You’ve been told that it’s important to catch the attention of not only your Boss, but THEIR Boss as well. You can’t simply bypass your own boss without impacting his or her relationship with their boss, so you need to be sensitive to the hierarchy, but you still want to get noticed by the Higher-ups! Here’s how to do it the right way:
Job performance is the first step. You want your superiors to notice your expertise, work ethic, generosity, and leadership qualities, so make sure they’re front and centre. Work hard to do your very best and ask for constructive criticism. Build your communication skills. A great relationship with your boss and your team leads to positive reviews and gets noticed, so be sure to grow your job performance and the relationships that support it.
Make contact. Make the effort to say hello in the hall, greeting the Higher-up by name. Prepare to contribute in meetings where your Boss’ boss is present. Step up when there is an opportunity to do more (such as train new employees, or learn a new skill). Be ready for opportunity if it comes your way, while you don’t want to brag, do confidently state your value if the subject arises.
Keep an eye on the forest. The old saying that someone “can’t see the forest for the trees” is a good way to describe employees who are siloed; only focused on their own division or team and not including the knowledge of what’s needed for the organization as a whole. If you know that becoming cross-trained in another area of the business would benefit the organization or your own team’s performance, step up and suggest it. Promote your company whenever possible, as that promotes you, too.
Stay loyal. Make sure that in whatever efforts you make, you remain and are perceived to be loyal to your boss. Getting noticed isn’t about upstaging your manager, it’s about making both of you look good to the big boss. If you throw your boss under the bus, it doesn’t take long to make the logical leap that you’re willing to treat everyone else that way, too. So, stay loyal, stay positive, and make sure your boss knows that your interest in advancement is a great reflection on his or her leadership skills.