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.