Prior to becoming a lawyer, I spent a few years working in a large corporation.
I noticed right away that there were certain employees who quickly rose to the top and were known throughout the company, while countless others, many who had been with the company for over a decade, were stagnant.
Why was this?
I quickly learned that in large organizations, it’s easy to become a small fish in a vast ocean.
You have to work extra hard to get noticed and stand out. And you need to take more ownership over your career and growth prospects.
I got to know some of these “superstars” and learned how they advocated for their growth.
Here are some tips I learned that can help anyone advance their skills and career in a large organization:
Master a unique set of skills.
I knew one employee that started out as a consultant on a project. He was with the project from its inception and had a unique knowledge base. After five years of working with his consulting company, the contract was given to a competitor. However, because of this employee’s unique skill set, many managers within the department raised an issue with losing this individual who possessed a particular knowledge base specific to a large project.
Because of his unique skills and knowledge, he was able to not only have the company pay to get him out of his non-compete, but was also provided with a great compensation package. Shortly after joining the company, he was quickly able to move up the ranks and selected for specific projects.
Participate in extracurricular activities.
Most all of the “superstars” I knew participated in company initiatives outside of their specific job duties.
For example, our company was a big supporter of a major charity. These superstars stepped up to the plate to help lead charity initiatives. Through these activities, they became visible across the organization and were able to display their leadership skills.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
A mentor can be a valuable resource if used in the right way. A mentor relationship is not helpful if it is forced. It is best to find a person with whom you have a genuine connection and wish to emulate.
The best mentorships are those where both the mentor and mentee are able to benefit. Often times the younger mentee can provide insight into technological innovations or information related to recent business developments.
You may also want to consider going outside of your organization and enlisting the help of a professional career coach.
A large organization presents many opportunities for growth with a myriad of career path options. However, ensuring you are visible within the organization can be difficult. By working on mastering a unique skill set, volunteering for company initiatives, and seeking the aid of a mentor, you should be able to advocate for your growth and achieve success.