Tactics for Boosting Your Visibility at Work

Learn tactics you can use to distinguish yourself on the job, position yourself for elevated roles and prove yourself to be indispensable.

October 16, 2008
from Robert Half Finance & Accounting

Now is no time to be a shrinking violet. Striving to stand out in the workplace has always been a smart move for accounting and finance professionals, but it's particularly crucial during uncertain economic times. In today's climate, it's not enough to simply hunker down and quietly do your job well; you must make an ongoing concerted effort to ensure that your manager is aware of your contributions to the firm. Following are tactics you can use to convey your value, position yourself for elevated roles and prove yourself to be indispensible:

Be the first to raise your hand. Highlight your initiative and enthusiasm by consistently volunteering to tackle tough projects, even those that fall outside the bounds of your job description. Is the boss looking for someone to serve as a liaison with the IT department? Is an important initiative falling behind schedule because the project manager is on medical leave? Is a mentor needed to assist a promising but struggling new hire? Step up to the plate and offer to pitch in whenever possible.

Boldly embracing new challenges requires extra time, effort and often a willingness to move beyond your comfort zone. But there are many advantages to getting involved when others shy away. You'll discover untapped talents, stretch your existing technical and interpersonal skills, all while raising your profile and distinguishing yourself as a helpful go-getter.

Make note of your accomplishments. Document your successes and share your most notable accomplishments with managers periodically. If you've identified an operational efficiency that is saving the organization time and money, received glowing praise from a new client or published an article in a leading financial trade publication, don't wait until your annual review to share the good news. Just be sure you link your hard work and brilliant ideas with the positive effects they've had on the bottom line. Your contributions will be more highly regarded if you can quantify the impact.

Moreover, remember that there is a very fine line between self-confidence and cockiness. The best self-promoters have finesse, excellent timing and a positive attitude. While you don't want your key contributions to go unnoticed or be attributed to someone else, you also don't want to inundate your supervisor with a daily barrage of self-serving status updates. Selectively share your achievements at times when your message will receive the greatest attention.

Establish internal alliances. The word "networking" has traditionally been thought of in terms of developing and leveraging outside contacts for job-hunting purposes. But internal networking is just as vital to career success (see related story in this issue). Expand your reach by forging strong relationships with colleagues in all corners of your organization — not just your immediate co-workers or the so-called "power players" you think can help you get ahead. Take the time to get to know a wide variety of people and show a sincere interest in their work.

The more well connected you are, the more resources and information you will have at your disposal. Plus, by building rapport across the board you'll gain insights into the inner workings of all facets of the organization. And, of course, there's another reason it pays to be an affable "people person": You never know whose support you might eventually need. Today's casual acquaintance could one day have a say in your professional future.

In a highly competitive, results-oriented business world, talent and expertise are tremendous assets, but if they're not noticed, they'll only get you so far. To truly make a name for yourself and secure a bright future, you must be equal parts financial wiz, consummate team player and savvy self-promoter.

For more information, visit Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half International, is one of the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 350 locations throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com.