The best way to establish credibility at work

Hint: It's not a self-serving gimmick.

by Natasha Abramson
Last Updated: 11 Dec 2019

Getting noticed can be difficult, particularly when you’re in a new job or organisation and if you’re not someone who gravitates towards the limelight. Not everyone has the knack for drawing attention to themselves and their work, which often means your contribution can be overlooked and your impact decreased.

There are many things you can do to set a good impression or get yourself talked about, not all of them necessarily good. But something I feel is underrated is helping others to succeed.

That’s because the secret of setting a good impression is that it is all about the relationships you form, rather than the attention-grabbing gimmicks you resort to. Do you treat other people with dignity or aloofness? When a colleague is stuck and they need help, it’s the person who gets them unstuck who they’ll remember and speak highly of.

Former C-suite executive and author Glenn Lopis, writing for Forbes, said, "look around, beyond and beneath the opportunities that you seek. Those that get noticed at work are those who approach each day with wide-angle vision."

He was talking about opportunities to make a difference, and the easiest and most impactful of these opportunities are in helping someone with a problem or offering a different perspective on things, without them having to ask you for it. 

In his book, SPIKE: Strengths Positively Identified Kick-start Excellence, René Carayol also talks about opportunities. He spoke to Shalimar Adorno about how she used opportunities in her life to land a successful job reporting to the World Bank President. 

Her attitude towards people was a key ingredient of her success, and indeed her wellbeing. 

"There’s absolutely nothing that brings me more joy than to look someone in the eye and empower them," she says in the book. 

So while you could read an article on how to look good and seem impressive, it’s worth remembering that treating people with dignity and respect will always get you noticed in a positive way. 

quick tips to build your internal network without ruthless self-promotion

-- Say hello and smile

-- Visit HR before they visit you - they can be valuable contacts and are plugged into everything 

-- Ask people what they do. Knowing who does what can be very useful when you need the right person fast. Besides, it’s always worth showing an interest in colleagues.

-- Talk to senior management. Don’t be intimidated by them, they are (amazingly) people too. 

Image credit: Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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