Getting Ahead

How to Get Noticed When You're Always Head Down in Your Work

man at computer
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It’s 2 PM on a Thursday, and where are you? The same place you always are—parked in front of your computer, earbuds in and fingers flying on the keyboard.

Your co-workers have taken a pause for a mid-afternoon coffee break. But—much like you always do—you decided you’d skip the team-building caffeine boost and keep your eyes glued to your screen, cranking out task after task.

First, kudos to you for your commitment and impressive work ethic. There’s nothing wrong with being the person who keeps his or her nose to the grindstone.

However, there’s one downside of staying hyper-focused on your work: Getting noticed.

Yes, you want to get things done. But, you also don’t want the office to operate around you like a piece of furniture—without ever paying mind to the high-quality stuff you’re churning out.

So, what do you do? How can you get noticed when you’re constantly head down in your work? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Involve Others

Typically, you’re so zoned in on your work that you stay in one spot until you get the project wrapped up. You don’t want to take the time to ask for other opinions and run the risk of distracting yourself from the task at hand.

But that might not be the best strategy. In fact, collaborating with relevant team members on a project can give you valuable insight from other points of view—making the end result even stronger. And the best part? It’ll also draw positive attention to your opinions and the problems you’re solving, without any of that, “Me, me, me!” sort of self-promotion that makes you cringe.

Better yet, see if there are tasks that you could delegate to an intern or junior member of the team. You’ll get to exercise your leadership skills—which is bound to get you noticed—while at the same time, freeing your time up to…

2. Take on New Challenges

Everybody notices—not to mention loves—the team players in the office. So, going beyond your job description now and then is a great way to gain some recognition.

Look around now and then and see what teams or co-workers are struggling or stressed. Are there ways that your work could help ease a burden or achieve a team-wide goal? Are there problems or challenges no one is working that you could jump in and solve?

No, you don’t want to add too much to your already overloaded plate, but going out of your way to help your colleagues or boss succeed, even once in a while, will likely mean you’ll be noticed—and greatly appreciated.

3. Speak Up

Because you’re usually completely absorbed in your work, chances are high that you understand certain projects and topics intimately—meaning you have incredibly valuable insights to share with your team.

But if you tend to stay silent during team meetings and discussions, it might be time to take a deep breath and speak up about some of your ideas. When a subject comes up that you think you could really speak to, don’t be afraid to offer your thoughtful insights. Sharing your knowledge in a public forum is a surefire way to gain yourself some recognition.

4. Have Some Fun

Yes, your work is important. But don’t forget: So is building strong relationships with your boss and co-workers. And getting the attention you’re craving will likely involve stepping away from your workspace every now and then and putting yourself out there.

So, try to find one activity this week you can participate in, whether it’s asking your cube-mate to lunch or tagging along for that happy hour you repeatedly skip. This could be even simpler, like chiming in on the heated debate between the cat people and the dog people on the office chat app.
Whatever you choose, being an active participant in your company’s culture is sure to up your acknowledgement.

When you’re the person who always keeps your eyes glued to your work, there’s no denying that you get things done. But, that hyper-focused approach can also make it tough to get yourself and your hard work noticed.

If you’re eager to garner some recognition in your office, it might be time to step away from that to-do list for a minute and push yourself out of your comfort zone just a little. Try these tips, and you’re that much more likely to feel like a part of the team.