Nine Ways to Raise Your Profile at Work

Have you been passed over for a raise or promotion yet again? Does your boss keep referring to you as "Harry," even though your name is Larry? Are you the only name consistently left off the happy hour invitation e-mails? Does security stop you regularly when you try to walk into your office? If so, it's time for you to raise your profile in the office. Not sure how to get noticed? Here are nine ways to make sure your boss and coworkers finally start paying attention to your talents.

1. Find a mentor.

Asking a senior member of your organization to mentor you is a great way to push your name out among the executives, and can help you learn valuable information about your field and company. If possible, find a mentor who is not in your department. This will enable you to get to know people you do not work with on a daily basis.

2. Learn how to do lunch.

Many successful professionals have learned that going out to lunch with colleagues is a great way to network and build professional relationships. You don't have to know someone well to ask them to lunch. Just make a list of a few people in your office who are in interesting positions and let them know you would like to get to know them better. Go the extra step and pick up the bill. They won't pass up a free lunch and you'll gain a new contact.

3. Volunteer for new projects.

Sometimes the best way to get noticed is by doing a little extra. While volunteering for extra projects might cut into your free time, it will show your superiors that you are motivated and enthusiastic about the company. Better yet, volunteer for a project that no one else wants. This will cause the head honchos to sit up and take notice.

4. Put in your philanthropic time.

Many executives have pet volunteer projects that they care about. Find out which causes are important to your company's managers and get involved. Volunteering for nonprofit causes is a great way to get to know colleagues outside the workplace and a way to give back to your community.

5. Be a social butterfly.

Yes, you're probably tired at the end of a busy workweek, but try to make it to an occasional happy hour or stop in at the company picnic for a while. This gives you the opportunity to meet others in the workplace in a less guarded, more relaxed environment and let your personality shine. But be careful not to overindulge!

6. Learn a new trick.

Is your company developing a Web site but lacking people with Internet-savvy? Does your organization have a shortage of graphic designers? Why not turn yourself into the resident expert? Buy a book or take a class to learn a skill that will bring value to your company. Then make sure others know just what you can do. Pretty soon, you'll be the new "go-to" guy or gal.

7. Keep up with developments in your field.

One of the best ways to get noticed is by demonstrating that you are an asset to the company. Make it a point to learn all you can about your industry and the competition, and use your knowledge in the workplace. Copy an article about a competitor and pass it around to upper management (with a memo from you, of course). Make a suggestion about implementing a new technology that you have read about in a trade journal. Attend a professional association meeting, and make sure others there know your name.

8. Branch out.

Many professionals are extremely sheltered in the workplace, especially in big companies. Sure, you know everyone in your department, but what about the other areas of the company? Try to get to know one new person outside your department each week. Introduce yourself in the cafeteria and ask what he or she is working on. Your new-found friends will probably be flattered that you are interested in their work.

9. Speak up.

Do you get tongue-tied in your meetings? Do you have a lot of great ideas but lack the courage to raise them? Take a chance and speak your mind. Suggest new ways to improve the bottom line. Ask questions in meetings. Give your opinion about the business. While you may miss the mark from time to time, you will at least be known as someone who cares enough to take a chance.

Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

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