. Show you have a work ethic to ad­mire and the skills, knowl­edge and en­thu­si­asm to dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self from oth­ers. Be help­ful, pleas­ant and thoughtful of oth­ers – in bal­ance with do­ing the ‘‘ real’’ work. Do not over­sell your­self or be too in­gra­ti­at­ing. Do re­ally good work in ar­eas you have been as­signed. As­so­ciate pro­duc­tively with peo­ple in­flu­en­tial with the boss. Be your­self!

ANNE-MARIE DOLAN HR Leader, Aus­tralian Hu­man Re­sources In­sti­tute

STAND­ING out to your boss gen­er­ally re­quires more than just do­ing your job well. It is usu­ally nec­es­sary to go above and be­yond your role re­quire­ments and per­for­mance of peers. You could present a new way of ap­proach­ing a task or process that will im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity or cus­tomer ser­vice. You could take on greater re­spon­si­bil­ity than your role re­quires, help with a pro­ject or other tasks out­side of your role. You could also get in­volved with ac­tiv­i­ties such as a so­cial com­mit­tee. Main­tain re­quire­ments of your role to en­sure your man­ager no­tices you for good rea­sons, not un­der­per­for­mance. EM­PLOY­EES who fo­cus on build­ing a gen­uine con­nec­tion with their man­ager tend to be no­ticed and there­fore pri­ori­tised in the work­place. Build­ing a stronger re­la­tion­ship with your boss re­quires that first and fore­most, you build trust. Al­ways be hon­est about what you want, what your goals and as­pi­ra­tions are, what you wish to achieve be­fore Christ­mas, and any sup­port you might need from your boss. Even if your man­ager doesn’t value your hon­esty, you will feel bet­ter about open­ing up the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Stand out by go­ing above and be­yond.

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