So how do you expose them to the skills you used to get the results they’re impressed with without boring them with the details. Tricky?
Exposing management to how you get to a result helps in you not getting pigeon-holed into one type of project or deliverable. If I see you produce a customer report, I know you can do it, so I may give you another one, but if I’ve had some exposure to what skills it took to get the customer report, and I have a project that requires dealing with complex scheduling and tricky people you may be a candidate for that project if I know your skill set.
As you’re working on the project take the time to explicitly list some of the challenges you’re facing in the project and the talents that you’re using such as:
- Skills to make it happen and getting favors/input from others
- Ability to make trade-offs and handle change
- Knowledge of the business and finding answers
- Ability to juggle priorities
Now if you were a product these would be all the cool features the product would have. However we know management isn’t going to want to hear a feature list. So your goal isn’t to explicitly list these things but to reference them in context. Your task is to look at the list you’ve created and come up with lead in sentences when discussing your project that highlight the talent or challenge but doesn’t get in the way of the business point.
- “We were going to go with person X, but when I heard about the new feature set we went with person Y”
- “We needed someone who had triple horn server experience to validate the approach. Frank was out so I had Joe review it from Team X”
- “We could have gone with X but considering schedule and compatibility with the chip now wasn’t the time so that’s why I went with Y”
This may feel awkward while you’re preparing it. But guess what? Going through the exercise figuring out what skills you’ve used and challenges faced, and actively turning them into statements like this raises your awareness of what needs to be communicated.
When you have time with your boss you should let him know how your talents were leveraged to achieve the project in more detail.
The bottom-line – if you hide what it took to produce results, they might not learn to associate you with certain skills and talents you have. They may learn over time, but that’s if you choose to believe the business world will reward you for hard work and output – and I would love that to be true but appropriate personal marketing can definitely help get the results you deserve sooner.