Are You Trapped In Your Boss’ Shadow?

by Growth Through Learning, Quick Reads

Are You Trapped In Your Boss’ Shadow?

Shadows are a great place to seek refuge from the sun on a hot and blistering day, but they’re no place to reside if you’re intent on advancing your career.

It may feel “safe” to simply put your head down, do your work, report to your boss as scheduled and trust that others will champion your career on your behalf, but it’s a mistake.

Playing it safe is not an option if you’re serious about advancing your career. Instead, you’ll need to take conscious and decisive action to ensure you step out into the light. The following four tips will help you build momentum.

1. Build Your Internal Network

Do your best to build relationships at all levels within your organization.

These connections can develop into powerful advocates who sing your praises on your behalf. The higher up they exist within the company structure the better, but don’t discriminate based on position – it isn’t a good look and you never know when positions might shift around.

Note: Many people think that connecting with their coworkers on LinkedIn or another social network is enough. It isn’t. While this form of connection can be helpful for staying on people’s radar if you’re regularly active on a platform, you can’t rely solely on social media. Real and lasting advances are made through personal connection with real people in real-time, face-to-face interactions.

2. Let People Know What You’re Good At

It’s time to run your own career-advancing brand awareness campaign.

No, I don’t mean printing out advertisements or putting up banners with your face on them. I mean making sure people know what you’re good at and what you’re looking to accomplish, so they can watch for opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

Failing to self-advocate due to fear that you’ll appear ‘boastful’ or ‘full of yourself’ is the best way to ensure you don’t get noticed. There’s nothing wrong with letting people know what you’re good at. In fact, it’s critical that you do so. Build a success file that you can draw upon as required. (I have seen too many people wait until they need to produce a success summary and then scramble to find the evidence).

3. Ask Your Boss To Broadcast Your Successes

Don’t solely rely on your boss to champion you, but don’t overlook their ability to help either.

If your boss is willing to cite your achievements, ideas, and other successes at internal meetings with executives and other management it will help your name spread throughout your organization in a positive light.

Note: Make sure to thank your boss when they champion you. The last thing you want your boss to view you as is unappreciative. Failing to recognize and express your gratitude for the support they give you may discourage them from doing so again in subsequent situations. If that ever happens, you will have lost your competitive advantage in your organization.

4. Be Persistent

Most importantly, you can’t allow yourself to become discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Career advancement takes time – trust that the steps you’re taking are making a difference.

If you give up, you may never get where you’d like to go.

Instead, your efforts must be measured, consistent, and genuine in order to be taken seriously and for you to be deemed worthy of recognition and reward.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

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