Too many older coworkers rely on stereotypes of you and your generation. Many see you as a threat to the bedrock on which their careers were fashioned. Unfortunately, that too often creates a barrier for you to get noticed for the work you do.
“Experts also expect that constantly-connected teens and young adults will thirst for instant gratification and often make quick, shallow choices.” With conclusions like the aforementioned from the reputable Pew Research Center, you’ll need to work hard to get your efforts noticed for what they are… great work.
Fair? Nope. It is, however, what many of us who have gone through before you; we’ve all had barriers of one kind or another to endure. Admittedly, you have some tall walls to scale.
So, from a Gen X’er leader and manager – and a believer that we all should get to do meaningful work – here are some ways to get your work noticed in today’s chaotic, noisy workplace.
(In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the ideas below are riffs off what Seth Godin shared while delivering “Backwards” by Creative Mornings in the video found below, which I hope you’ll take the time to view.)
Get Clear on Purpose
Godin’s most important message is to be clear on how your work can benefit your boss. Specicially, why is the work important to the team’s purpose… and to the organization’s “Why”?
Know this and your actions and insights will stand out.
Be a Truth-Teller
Your work makes a difference for other coworkers or directly for the customer. Ultimately, watering down your ideas and feedback is cheating someone out of making well-informed decisions.
Be the one known for making a difference through honesty.
Master the Art of Balance
The trick to being a truth-teller is providing input that doesn’t jeopardize another person’s integrity and humility. Be thoughtful. Be genuine.
Think about how your words will be experienced by others.
Raise Your Hand Often
Rarely do the best projects go to the newbie. To show you want to learn, raise your hand to help – even after you are told no. And do it again. And again. Be relentless in your desire to learn; to show what you’ve got.
Meaningful work, the type that gets noticed, does not often go to the passive employee.
Share the Spotlight
The second most important point Godin makes is to share the spotlight with your boss or your team. You may have been the one who nailed the presentation, or won the new account. Almost never, however, are such accomplishments done solo.
Share the spotlight. Explain how the team worked together to achieve such great outcomes.
Surround Yourself with Doers of Good
Those who complain about disadvantages or inequities hinder their own career growth. Deliberately be associated with employees who are known to do great work… and who might serve as great mentors.
Meaningful work is born from the belief in possibilities. Find those who get this and befriend them. Learn from them. Help them. Be one of them.
Building on the item above, make sure you have lunch or interview managers and doers of good about their work habits. Unearth their wisdoms. Share your ideas and your aspirations.
Business has always been built on relationships. Establishing connections is essential for building and nurturing relationships.
As for Boomers and Gen X’ers who will undoubtedly tell me, “this applies to us, too.” You’re right. I’ll add, however, that we owe it to our younger coworkers to impart this wisdom on them. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It’s time to pay it forward.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Switch and Shift!
About the Author: Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and Co-CEO of Switch and Shift. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post.Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and Co-CEO of Switch and Shift. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post.