One of my fun moments whenever I interact with career people is when I analyze the answers I get from the question: what makes you happy at work?
The truth of the matter is that the same theme underpins most of the responses, basically because majority of human beings will most likely find fulfillment from the same values which enhance self-esteem.
People ‘become’ happy at what they do when they get more involved in new projects, when they get additional responsibilities, and when they receive awards and promotions. Who wouldn’t?
One of the ways folks can attain this level of happiness at work is by making their work do the talking: by getting noticed. Not being noticed, not being appreciated, being ignored, especially when you are such a hard and smart worker, is one of the most frustrating things in this world. It is important to point out that it is very easy to be overlooked at work and that can be as exasperating; even more so when subordinates and new intakes are flying past with raises, awards and promotions. It behoves on the individual to step out of the shadows and take those strategic steps to ensure that all the wonderful work they are doing do not go to waste or get credited to anyone else.
Before we delve into strategies, we all need to be reminded that just “being good” at our jobs will not guarantee being noticed for accolades. People who get the nudge up the promotion ladder are doing more than just getting the job done. The single most important factor that makes an employee stand out is their likability, and, gladly, this is something within every employee’s control. How we are perceived at work by those who can and will influence our career’s destination depends largely on whether we chose to exude apathy, or likable zeal for success.
– Lead. Take initiative. Take on the responsibility of doing those important tasks which everyone else shies away from, or is too lazy to undertake. Seize the moment but do it in an innocuous, responsible manner. Approach each deliverable using your job description as a working template, and see what happens.
– Sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of your colleagues and bosses is a huge prerequisite. Sometimes you are the stand-out star; other times you are just another colourful apple in the bunch. A good team player always wins.
– Being the ringleader of office gossip (even when most of the banter content is true) will make you get noticed very fast, and get you fired even faster. Stay away from distracting office talk that dwells squarely on individuals.
– Your value to the organization soars gloriously if you are doing a lot more than meeting your KPI’s. Exploring business opportunities that enhance your company’s business profile and growth will surely make you an invaluable asset, and position you for recognition and promotion. Every boss loves the guy who chips in his two pence in the area of business development.
– Look the part. It has been said repeatedly, and it bears reiteration here that the way we dress and appear generally increases our likability quotient. Dress professionally at all times, and present an amiable demeanour. This includes personal values of dependability and punctuality.
– A solid support system can hardly go wrong. Take your time to build good on and off work relationships with your colleagues. This breeds mutually-beneficial partnerships across board. Colleagues who you help get recognition are most likely to do same for you when the time comes.