Working in the corporate world isn’t that easy. You have to wake up early to get to a place where you will be forced to sit for hours on end. Every day tasks are centred around making someone else richer. You even have to sign agreements stating that you won’t pursue your dreams while you are ‘owned’ by your employer! That sounds a little dramatic, but if you were invisible at work, that’s exactly how it would feel. Imagine dedicating over forty hours of your week and cancelling your personal plans, but still aren’t recognised by your superiors. And by recognition, we are just talking about going from a number to being called by name. Hectic right? Are you that person?
While everyone aspires to run their own company, not everyone is lucky enough to actually make it. Let’s face it, the stars don’t align every day. If you are that invisible person looking to improve the dynamics in your corporate sphere, or are feeling rather invisible at work, this post is for you.
You’ll be invisible at work if you don’t socialise
Are you tired of seeing the same people for so many hours during the week that you make up any and every excuse not to attend the socials? Your dog died for the millionth time? You have an upset tummy? Your family is visiting from out of town? Name an excuse and I’m sure your colleagues have heard it somewhere before. If you continue to regurgitate excuses faster than a kid munches through candy, you will quickly diminish your relevance in the team. A great percentage of appraisals come from performance. However, unless you are likeable enough for your name to travel up the food chain, you most likely won’t get that promotion.
It’s not the shy introvert that gets to lead the team!
Setting firm boundaries will make you less invisible at work
This may sound counterintuitive, but boundaries are always necessary especially in the corporate world. The inclination is to always avail yourself so that everyone can see how proactive you are. I’ll challenge you by asking if you have ever seen a boss drop his Sunday plans to answer some emails? Before anyone knocks me down for saying this, let me clarify. You need to give yourself the respect you want the others to give you. But during the times that you are under the clock, make sure you knock everyone’s socks off. Coffee runs, laundry pick ups, etc will do absolutely nothing to make you more visible. I can also assure you that it will definitely not give you the promotion you desire! I can already see it: John Doe was promoted for his great ability to bring in hot coffee. Yeah, I didn’t think so!
Put in extra hours so you can put in less hours
This is another confusing and slightly counterintuitive one, but hear me out. In the previous point, we were discussing availing yourself to run the ‘intern’ jobs. That definitely needs to be cut down. Now we are talking about the amount of time you put into your research and development. The sooner you put in the extra work, the quicker you will learn the ropes and be that guy who can conclude tasks with his eyes closed. The faster you can absorb as much information relevant to your job, the better your upcoming performance reviews will be.
You need to learn more than you need to
So we’ve covered the performance reviews that will guarantee you a bonus for great results, but what about taking you to the next level? The sooner you know more about your boss’ job, the better for your promotion. The thing is, in the corporate world, you don’t get promoted for doing your job well. They promote you based on your potential, your willingness to go above and beyond and your interpersonal skills. Think of it this way; if you were to choose between giving someone who did his job extremely well the chance to lead the team, would you give it to him over someone who knew more about the organisation, the industry and people management?
You want to be promoted? Act like you already have been.Nuno DS
Stay true to who you are
We are currently in a world where jobs are hard to come by, salaries are being chopped and bonuses are being scrapped. If you are still employed, it is very important to be appreciative of the job you still have because you could’ve very well been one of the millions who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Now here’s the thing, being appreciative of your job means doing it to the best of your abilities, not sucking up to your bosses. In some companies, that could get you far but in the long run you will start to resent your job if you’re even able to keep up the facade!
Recruiters have face to face interviews for a reason – to get to know the person who wrote the CV. This serves to decide if you are a good fit for the role and a good fit for the corporate culture. Now you’ve made it into the company but feel that you need to put on a persona so that people can recognise the work you’ve produced… Is that really sustainable? Unless you are a diagnosed schizophrenic, you probably won’t be able to keep up the act.
I know it sucks. People don’t see you. They don’t listen. You feel like you have nothing valuable to contribute… But that is only true if you believe it to be so! Your actions are a reflection of what you think of yourself, so be the person you would want to hire for your own company. Make sure you know your job better than the guidelines and show that you can do your boss’ job with ease. And once you have mastered everything, watch everything fall into place.
Are you feeling invisible at work? What other tips would you give to someone going through the same struggles?