If maintaining a low profile has been your work style, you might want to switch gears and position yourself to become more visible. But do it the right way -- crazy hairstyles or new tattoos will make you more visible, but won't garner the kind of attention you want. Slowly but steadily, build a positive professional reputation around the office by putting yourself out there. Get involved in office activities, volunteer to take on additional responsibilities or join the committee organizing the annual event that's near and dear to the boss's heart.
Volunteer for projects or request additional responsibilities. Don't take on more than you can handle, but stepping up to the plate on something that's not a standard part of your job might impress the boss and get you noticed. Offering to take the lead on a major project or activity also brings you increased visibility, particularly if it involves greater contact with the boss.
Take the initiative to research solutions to longstanding, priority problems or dilemmas at your office. Your boss can only do so many things each day, and there will always be challenges he would like to attack but doesn't have time for. You'll win points for tackling issues that bother your boss and for taking the initiative to resolve them.
Establish effective channels of communication with your boss. Talk to him regularly so he is aware of what you're working on and how it's going. Don't be afraid to fill him in on positive feedback you've received from clients or other accomplishments he might not hear about otherwise. This doesn't mean you need to be an obsequious toady, but keep the lines of communication open and ensure he gets to know you by name and accomplishment.
Participate in work-related activities. Even a non-athlete can come out to cheer on the office softball team or learn to keep the score book. Sign up to work on a community service project with your office group. You don't have to do every activity that comes along, but try to find out which ones are most meaningful to the boss and join a few of those. This helps build your image as a team player and someone who supports the organization's programs.
Maintain positive, effective relationships with co-workers. Then go a step further and build up your network with those outside your immediate circle of colleagues. The more you engage professionally with others in the office or the company, the more likely your boss is to recognize you as an asset to the organization and one who gets the "big picture" about the company and its personnel.
As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.