Whether you’re a blockchain analyst or a Technology Project Manager, we all want to stand out at work.
The more you rise above the crowd, the more likely you are to earn the promotion you’ve been craving, impress your business leaders and win extra accolades for your CV.
However, excelling in your role means committing to a lot more than simply showing up at the office on time and making sure you meet your deadlines. Taking the next step in your career means looking for ways to prove yourself to your employer and yourself in everything that you do.
Now that the new year has arrived, it’s the ideal time to start making an impact at work. Here are some of the ways that you can stand out in your technology role this year.
1. Work on Your Communication Skills
It’s common for people in the technology sector to let their communication skills flounder as they spend more time with machines and computers than other people. However, if you want to stand out, then you need to be able to connect with others, and that means working on your communication skills.
Rather than relying exclusively on emails and Slack messages to get your point across, work on boosting your interpersonal skills. This will make you a more effective part of your current team and ensure that you have the foundations in place to develop your leadership skills too.
After all, IT Project Managers and department heads need to convey complex ideas to their colleagues in an easy-to-follow format. Your communication skills may even help you to develop relationships with peers that open doors for you in your future career.
2. Have a Voice
Once you’ve learned how to communicate with others, make sure that you take advantage of your new voice. Rather than sitting in the background during meetings making notes on your tablet, get involved with conversations and speak up with your opinions.
If you want to earn a promotion to technology product manager one day for instance, then you’ll need to show your managers that you understand the items that you’re selling, and you’ve thought about ways that you can improve them.
Just make sure that you think carefully about your suggestions before you share them with the group. One well-thought-out idea can have more of an impact than dozens of half-baked theories.
3. Develop a Speciality
Leaders naturally stand out in any working environment. A great way to demonstrate your leadership potential is to work on a specific part of your skillset until you get a reputation for being an “expert” in your field. When you’re known as the “go-to” guy for Customer Relationship Management systems, or the person to ask about business analytics, you instantly become more valuable in the eyes of your employer.
As you develop your specialities, make sure that you give people a chance to notice them, by writing about your area of expertise on your social media pages, or volunteering to assist with projects that will allow you to show off your skills.
You can even volunteer to become a mentor for other people who want to learn about your area. One study found that people who mentored others were up to 6 times more likely to be promoted.
4. Commit to Continuous Learning
There’s a good chance that your employer hired you partially because of the skills that you already had. For instance, you might have a qualification in business development, and a history in technology project management. However, the staff members that truly stand out are the ones that are willing to keep learning and improving their value as time passes.
Look for ways that you can build on your current skill set to support the goals that your company wants to accomplish. For instance, data from McKinsey suggest that the world’s biggest banks may lose up to $1 trillion in profit if they don’t learn how to compete with FinTech start-ups. A course in financial technology tools and equipment shows your team that you’re willing to support the organisation in exploring new initiatives.
5. Have a Positive Personality
Finally, make sure that it’s easy for people to connect with you and enjoy your company. Today’s technology leaders are starting to look more carefully at things like the cultural fit when they’re choosing who to hire and promote. For instance, Google specifically hires people whom they feel will improve their “family-like” rapport.
A positive attitude and pleasant personality will motivate the people around you and make you more memorable at the same time. This might mean that you’re the first to put people’s minds at ease when your team is worried about a new challenge, or that you always look for ways to boost comradery among your peers.
The more the people around you enjoy your company, the more they’ll want to help you reach your professional goals.
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