The past three months have changed how we work. They’ve also changed the way people see us—or don’t see us.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”Smld8″ via=”yes” ]The past three months have changed how we work. They’ve also changed the way people see us – or don’t see us. Click here to find out how to be seen and raise your profile![/ctt]
As we all start to return to the workplace, we need to be aware of some of the changes we will likely encounter.
Many people have been incredibly busy working from home. Their workload may have increased or changed altogether, and those changes may or may not continue when we return to the workplace.
Some people have found just the opposite. Their work has slowed down, the team isn’t calling their name as often as they did before, and they are concerned about having enough to do when it is time to go back to work.
Either way, a lot of people are worried about having a job in the future. Companies aren’t making as much money as they did before the pandemic and they may need to trim staff levels even more than they already have.
For all of those reasons, now is the time to boost your profile and increase the value that you offer your organization.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”E7G29″ via=”yes” ]Now is the time to boost your profile and increase the value that you offer your organization.[/ctt]
In this uncertain time, being good at your job isn’t good enough. You need to show your company, before they have to start thinking about how many people they need to bring back to the office, that you are one employee they need to keep. You can do that by raising your profile.
Here are some ideas to become more visible with your bosses and colleagues, and increase your indispensability factor:
- Volunteer to be on your company’s “Return to the Workplace” taskforce. Last week we discussed considerations and recommendations as organizations are preparing to bring people back to the workplace. This is a high-stakes process, in which senior leadership will have to look at all the elements of the business and the government’s guidelines, to ensure the workplace is safe for employees. By bringing your perspective and know-how to the task force, you will not only raise your profile but also bring your concerns to the table. You’ll be the first to know what’s being discussed and how things are likely to go.
And, since you’re an administrative professional, you have the ideal skills for this project—it’s a chance for you to shine with upper management. If key people aren’t aware of you, you’ll miss opportunities to show your value. It’s not only what you know that matters, but it’s also who you know and who knows you.
- Differentiate yourself from the masses. Don’t echo what other people are saying and doing. Focus on problem-solving instead of problem identification. There will be many people who are happy to point out what is wrong as our workplaces move forward. Instead, be the one to help solve those problems. Put your creativity to the test. Sometimes you will put ideas forward that won’t work. Don’t worry about that—everyone, at every level, will do some of that. The important thing is that sometimes you will put forward ideas that will work, and that no one else suggested.
A critical element of differentiating yourself is to not be a “me too” contributor. Think about the aspects of the problems that other people haven’t thought about and present them, along with possible solutions. Don’t wait for the second wave of the pandemic to be brought up by someone else if you’ve already thought about it. Bring what you know about it, and possible solutions, to the table before anyone else.
- Constant communication. Disappearing and going silent is not an option right now. Be sure that you are frequently communicating (in a very professional manner). It is easy to be forgotten when we aren’t seen every day. Be seen virtually through your communication. Speak up during meetings. Respond to emails quickly. Include others in your virtual communications. Turn your camera on during Zoom meetings. Communication doesn’t have to be extra work, but it does require an awareness of how you are coming across to others and how often they are seeing or are aware of you and your excellent work.
- Aim higher. Take this opportunity to assume the lead in your organization and aim higher. Show your fellow employees what you can do, especially in a time of crisis. What you used to do was good, but it is no longer good enough—aim higher than you have ever aimed before. Ask for high-visibility projects (such as the Return to the Workforce taskforce, as mentioned earlier). Learn about other areas of your company’s business and apply that knowledge to help solve challenges that arise.
- Build relationships. It goes without saying that you should strive to have a great relationship with your executive. Get to know others at work: people in other departments, other business lines, different functions. Be a good networker within your organization. The more relationships you have in the workplace, the easier it will be for you to get things done. You’ll be more efficient and a better problem solver when you have an internal network of people who know you, like working with you, and want to help you.
I hope that business explodes for everyone when we return to the workplace. I hope that the economy recovers faster than it fell. I hope that we are all faced with multiple job opportunities, and we get to pick where we want to work.
But just in case that doesn’t happen (in fact, it isn’t what’s being forecast, unfortunately), we do need to be prepared to fight to keep what we want. We need to raise our profile. We need to provide more value to our organizations in difficult times.
You can do it.