Whom you know in business is almost as important as what you can do. In today's competitive, fast-paced corporate world, managers may not have the time to personally get to know every employee working for them. Instead, they rely on a select few whom they interact with on a regular basis. To get noticed by members of upper management, it's important to work at creating the relationship rather than simply waiting for one to happen.
Help members of upper management notice you by facilitating opportunities to speak with them. Do not take this to mean that you should stalk or make empty excuses to see managers. You want upper management to realize how valuable you are as an employee, not become annoyed by your constant presence. Take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, such as elevator rides, coffee breaks, and company sports, to introduce yourself to members of upper management. When you have these opportunities, make sure that you have something intelligent and business-related to say, whether it's a comment on an ongoing project or a relevant statistic on the business market in general.
Members of upper management are all about meeting their priorities. Managers have a lot to do and have to prioritize tasks to get things done and meet their quotas. Learn what the current priorities of upper management are by consulting meeting agendas and paying special attention to informational company emails or briefings. Take initiative, study the priority list, and devise a way that your skill set can help meet company goals. Develop strategies that are backed by solid data. It may take a little extra work, but being prepared for a meeting or a call in to an upper manager's office gives you an edge. It demonstrates that you have valuable ideas that can help the company progress.
Volunteer your services to upper management. Join task groups, committees, focus groups, and any other work-related activity that involves direct interaction with members of upper management. Make sure that you meet all of the requirements for whatever group you choose and study the material provided by the company as well as your own research to carefully develop your opinions before you relay them to management. Research-focused groups provide invaluable face-time with upper management. They are opportunities for you to demonstrate your abilities and commitment to the company.
Ask for a Mentor
Another way that you can get members of upper management to notice you is to approach one of them to ask him or her to be your mentor. Requesting a mentor shows great personal and professional respect for the manager. It also demonstrates your willingness to learn and your commitment to your long-term professional goals. Be prepared to demonstrate how your skills can be of use to the manager in addition to how they will help you to meet your goals. A manager who is willing to be your mentor gets to know you on a business level and also becomes acquainted with who you are personally.
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