Large teams, plenty of creative minds to explore, an opportunity to grow and climb the ranks, great facilities – Working for a large employer certainly has its advantages. As with any role, however, pluses always come with a few hurdles to overcome. At a big company, how can you forge authentic relationships with colleagues outside your team? How can you build a reputation for yourself and stand out among the sea of other workers?
While you may feel like just another name on a roster or hundreds, or even thousands, there are plenty of initiatives you can take to help you become acclimated with your surroundings and make a name for yourself at your company.
Participate in a Variety of Opportunities
Anyone want to help? That’s your cue to raise your hand. When you work within a large company, it’s easy to remain in your comfort zone and never venture outside your team or department. While breaking out of this bubble may feel intimidating, making your mark as an employee requires you to immerse yourself in all of the different opportunities that come across your plate.
Maybe the marketing team is organizing a summer picnic for the company and they could use some volunteers. Or maybe, there’s a new project the product department is working on for an upcoming launch and they need a helping hand. Whatever the case may be, these occasions are the perfect time for you to step in and demonstrate your value. By engaging in other activities, you’ll increase your impact, form relationships with new coworkers, and build a strong connection with other departments in your company.
Show Your Worth
While I’m not suggesting you should make yourself the focus of every conversation, it’s okay to draw attention to your achievements. Many workers shy away from self-promotion, but in a large organization, owning and vocalizing your successes and contributions is a vital way to ensure the value you deliver is being noticed. There’s no self-aggrandizing, ego-fueling gesture needed here. You can simply speak up and say ‘thanks’ when your manager compliments an aspect of a project you were responsible for.
Additionally, you can incorporate your work accomplishments into natural conversations or introductions to new colleagues. For example, if you’re in customer service and you’re meeting someone from business development, you can introduce yourself by saying something along the lines of, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I was the one who created the new proposal deck you're using for prospective clients.” Using this type of statement works two-fold – you’re spotlighting your work while also finding a thread of commonality between the two of you that can be used to keep the conversation flowing.
Never Stop Seeking Advice
A great way to develop as a professional and learn how to gain upward mobility in your company, is to solicit advice from those who’ve already had success. Whether it’s a colleague who’s been with the company for several years, your manager, or even a director-level individual who you look up to, take the reins and ask that person if they’d be willing to let you pick their brain over coffee. You don’t need some super complex strategy to have a conversation about someone’s journey and success. Plus, showing this kind of initiative will demonstrate your level of commitment and investment in your career.
Ask Questions & Communicate Ideas in Meetings
Whether your meetings entail an over-crowded conference room or they’re smaller discussions with your team, don’t be intimidated to actively participate and speak up when you have a question or idea to share. Trying to fly under the radar is certainly not going to help you stand out – especially if you feel like a small fish in a big pond. Contributing valuable insight during meetings will be welcomed by your superiors and demonstrate that you have a voice that deserves to be heard.
Vocalize Your Goals
You could work for a company of five or a large-scale organization of 25,000 – either way, you should exercise transparency when it comes to communicating your career goals. If you don’t vocalize what you want to accomplish as a professional, it makes it virtually impossible for your manager to guide you in the right direction. Being ambitious is a good thing. Whether you want to nab a leadership role, earn a certain certification, or eventually move into another department, making your goals known will allow you to have an open dialogue with your manager and formulate a plan for how you can move the needle forward.
When you work for a large organization, it’s easy to find yourself questioning whether or not your hard work is being noticed. Don’t let this deter you or lose sight of what you want to accomplish as a professional. By changing your actions and putting in the effort to make your voice heard, you’ll begin making a name for yourself and moving closer to achieving your goals.