Case Study: Dylan’s Story. How to Get Noticed at Work and Land a Job Promotion in Just 4 Months
Have you ever wondered how to get noticed at work? Sadly, many of us spend our careers hovering just beneath the radar, and never get the recognition we deserve.
As a result of that, we start to feel undervalued and demotivated, slowly losing interest in our careers...
In fact, Recent Gallup poll found that only 30% of US employees are engaged in their jobs. And the stats get even lower on a worldwide scale, where the figure stands at a dismal 13%.
So, what can you do if you feel invisible at work?
Four months ago, Dylan was in the same boat, trying to puzzle out the mystery of how to get noticed at work. Because although he’d been able to use his background in psychology in his role as an engineering technical manager for a global financial services provider, he felt his career was stalling.
He’d been working in the same position for seven years, and had seen his organization progressing very fast. However, things just were NOT moving for Dylan, and he didn’t know why. So, after coasting along for a while, he decided to take action. He got himself a mentor, and he decided to enrol in the Career Acceleration Formula training course.
The next four months saw a radical change in Dylan’s thinking and his approach to networking with fellow colleagues. They also saw a rapid improvement in his visibility within his company.
In today’s case study, you’ll see how Dylan learned how to really communicate with his colleagues and bosses and let them know about the improvements he’d been making to his company. You’ll also discover how a small adjustment to Dylan’s thinking led to recognition at work and some hugely exciting developments for him.
Dylan had been working in the same position for seven years, as a technical manager in an engineering organization for a global financial services provider.
And, although his MBA and psychology degree had played a huge part in his day-to-day role, he began to feel as if he was treading water and not being recognized for all the positive changes he’d implemented.
“So I’ve been working in the same position for seven years, actually - even longer than that in the previous company. I’m seeing fantastic progress of the organization...
...and at the same time, my job title wasn’t changing. I’d manage infrastructure projects and software projects and manage security. I did a bunch of different stuff, but my job title wasn’t changing.”
What Started Dylan Thinking…
Although he was happy in his role, Dylan knew that something was missing...
“I knew I needed to do something different if I was going to get a different result. So, I went out and I hired myself a career coach and then I continued exploring what else is possible and available.
And that’s when I came across your training and it just spoke to me, and I signed up for it.”
How Did This Affect Dylan?
In his own words:
“Really, it’s a sense of confusion at times, but more and more just an understanding. I saw rational decisions being made by management above and around me, in the company.
This isn’t a company that makes decisions lightly or I think unwisely. Really, it’s a company I have fantastic respect for, and for the management. People just do things right in general and so there’s a reason I wasn’t being promoted.
“No one had it out for me, and I knew that it was something I was doing (or not doing), something I was being or not being. I had to go learn to do or not do, to be or not be something different.
And, even with my MBA and my psychology degree, I wasn’t bringing enough of an A game to get the recognition and the promotion."
Searching for a Solution…and Finding it
So, rather than expect other people to advance his career or blame his lack of promotion on his superiors, Dylan took full responsibility for his situation. In short, he didn’t take the easy way out.
So, when did that big ‘a-ha’ moment of taking control and understanding how to get noticed at work happen?
One of the major insights I had was that I’m responsible, period. And no matter how many times our parent or coach tells us that sometimes, this time it got in real deep.
So from then on, it’s more and more about: ‘If my relationships aren’t bringing the results I want, it’s up to me to manage my relationships; and if my life doesn’t have the things in it that I want - or even need - it’s up to me to do that.
And it’s not bad that other people aren’t doing it. They’re doing it for themselves hopefully, but probably not for me. So it was a fantastic, brilliant, eye-opening experience."
What Dylan Learned About How to Get Noticed at Work… and The Action he Took
Dylan’s mindset switch happened in the summer of 2012. From this point on, he hired a career coach and joined the Career Acceleration Formula. Here is how he put his new-found knowledge into practice...
“So, in conversation with my coach, she said: ‘Look, if you’ve been there seven years, you must have done something if you’ve been thinking about career growth. Why don’t you make a list of the things you’ve done while you’re there that were significant, that made a difference?’
And then we applied a dollar value to them. What was the cost-saving or revenue generated through that? I work in teams, so I can’t personally declare any single dollar as my own total contribution, but I also manage things that no one else is going to be managing any time soon. So right, we’re all part of the process.
Ultimately, I was able to identify millions of dollars - you know, 10x my personal salary - in terms of my contribution to the profit line, yeah. And so that was eye-opening! And that’s when I really started to apply what I learned in the Career Acceleration Formula.
I set myself a weekly assignment to start making half-hour ‘getting to know you’ conversations and ‘here’s what I’ve been doing - how can we work together to do more?’ conversations and show people what it is you’ve done.
So I pitched them this email that said: ‘So here’s what I’ve done. How can we work together to do more?’ and I started sitting down with them -with people who I work closely with or had at least been in the same context as for years, but I just really wasn’t on the radar.
So that made a huge difference. Next thing I know, I’m meeting three or four people and my boss is saying: ‘Hey, I got some news for you from HR.’
Time for Action!
Now that Dylan had a strategy that would show him how to get noticed at work, it was time to put his plan into action.
“The thing that has the influence - primarily, actually – is being known. If you’re known by three, four, five, six or seven people, and they’re people who are in the conversations and they’re usually people who are above you…
Around year-end or when people are talking about raises, bonuses and promotions, ultimately, people can’t say they don’t know what you did or can’t not support you.
They know who you are, and you’re in the group. If you’re unknown, you don’t get as many votes, if you will, and as a result, you’re not as well represented. If you’re not represented, ‘enjoy your cost of living freeze’ kind of thing is ultimately what it comes back to.
So, because you’re telling us to do this, I’ve just begun to think about who my future boss might be, who my future peers will be, and to really become strategic about who they are and how to be in touch. So that’s exciting – I know there’s more available and possible here for everyone!”
Here are the exact same steps Dylan took to get his promotion. Start implementing these and see how they can get you recognition at work, too:
1) He made his introductory emails specific to each person.
Dylan says in his own words:
"Each individual has a different perspective and I have a certain relationship with each of them, so I might draw on elements of that or what I know they’re working on. Ultimately, it was about giving myself something to ground myself in.
The emails went something like: ‘I’ve been working for the company for a while, we’ve been working together and I’ve done a number of things which I’m very proud of and which I know have made a positive impact.
“I’m continuing the inquiry of where else and how else can I be successful, and it has occurred to me that I should really reach out to you, because you’re also someone who’s doing things and up to things. And I want to be sure that you and I are working together in a way that’s going to add the most impact and allow synergy.
Here’s a list of things I’ve accomplished here in the Austin technology center over the last several years. We can discuss that or anything else that’s more directly applicable to you.’ Then, I’d set the call up."
2) Once he’d set the call up, Dylan was in a better position to let people know more about his achievements.
Having introduced himself via email to influential people within his organization, Dylan then set up calls with each of them.
However, these meetings often weren’t anywhere near as formal as Dylan may have imagined. In fact, they were usually light-hearted discussions where he simply got to know his colleagues better and make new contacts within his company.
"No one has ever looked at the list (of my achievements) as far as I know. We’ve never discussed the list! It just ends up being very open-ended, with people talking and saying, ‘So you’ve been doing a lot in Austin Technology Center, right?’
I would meet people and share what I've been doing and they would talk about where they’re going. They always-refer me to a couple more people to talk to! So now I have a warm-in to send that email and set up that meeting because so and so suggested we speak!"
3) Dylan implemented a ‘Can do’ attitude to real results.
One of the key elements taught on the Career Acceleration Training course is for students to develop a ‘can do’ attitude. The way Dylan structured his emails made it very difficult for people to say ‘no’ to, because they were so constructive.
In terms of recognition for employees, it can also be very constructive to ask: ‘Who else should I meet?’, because it’s much more effective than cold-calling within a company.
Result: Promotion in Just Four Months!
Once Dylan had started putting his plan for how to get noticed at work into action, it was only a few months before he started seeing real results come in.
The combination of his own drive and what he’d learned on the Career Acceleration Training proved to be a winning formula for Dylan, and it wasn’t too long before he landed the promotion he’d been looking for.
In his own words, he describes how long it took to put his plan into action, and how it all panned out for him:
“If you want to be influential in an organization, then you have to be in that organization. And it starts by letting people know you’re in the organization and that you’re interested in participating more fully.
I think I sent out the first email maybe, September or October and it was January or February when my boss said: ‘Hey, I have something for you that will work.’ And the timing is perfect - that’s when sort of this kind of activity tends to happen in our company.
It probably helped that I was doing it toward the end of the year, as people are beginning to plan the next year’s activities in those areas.
So I did get a promotion. I got a job title change, I got a raise, and I got a bonus and increase which, ultimately, is bigger than the raise over time.”
What Were the big Lessons Dylan Learned?
Dylan’s story is a real-life example of what can happen when you take action and have a clear strategy to implement. In just four months, Dylan had gone from coasting along in his career to finally unlocking the secret of how to get noticed at work!
So what were the big lessons on recognition for employees that he learned along the way?
Lesson #1: Why Being ‘Known for’ is so Important
The Career Acceleration Training course helped Dylan realize the importance of ‘self-branding’ and being known for his achievements within his organization.
"First of all, being ‘known for’ is really important. I’ve played around with the idea of personal branding forever, right? It’s common in the areas we’re talking about and it’s hard to do. I’ve been asked more than a few times: ‘Well great Dylan,’ in these conversations, ‘what do you want to do next? Tell us what you want to do?’
People love to pigeonhole you. For example, if you say you want to be CIO, they’ll start recommending things. They’ll say: ‘Oh, if you want to be CIO, then let’s see. You have experience in these areas; you need experience in that area too. Let’s get you into a job and we’ll give you experience in that area as well. Are you interested in being in that area because you’ll need to be if you want to be CIO.’
Lesson #2: Understanding the Dynamics of Getting Promoted Faster and Paid More
The next big lesson learned by Dylan was his conclusion about the dynamics of getting promoted faster and paid more.
" If you’re successful in a role and you’re that great ‘do-er’ that you see in Bozi’s introductory videos, then I’ve concluded that, in general, management doesn’t want to take you out of that role because you’re successful there and you’re not showing any clear desire to be moved. Managers are sophisticated. They know if they move you into another role, especially in an upward role managing people but that’s not what you’ve done before, you are likely not to like it, to not succeed and to leave.
So they will leave you in your role forever until you tell them you want to do something more or different. Then they know, ‘Oh, hey we have this person who wants to do something different. He’s going to challenge himself and us. Let’s see what we can have him do.’ That seems to have been my experience. I could have done my job forever, but the minute I stuck my head up and said: ‘Hey, what else is possible?’, suddenly it’s a completely different conversation.”
Lesson #3: Be Aware of How Much You Contribute to the Organization
The third lesson Dylan learned was to be aware of what you’re doing in your role. This way, you can give your colleagues and superiors a clear breakdown of everything you’ve done that’s generated positive results for your company. In turn, this will lead to the recognition at work you've been looking for.
“Be aware of what you’re doing and be really thoughtful of the contribution you’re making and the meaningful results that that’s driving. Are you able to reduce that kind of cost? Are you able to improve experience, productivity or revenues? Put a dollar value by it and recognize in your years in the role every dollar you save accrues year by year by year.
So the $30,000 you save in one year, it’s $300,000 in 10 years. When you add it all up and you send the list to your boss and his boss, etc. it’s like: ‘Oh my gosh, look of what I’ve contributed and I didn’t even know that until I wrote it down and just had the boldness and courage to say, ‘Okay, fine. I get that it wasn't me necessarily who did that exclusively, but you know it happened because I was there. It was my project to manage and solve.’
And if you get close to those kind of things, you may be shocked of the result you’ve been able to deliver. If people around you don’t know that you’ve done that, who are influential in your career above you, they won’t reward it because they don’t know who to reward it to, because no one’s telling them in the way that you can.”
What's Next for Dylan?
I asked Dylan what's the next step in his career. Here is what he told me:
"So I’m going to continue to be sure I’m delivering the areas that my job really is about right now, and I’m going to continue having this conversations with people. I’ve been hesitant to continue to set up new conversations, because I just got a raise and a promotion. The people I’m talking to at this point higher up in the company, they’re possibly aware of that or I’ve been talking to myself like they may possibly think, “Well Dude, you just got a promotion. How much more do you want?
But the next promotion round is only in eight months, right? So I’ve got to be in that conversation already again or in the conversation with more people about what I’m doing, and what we’re doing together. Having only spoken to half a dozen people or so, I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface here, right? That critical mass is so tiny. Once I am up to 20 people, 15 or 20 people are really at that next level, I’m in, right? Then I’m a member of that organization rather than someone who knows about it and is waiting for them to pull me into it. So I can see that I’m just really at the beginning of where I’m gonna be able to go..."
Should You Also Enroll in The Career Acceleration Formula?
When I asked Dylan on whether he would recommend Career Acceleration Formula to others, here is what he replied:
"Oh, I would say Career Acceleration Formula, if you’re even thinking it might be helpful or you’re wondering, it’s really inexpensive for the value that’s added: 10x. Yeah I could easily see that, right? In fact, using that as a basis then guess what? I got my 10x, you know. So thank you Bozi."
So What's Next For You?
You’ve heard Dylan’s story, so what’s the next step for you? If you’re struggling to get noticed at work, then click on the link to register for my next free career acceleration training.
During this training, I’ll be sharing some of my best strategies for career acceleration with you for free. Plus, you’ll also have the option of enrolling in my Career Acceleration Formula if there’s one open at the time.