How to Make Your Mark at a Big Company
You have finally landed your dream job, and you are not sure how to scale up? This is a common concern in new employees of big companies, especially if they just recently ended their studies.
Not everyone is ready to take a huge step after their studies, especially if they never had a day as an intern in major businesses. Yet, you must have been a professional for a long period so far; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this, right?
Once you land your perfect job, you must know that the real struggle just begins. Yes, finding a job, and especially a really good job is not easy.
You have to do your research, know in a nutshell what is the company really about, how they work, who are their employees, create a resume special finally for the company, and… You have to nail that interview!
This requires a lot of work, including above-mentioned research, preparation, and rehearsal (yes, interviews should be practiced, and best in front of a mirror) and a fair amount of waiting time, until the HR person calls you and tells you that they have an offer for you.
Since this part can be time-consuming, no wonder that people tend to forget that real effort and struggle starts on the first day at work.
Still, you can be the best employee from day one, and that does not guarantee any benefits or extra bonuses. Moreover, this usually doesn’t mean that you are going to be offered a promotion, merely because you are a great employee and you have a good college diploma.
No, if you want to really make it, you need to work hard, hustle and grind to make that check scale up. So, you know deep inside that you are destined for greatness, but you are not sure how to utilize your skills and expertise to reach business tops?
Fear not, because we have got you covered. Below you may find straightforward guidelines on how to make your mark at a big company.
1. KNOW THE COMPANY
You need to know the company. This is the first step when it comes to creating a good position within the company. Think about it as a dating scene:
If your friends tell you that you have the perfect person for you, you would want to know more about that person, right? About a person’s interests, personal life, professional area, any interesting facts, and so on. That’s normal and somehow expected.
Once you show up on your date, you will impress the other person by knowing their interests, qualities, maybe evoke mutual interest, and so on… That being said, this is how you should approach the company as well – you should know as much as possible – as if you are about to go out on a date together.
Luckily, we are living in a digital era, meaning that information is all around us, one-click away, making it unreachable for lazy people. Since you are here, exploring how to climb your way up to the top, you are not a lazy person. Use everything that the internet offers.
Explore the company’s website, check official LinkedIn, and see connections working there. Who knows, maybe your best friend actually knows someone working in that company and any insight matters.
Also, check Glassdoor and similar sites to read about employee experiences first-handed. Once you have all information in one place, you will be able to understand how the company actually works.
In no time, you will know the company’s goals, vision and mission, operations, and even a glimpse of their business model.
All in, this will help you master the operations and procedures within the company in no time. Once you are in, listen to your colleagues, have your ear on calls addressed to the company, customers support references, and dive into the company’s intranet.
Last but not least, don’t forget to talk with people from different sectors and ask about their experience. Back to dating analogy…
Just like with any serious relationship, you need to invest your time and energy to learn about each other as much as possible, how the other side loves, what provokes, and what makes them sad.
An identical approach can be applied to your company. Know the company’s goals, who are the main leaders, engage, work hard, bring results, go the extra mile, and, most importantly – show people that you can really care about the company’s health.
2. GET ONBOARD WITH SELF-PROMOTION
If you are great at something, and you don’t tell or show people, how will they know about it?
That being said, you should know that the second most crucial step in making a mark at the company is to use self-promotion.
If you are not comfortable with dabbling about your own success, skills, and importance, you should start practicing it today. This is not difficult, but it’s yet mandatory.
To get a job, you must present yourself, including your skills, college credit, and overall expertise, right? That same interview practice, you should continue once you are hired. Own your contribution and expertise, don’t be biased about it.
Show everyone that you are a person of action and a great mind, by respecting other people’s views, desires, and hard work. Be vocal about your accomplishments when the time requires it. Self-promotion is not about you bragging about yourself around the office.
No, it’s more about acting when needed and saying ‘thank you.’ When a manager or a boss speaks openly about your expertise and above-average results, say ‘thank you.’
This means that you are well-aware of your own skills and you don’t have to explain your results. You just have to win them. You can also point out your expertise to new people in the company.
When you are making an introduction, tell about your unique skills so people can memorize you. This way, you will be memorized as a person who can help with a specific area.
This way, you will be the person to go to for a specific problem and solution.
For example, if you are meeting someone from a marketing team for the first time, you can shake their hand, smile, and say, “Amazing to meet you. Welcome! I’m the one who worked on the new app to implement the pool for customer’s feedback.”
Your introduction will be effective, on point, and memorable. Also, this statement highlights your work, expertise, and willingness to go the extra mile in your work filled.
3. MASTER YOUR INDUSTRY
Your company may be the best one in your industry, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t amazing companies doing great work. Moreover, even if you are just a part of a start-up scene, you should know that there is much to be learned.
Every industry is different, and there is much to be learned about each one. So, you may have the best knowledge about your company, and its organizational structure, but it doesn’t mean that your professional knowledge stops there.
If you truly want to be better than others, you should learn about the industry, its trends, weakness, and opportunities. This way you will also know that market better, and understand better what your customers need. This is even more crucial if you just stepped into a new industry.
You should subscribe to newsletters from other companies within the industry, follow relevant people on platforms such as Linkedin and Quora, and visit a conference here and there, to expand your network and gain new knowledge.
If you are a people-person, you take small steps and start by watching TedX videos or joining online webinars or online conferences. It’s important to stay up to date with regulative standards, and any other aspect that might impact your company.
Also, you should think about what your company does that might impact others, as well. Everything in business works in two ways.
4. SPEAK UP
In a swift world, busy schedule, and numerous meetings, people tend to forget that graveyards are full of dreams that no one ever dares to speak about. Don’t be another face in the crowd, and use your voice. Do you have an idea that might disrupt the industry? Share it!
Do you know a new tool that might save people time, energy, and boost their productivity? Speak up! If you know that your company might benefit from something, why not share it? Use meetings to express your ideas, opinion, and various solutions.
Be a team player, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you know that you are contributing. Do you spend meetings in silence? Do you blend in with others, or you sit at the top of the table? These are the things to think about if you are preparing to speak up at the next meeting. Don’t be intimated.
Use time at home to practice your speech, presentation, and opinions on different topics. You can even use an app to give you feedback and guide you through your presentation process, or you can ask a relative to listen to you while you are presenting the recent trends within your industry, and how it might affect your company.
Your one goal on meetings should be – to deliver. Don’t say anything just to be involved. Think twice and speak smart. Be short. Be direct. Mention numbers.
Don’t be too vocal and sound unfocused. Gather courage and speak up on the topic that you are passionate about. It’s always better to voice what’s on your mind at the moment, rather than to simply follow up with an email.
Sending an email is always ok, and can be effective. However, if you can react at the moment, in a crowded meeting, and show your expertise and passion, well… Nothing that beat that, not even the perfectly crafted email.
This way you’ll have people and amazing opportunities to see you, range you, and even challenge your theory. Beautiful ideas will be born this way, and everyone will link business proactiveness and solution-oriented attitude with your name, and most importantly, with your face.
5. SHARE YOUR CAREER GOALS
Unless you tell people your dreams, how will they know that you have some? The same applies to goals. You need to tell the world that you are dreaming big and that you are not afraid for everyone to know it.
Don’t be aggressive about it, or all over the top, just let people know that you are ambitious. It’s also important to note that this is fine if your company has a couple of hundreds of thousands of employees. If you are a part of a start-up scene, it’s expected from you to be both goal-oriented and team player.
If you are a part of a big organization, you need to be upfront, speak your mind, and be vocal about your professional development, and professional goals. No one can read your mind, including your managers, so speak up!
Tell them that you are interested in a position with more responsibilities, a better salary and so on. You are your best advocate, and you should do an amazing job when it comes to presenting your expertise.
Investing in your own career is mandatory if you want to progress. Whether you want to learn more about another department, gaining a new skill through specific training, or you are hoping to eventually move into a management position yourself, you need to have a straightforward conversation with your boss about your future in the company.
Although these conversations may be difficult, they are usually the most effective. You should see this conversation as an investment into your future, a deeper step into your professional career, and professional growth. This way, you can also impress your manager or supervisor and push them to see you as the next company’s investment.
To open a door, you need to knock – always remember that.
6. KNOW THAT YOUR WORK WILL BE MEASURED
To get something, you must give something. This saying is not made up, but it’s based on a giver-receiver connection. You can’t expect to get a promotion, high salary, and amazing perks, without showing the company how serious you are about your work, and how much you care about the company.
With that in mind, you should know that every serious company has its own system of tracking employees’ performance. Therefore it’s crucial to understand that your performance will be measured from day one.
How your performance will be measured may vary from company to company, without a doubt, you can expect some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) whose purpose is to show if your contribution is really significant or not. It’s also important to note that big companies usually have strictly formalized processes when it comes to performance.
Moreover, big companies will usually present during an interview about how they measure success. If that’s the case with your company as well, you better act accordingly.
Go beyond those measures and show them that you are a reliable, action-driven, and result-oriented person who is willing to be and do more.
7. WORK FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY, NOT ONLY FOR YOUR TEAM
You may have the best team in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything if you are not willing to go beyond that circle of people. Teams are merely a small part of the bigger machine. A big company is made out of teams with specific tasks.
Each team has strictly defined goals, and each action is measured through specific tools. This can be your opportunity to raise if you are willing to learn more and do more. With that in mind, you should be willing to search for opportunities outside of your team.
This is a great opportunity to show your interests in the overall company’s growth and willingness to boost growth and profit.
When you are a part of a large organization, being in one department can be a comfort zone. By the time you learn everything within your department, the other department may grow or disappear, usually taking their knowledge with them.
So, if you are eager to deliver more, search experience in other teams. Offer mutual working hours, where you can meet other team members, and help them to achieve their targets. This is the easiest way to know everyone and everything within the company in a short period of time.
So, whenever it’s possible, step in and help. Organize a happy training hour, skill-sharing, or simply chill to meet the others. Everyone will know your name in no time. Jump on interesting opportunities, and you will meet more people, work on more projects, and boost your own skills and extend your knowledge.
NEVER STOP GROWING
It’s important to know that development never ends. You can be 21 or 65, and you will have to invest time, energy, and willingness to learn for decades.
With such rapid technology growth and different tools being created every day, it’s essential to challenge yourself and find new solutions. You should also work on strategic thinking.
Being a strategic thinker is important in a fast-growing and fast-changing world. You should also think about leadership. You should be able to lead and be a part of the team. Being able to adapt to different surroundings is everything when you have to respond to a company’s needs.
Think strategically about your own position and opportunities within the company.
This way, you will be able to see what you would otherwise miss. Since this skill doesn’t come naturally, you have to practice.
Think of it as a muscle that should be practiced daily. The more you work on it, the better and stronger it will become.
QUICK TIPS FOR MAKING A MARK AT A BIG COMPANY
Everything is much easier to follow when it’s cut into smaller pieces. With each step, you can wonder if you train yourself to be consistent and work on yourself every day.
With that in mind, here are the most effective and simple steps to follow to make you the leader in any business surroundings.
- Show everyone in the company that they are determined.
- Focus first on the team’s success, but never forget what’s your ultimate goal.
- Be responsible for your work, and always take ownership.
- Know your numbers, track and increase your own productivity.
- Make sure that you know the company from bottom to top.
- Be transparent about your business goals.
- Don’t be shy to ask advice from others.
- Use meetings to speak up and share your opinion on various matters.
- Reach out toward other teams, and search for new and various learning opportunities.
- Ask for extra training and learning opportunities.
- Network. Network. Network.
- Be fine with self-promotion.
- Increase your leadership skills.
- Get familiar with project management.
- Know HR policies.
- Learn about the industry.
- Know everything about the company.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Getting noticed by your boss’s boss is not an easy task. Luckily for you, this is also not an impossible mission. If you’re sure that you are ready to climb the ladder of business success, you need to be ready to let people know that.
You know everything that you should know about yourself, right? You know that you are intelligent, brilliant when needed, solution-oriented, and you possess an ambition to inspire people to do more and achieve more…
With that in mind, why should you keep all of that only to yourself? Why not share knowledge and skills with others? This way, you can work together on something bigger than you.
You can work on a bigger goal that can push the company to another, and better, level. To achieve this, you need to stand out. Be willing to know more people, to master the company’s policies, and to talk openly about your expertise.
Whenever someone points out your skill or how amazing a job you did, don’t forget to say “thank you,” because this is also a way of self-promotion, which is OK.
Self-promotion can help you to reach for more. Try the steps listed above and implement them in your everyday work routine. You should be able to see results in the first week.
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