| Many Americans are working
in organizations that haven't provided the raises or promotions they
think they deserve. If you haven't received enough recognition, there
are some things you can do to create a raise or promotion.
Follow these steps and you'll find your situation quickly improving.
First, look for tough problems to solve. Organizations usually reward
problem solvers. So many employees just do their jobs and nothing
more, and when a problem arises in their department they say, "that's
not my job," and leave the solution to others. That's not going
to get you recognition. Continually ask the boss if there's something
you can do for him/her, and at the first sign of an opportunity, grab
it and run with it.
Next, be a team player. Recognition often comes to groups of employees
that create excellent results. In today's "downsized" economy,
self-managed teams often are formed for various important projects.
These teams can be comprised of many people from different departments
and functions, so being a part of one is a great way to network and
become known throughout the organization. Seek out these groups and
self-managed teams and try to be invited to join them. As a "loner,"
it's sometimes more difficult to be recognized by management.
Build a network of friends and acquaintances inside and outside the
organization. Join in on the planning of company sponsored events,
which will allow you get to know others in different parts of the
organization. These people can be very helpful when you want to join
a team, or if you decide you want to change departments. Also, join
associations that focus on an industry or function. Other members
can keep you informed about opportunities outside your current company.
Next, do something uncommonly well that's important to the organization
- whether on a team or in a solo capacity. Keep your eyes and ears
open for opportunities to become involved in these projects, since
top management usually tracks them closely. When involved, do your
very best. Put in extra hours if needed. Throw yourself into the project
as if it's your own business.
Be positive about change. Don't resist it. Instead, welcome it. The
world today is changing at incredible speed, and organizations must
continually transform themselves in order to stay ahead of competition.
You must constantly look for opportunities to change - to make your
function or department better, more productive, more cost-effective.
Don't fear failure - "just do it!" Many of us are afraid
to suggest or do something different for fear of failure and the possibility
of ridicule from others. Remember that all innovation involves doing
something different. Some actions succeed and some fail, but if failure
occurs, true innovators go on to the next new thing. Reward is rarely
given to those who take no chances and merely follow.
Engage in visi-posure, visible exposure. This is one of the
best methods to gain the attention of top management. Visi-posure
consists of many things. One of these is writing articles for the
company newsletter, or a local publication, about something you know
well. These can't be self-serving, but if you either challenge conventional
wisdom on a topic and/or describe some enlightening experiences you've
had, your articles likely will be published. And, not only is the
editor of the company newsletter always looking for new material,
management normally reads it with interest!
Other visi-posure activities include making speeches to local
community groups about topics you know well. Later, these speeches
can be translated into articles for publication. Also, seek out opportunities
to be interviewed on local radio and television stations about topics
of local interest. In short, try to become an "expert" on
subjects about which you're familiar. Management likes to employ "experts"
and usually rewards them generously.
Next, learn to communicate well, both verbally and in writing. If
you can't articulate your thoughts, nobody will listen to you - you'll
be ignored. You have to be able to bring others to your point of view,
and to do that you must be articulate. This includes both speaking
clearly and concisely in presentations and writing well-organized
reports, documents and proposals. If you lack these abilities, enroll
in a speech or writing class at a local college or high school. These
often are conducted in the evening or on weekends, and require very
little of your time. The results can be significant for your compensation.
Know yourself well. Understand your interests, strengths and weaknesses.
Try to engage in activities that involve your interests and use your
strengths. Avoid those that require your weaknesses. There's an old
adage that says, "you do best what you best like to do."
And, doing so will certainly take you a long way to success and higher
There's no reason for anyone to languish in obscurity, with few if
any raises or promotions. But advancement must be pro-active, and
by using these methods and techniques, you'll soon have created your
raise or promotion. And, if you continue to use them, you'll be on
your way to stardom!