Every work situation will define this subject differently but here are some generic tips on the things you don’t want to get noticed for in the workplace.
1. Anything That Runs Counter to Your Boss’ Expectation of You
Put another way, staying onside with your boss is critical. Do the things that he or she wants done in a timely manner. Do them quietly. Alert him or her to any issues or problems they may have to face. Keep your nose clean. The worst things for a boss to have are surprises, particularly when he or she hears about something that they know you could have informed them about before it was sprung on them in another way. Other things you would not want to get noticed for can be managed more easily but surprises are uncontrolled. They’re like little explosions that shock you or take you off guard. They’re horrible in the moment and you don’t want to put your boss through that kind of thing.
2. Being Out of Step With Your Peer Group
Work is a competitive place to a greater or lesser degree. There’s a lot of looking over each other’s shoulders to see that we’re doing okay. What we do not want is to get ourselves noticed because we are doing something differently to our peers, or maybe wrong. It’s completely fine if our style and approach is different, so long as the fundamentals of what we do are in line with expectation – the way we measure and report our performance or that of the team we manage, for example. What will get you noticed is if you’re doing things that are not in line with expectation or the overall contribution of collective performance.
3. Unnecessarily Attracting Attention to Yourself
People with big egos have further to fall. It is again completely okay to be loud and gregarious, maybe mouthy, maybe a show-off – but you need to back that up with your contribution to the team and employer so that people can understand why you are taking a position that they may otherwise believe is arrogant. If you seek out attention and you do not perform once you’ve got that attention, you become what is sometimes described as a hollow drum or a clanging symbol — unnecessarily attracting attention, if not distraction.
4. Lack of Punctuality and Grooming
It’s not good if you’re getting noticed for an untidy and unruly appearance or for being late in the mornings and regularly late for your meetings. It’s even worse if you’re getting noticed for both – people will wonder what makes you late, because it certainly isn’t getting dressed properly.
5. Poor Attitude
All of the above points at some level come back to the way you orient yourself in the workplace. As the old question goes, if your attitude was for sale would you buy it? Look around at your colleagues, peer groups, subordinates, and bosses. Whose attitude impresses you and why? What is it about them that guarantees they won’t be noticed for the wrong things? You’ll probably notice that they are always ready to be helpful when somebody asks a question of them and are always willing to take a few minutes to help out in any situation. If you’re not one of those people you risk getting noticed for the wrong things, which rarely happens to those with positive attitudes.
If you’d like to receive regular updates packed with career advice, then why not sign up to our newsletter?