don’t have better or more skills than everybody else? That’s because they know how to market themselves to the right people in the right way.
Yes, sad but true: it’s often who you know, not what you have accomplished, that will help you get ahead. The hardest-working, most-dedicated people aren’t necessarily going to get the next promotion. The person promoted will most likely be someone who knows the boss better than you do, someone who has more face time with the boss, or someone who has better (professional) chemistry with the boss.
That’s because bosses will promote people who they feel they can trust to do the job, to follow direction, and to support management. Basically, the people the boss feels most comfortable with are the people who will get ahead.
So, how can you get noticed and build that type of relationship with management?
Never pass up an opportunity to market yourself. This doesn’t mean you should brag! You want to make sure upper management knows what your contributions and accomplishments are, but be subtle. For example, if you’re at a meeting with your superiors, work into the conversation something that you and your team have just accomplished. Show a connection between that accomplishment and the topic at hand. You’re not changing the subject or standing up and saying, “Hey, look what we did!” You’re just making sure your contributions are noted.
One thing you shouldn’t do? Disagree with the boss in public. Especially if you’re trying to build a relationship, or even if you’ve already started to establish one, avoid this situation. If you disagree with your boss, and it’s that important to you to have your opinion be heard, wait until you two have a private moment and then explain your viewpoint. Then, conclude your explanation with something like, “Thank you for listening to me. I really appreciate the opportunity to state my opinion to you.”
Then, if you really want to get ahead, anticipate future issues and possible disagreements, and discuss them in private, ahead of time. This will build trust and demonstrate loyalty. For example, if you know that an upcoming project is going to cause an issue, try saying something like, “I expect this question is going to come up later today at the meeting. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Here is my perspective…and here is the opposing view…”
In the competitive world of the engineering and scientific industry, it’s important to have the right skills and experience, but it’s also important to have the right people skills and a little bit of interpersonal savvy. Then, you need to find the right job! If you’d like some help finding the organization and management team that’s right for you, contact the staffing professionals at Synerfac!