Want to Advance? You Need to Get Noticed at Work. Here's How.

August 2, 2017

If you want recognition at work, do those three things, according to Dorie Clark.

Do you ever feel like you're crushing it at work, doing a great job, but no one really sees it or says anything about it? Meanwhile other people are getting promotions and public kudos, whereas your great work goes uncommented on?

It’s okay, it’s a normal to feel that way. But how do you fix it? How do you ensure your contributions are being noticed?

In her weekly series Personal Effectiveness Tips, LinkedIn Learning Instructor Dorie Clark laid out a three-step process for getting noticed at work. By following these three steps, you ensure you get the full credit your good work deserves, and the benefits that come with that.

So what are the three techniques for being noticed at work? According to Clark, they are:

1. Know what’s rewarded in your organization.

If you want your work to be recognized at your organization, you need to know what work is recognized at your organization, Clark said. Almost always, there’s a pattern – maybe it’s collaborating well with others, maybe it’s finding cost efficiencies, whatever.

It could be something small too. For example, at some offices people are congratulated for coming in early, whereas working late is met with silence, Clark said. While that’s unfair, it’s the reality: if you want to be noticed, it probably makes sense to come in earlier than staying later (if possible, obviously).

The point is rather than trying to get your superiors to congratulate you for what you believe is important, determine what they believe is important and deliver on that.

2. Make sure you're working on the right things.

Going along with the last point, how you allocate your time should reflect your organization’s priorities. And there’s a very easy way to ensure you are focusing on the right things – simply ask your boss.

For example, there are likely several projects you are working on at a given time. Ask your boss – what’s the most important? And then budget your time accordingly, by spending the most amount of time on the most important projects.

Seems simple but this is a step many professionals don’t take. By focusing on what your boss or your organization cares most about, your contributions will be consistently recognized.

3. Let others know what you are working on – tactfully.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to broadcast your successes. The wrong way is to send out an email to dozens of people touting your latest achievement under the guise of an “update”, Clark said. That’s not good, unless there really is relevant information people should know.

Instead, be prepared for when people invariably ask you “what you are doing?”. In the office, we are asked this question countless times throughout the week, and most of us answer with something vague like “same old, same old” – hardly illuminating.

Instead, Clark suggests using this time to highlight what you are working on. For example, Clark suggests saying something like “I’m really excited we hit a new milestone on XYZ project" and explaining a bit.

Not only is this more informative than “same old”, it also positions you as someone who can get things done. And it won’t be seen as bragging as the person asked the question, particularly if you are gracious about sharing credit on any accomplishment, Clark said.

The takeaway

A word of caution – don’t spend your career worrying about if you are getting enough credit for your work. Sometimes, not getting congratulations is a good thing – it means your boss trusts you to do great work and isn’t surprised by the results. 

That said, you want to make sure you are spending your time on the right things and others see you as someone who can get things done. Not only is this good for your career, it’s what’s best for the business as well as it means you are making the most impact you can with your time.

These tips ensure you are accomplishing that. By following them, your good work will get the proper attention it deserves.

Hungry to advance your career? Check out Dorie Clark's weekly series, Personal Effectiveness Tips.