Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. -W.H.Murray

The battle to get ahead in the workplace requires strategic planning and commitment to be effective and ensure you get the results you need to help boost your career. Through my experience I’ve found there are many missed opportunities that we choose not to pursue due to fear or lack of confidence. Essentially, we hold the key to our success and while we may have the necessary skills and abilities to do the job, the process is what matters most. You see, the process gives us confidence and it is what births the fearless leaders within.

To stand out at work you can’t just rely on your work product to get recognition. Your work product may be great and deserving of all the accolades in the world, but if you don’t speak up about it recognition will soon dissolve.

No one can be a bigger promoter of you than you!

Now I don’t mean go around the office boasting and pointing “look what I did” like a two-year old. I mean while delivering a great work product, talk about the work product along the way and mention how excited you are to be a part of something great. When you are excited about something, others can’t help but to be excited about it too.

If you feel like you need to get ahead but don’t know where to start, try these three strategies to give your career the boost it needs.

1. Speak up. How many meetings have you sat in listening to others chime in with ideas while you sit there full of great ideas that you continuously underestimate in your brain? Give yourself credit! Your ideas are worthy of suggesting because they come from a person with experience and knowledge. Don’t let the suit(s) intimidate you. Remember they are people, just like you and I. Try giving yourself a pep talk before the next meeting. When you suggest something, be prepared to face push back but don’t allow anyone to take your power away in the midst. Stand firm and hold on to to your position while remaining respectful and open to suggestions. Remember, you are a unique vessel with a great advantage; you.

2. Build relationships with influential people. There’s always someone in the workplace that makes it seem easy to get recognition. You know the one’s always invited to lunch, private parties or business trips. Find them and make a connection. Invite them to lunch or offer help on a special project they are working on. Get to know people in their circle and create relationships. This is not about “sucking up” it’s about building a foundation to foster valuable relationships. Instead of sitting silent wondering “how they do it” start asking them and commending their work. Ask for their advice on a special project you are working on and grow from there.

3. See a problem-offer a solution-take the lead. I’m sure you can find at least one issue either external or internal that requires a re-vamp or adjustment. Take initiative to ask questions about a process or problem and gather facts to support your reasoning for change. It is important to gather information without seeking the guidance or counseling of others. Why? Because you want this to be a fresh and unique idea from you. Sometimes we have to keep our golden nuggets to ourselves even though the excitement is hard to contain. The harsh reality is someone else swooping in is likely and you cannot afford to be naive while climbing the ladder. Be sure to have all your facts aligned and suggestions in place before presenting your idea to upper management. When you present your idea, be confident. Don’t just leave your idea on the table either. Say when you intend to follow-up and be sure to insist on taking the lead or working with the leadership team on the project if it’s accepted.

You don’t have to continuously job-hop to get ahead in your career.

You can create opportunities where you are. You will become a better worker and you will develop valuable relationships along the way.

We turn good into great by enhancing what already exists and by pairing a vision with influence worthy of recognition.

*Photo courtesy of iStock

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC, a consultancy specializing in employee engagement, leadership coaching, career development and personal branding. Follow Mary’s blog or follow her on twitter@MVDavids.

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