The question is, how do you do this without coming across as the second coming of Reese Witherspoon's infamous Election character Tracy Flick? As women, we want to be noted for our accomplishments, not pegged into an over-achieving or high strung ideal and shunted to the closet sized cubicle.
Thankfully, there are ways we can accomplish this, and none of them require plastering the break room with posters.
Read on to learn how female leaders in business have managed to put their names on the top of the list without sacrificing anything but the time it took to provide excellent work and feedback.
Be Prepared and Proactive.
Invest in your own development. Take a good look at the things that are going on behind the scenes in your business and make time to do research or further your education in the fields that are relevant to the future of your company.
Look for Opportunities to Grow
Already being an employee gives you an advantage in this situation. Since you’ll have insider information about upcoming changes and projects, you have the perfect opportunity to stay one step ahead.
Invest in Yourself
Get training in areas you’re unclear on or feel like you need a better understanding of. This sends the clear message that you’re vested in being the best possible employee for the company.
You have to realize that there is competition. As much as we don’t want to face it, there will be people that dislike our drive or determination. By being confident and prepared, you’ll have the strength to rise above these situations and concentrate on your own success.
Speak Up at Meetings
Speak up at meetings. Use the knowledge you’ve gained to prepare views, ideas and plans of action for the company. You’ll have the data you need to be heard and taken seriously. Valerie Martinelli, of Valerie Marinelli Consulting, LLC and Forbes Coaches Council member, lists this as advice she always gives the women she coaches.
Seek Out Feedback
Be sure to thank everyone for listening to your ideas and be open to hearing what they have to say about them. Remember, it’s not always about having your idea taken as a solution, it’s about creating relationships to help you advance. Having your supervisor respect your ideas enough to engage in conversation over them is a big step.
Focus on the Words You Use
Try to frame your ideas in a neutral manner. Rather than saying ‘ The way marketing runs is not effective”, consider ‘ I think I have an idea that would increase marketing effectiveness.” When you frame your ideas in the positive, more people will listen.
Talk About Your Accomplishments
This is often the point where women feel the most uncomfortable. Your supervisors are all working with their own projects and they may not be aware of the work you’ve been doing. If you don’t take the time to make it known, you may never receive recognition for your contributions.
Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Along with confidence issues, women often feel intimidated when attempting to make a name for themselves. They feel as if they don’t belong, and this can hold you back. Concentrate on your achievements and take your seat at the table.
Find Opportunities to Work with Other Teams or Departments
Consider it social networking while at work. By collaborating with coworkers who you may not have worked with before, you’re broadening your experience and recognition outside of your work group. You’re also likely to learn new skills, different solutions and expand your own skill set.
Help Others Succeed
Being a true team player is the best way to find your own success. If you have an idea that could benefit the team, a solution to a problem or the time to mentor a coworker who is struggling with a task, it’s worth your effort to put it forward and help.
Ask Questions and Stay Involved
You can’t do any of these things if you’re not aware of the current issues your business is facing. Asking questions and staying involved shows an interest in your business outside of the confines of your personal duty, and you’re likely to find areas where you can contribute in a meaningful way.
Develop Relationships With Influencers
If another coworker is undertaking a project for the company, ask if you can help. Don’t be shy about offering your time and talents. Christina Holloway, a coach with Forbes, cites this as a way to make it clear to your company that you’re sincere in applying yourself.
If the very idea of promoting yourself makes you cringe, I hope that this will give you a new perspective to help you achieve your goals and achieve the recognition you deserve. The truth is no one is going to recognize your talent unless you put it on display, so stop holding back and let yourself shine. You got this!
About the Author: Michele Thompson Rosario, CEO of Bright Effects, helping entrepreneurs get clients, get traffic, and get results.