By Mel Sim

No self-promotion needed

You aced the interview. Got the job. The next thing to accomplish on your great-career to-do list?

Get noticed by the boss.

This is a topic that is often talked about and yes, we are going to talk about it here too. But with a slight twist. Most tips would tell you what you need to do to stand out for your boss to take note. This article will instead talk about how being subtle can be just as impactful.

Sure, a little bit of self-promotion won’t harm you but sometimes, depending on the boss, it can come across as fake. While being subtle seems like a more genuine way to get noticed... and reflects the person you really are.

It’s all about striking a balance. You can’t be too subtle that whatever little thing you do go unnoticed... nor can you do too much self-promotion that it makes you appear aggressive, impatient and a brag.

So as you work on being noticed by your boss, here are six ways to do it without having to blow your trumpet.

#1 Never show up late
Whether it is for an important client meeting or a quick discussion with your boss, always show up five minutes earlier. You may think sauntering in a little bit later won’t really matter but guess what, your boss will notice. And if you do this often enough – needless to say, it doesn’t make a good impression. It’s a simple task but a lot of people get it wrong. Don’t be one of those.

#2 Speak up
Ask questions during a meeting. Talk to your boss if you need more info on a project. Share your ideas. But do all of this without appearing too bossy or a Mr Know It All. The fact that you’re contributing to discussions is already a good thing; but asking the right questions or sharing constructive opinions will put you high up on your boss’s do-good list.

#3 Be creative
If you think being subtle means being a “yes” person, you got it all wrong. We’re not asking you to defy your boss every step of the way either but you should be able to demonstrate that you can think out of the box and may have a good idea or two up your sleeves.

Be genuine and also polite with your feedback. There is a difference between “I think we should do XYZ” and “What do you think about XYZ? Would it be a better solution because ABC?”

#4 Help out
Help colleagues who need help but don’t tell the whole world about it. Trust us when we say your boss will definitely notice this subtle trait. If you got a junior helping you out with a project, build a strong working relationship where you are constantly guiding him or her, not just barking orders. This shows your boss that you are a team player and eventually, a compassionate leader.

While you’re at it, if you can, do more than your job description. Always looks for opportunities to learn more, something your boss will notice as a sign of having good vision, foresight and dependability.

#5 Don’t get involved in office politics
Think your boss isn’t aware of the office gossip or drama going around cubicles? Think again. Your boss sees more than he or she is letting you in on. So if you’re in the centre of the drama or is somewhat involved, your boss will eventually hear of it. Same too if you’re not caught up – it becomes obvious that you rather spend all that energy creating results instead.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to know what’s going on (who knows maybe you can get a heads up on a situation that you can use to your advantage) but don’t get trapped by it.

#6 Be polite, respectful and professional
It’s easy to identify who’s rude and uncooperative; your colleagues act defensive around you and your boss will pick up on this. But if your colleagues love being around you and paired up for work because of your professionalism, your boss will also take note. It’s easy to pinpoint who’s a favourite colleague versus one you’d rather stay away from.

Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

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