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Many think that getting the top management's attention is the way for career advancement. You may see them deploying different techniques to get noticed — from joking or getting friendly with higher managers to coming up with creative ideas in hopes of getting the sought-after attention.
While trying to do so isn't always a guaranteed route for promotion, it can often work. It is important, however, to be careful because this technique can backfire.
First, your immediate supervisor may feel insecure if your actions seem to be targeting this position. Second, your attention-seeking actions may lead to the exact opposite of your goal, if they don't meet the company's expectations or appear to be totally in the wrong direction.
Still if you think your immediate supervisor doesn't allow you the growth potential hoped for and you feel someone higher up can help with the advance, getting this person's attention may be a good idea. To do this, you need to get it right. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
Keep your supervisor informed
Before you reach out to your supervisor's boss or even higher up, make sure to run your ideas by the immediate supervisor. If they get shot down immediately, you will need to come up with a good argument as to why you think they are valid. Don't admit to shelving them and then go with the proposal to someone else.
Instead, say you will take the feedback into consideration and when you propose the ideas to someone else, mention the concerns as well as your arguments. In a better scenario, if the supervisor approves of these ideas but falls short of taking action, then there is minimal harm in going to the next level — unless the approval wasn't genuine.
In all cases, managers may not be happy to see you passing them over. So, it is important to maintain proper communication with all parties to make sure that the little adventure won't end up ruining your relationship with the supervisor and before achieving any of your goals.
Have a solid plan
Before going out of your way and reaching out to the supervisor or top managers, make sure the plan is top-notch. Just getting noticed in itself won't land anyone a promotion in most places. The need is to to show what you can do for the business if allowed the opportunity and how. That plan should be realistic, well-researched and well-timed.
You can't just go recommend change for a thriving business for the sake of change. If you want positive attention, make sure to bring the proposal at the right time and for the right business needs.
Remember, joking or being buddies with top managers can get you noticed, but it won't necessarily make one a good candidate for promotion. Work hard on a plan that not only brings your talent to the spotlight, but also show decision-makers your understanding of the business' needs.
Your great ideas, hard work and creativity may be about to take you places above coworkers and even the supervisor. But to achieve this goal, you must remain humble and down-to-earth because every great plan does involve the cooperation of others around you. If you appear to be sucking up to top managers, you may lose your coworkers' respect and their willingness to support the endeavour, which can be detrimental to even the best plans.
That is one more reason to take the supervisor on board, and involve as many of the coworkers as possible. The more allies you have when about to take on a huge job or task, the easier success will come. So don't be carried away with the approval of top management and forget about who can help turn your plans into reality.
Get tips on breaking the cycle of self-destruction
Source: Rania Oteify, Special to gulfnews.com
The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor