It’s Time to Stop Being Easy to Ignore


Does the boss go to someone else besides you for (fill in the blank)? Are other, less-qualified coworkers getting promotions, praise or acknowledgement?

Every wonder why?

One of the worst things in our life and career is not to be hated, but to be ignored. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Disinterest or disregard means that others simply give you no thought. It’s almost like you aren’t there. At least when someone hates you, they’re paying attention.

If your intention is to grow professionally, being ignored is the kiss of death.

You can turn this around, but it will require your ongoing attention or you risk slipping back into invisibility. This issue is your personal brand, or the lack of a compelling one. Here’s what you can do to change this:


1. Establish Your Expertise

While it’s great to be good a many things, make sure you are well known for a couple of very specific things. If you naturally gravitate to something, go deep and then offer to help people using your specialty.


2. Volunteer to Use Your Expertise

Don’t wait for someone to ask you to help; step up and volunteer. When you do, you can subtly reinforce your expertise by saying something like, “I could help with that project because I have established relationships with those vendors.

If it’s true, it’s true and now everyone else knows it.


3. Have Opinions

One of the things about us Introverts is we think and process, which can make us quiet and easy to ignore. Deliberately inject your opinion of things in meetings and conversations. You may also want to add your reasoning to help reinforce your opinion.

When you do this, be pleasant about it. Sometimes opinionated people can come across as vehement and someone you don’t want to cross. Having an opinion makes you more compelling as long, as you are nice.


4. Deliberately Communicate

If you’re forthcoming with information, you are more apt to be sought out for information. Funny how that works.

If you’re unclear on what to communicate about, think about the work you do and give status on that work to the boss and others who might want to know. If you have observations about business or processes, share those insights. You can’t assume others know what you know.


5. Develop Relationships

When you have a warm, friendly relationship with your boss and coworkers, you will be sought out. Having relationships with people at work means they’ve gotten to know you as a person and know the type of work you do. It’s part of the Know-Like-Trust formula that’s vital to your career.

We do best in intimate, one-on-one situations, which makes this task right up your strong suit. It’s hard to develop any relationships in a group setting. You don’t have to turn into a suckup; you need to genuinely get to know the other person. Professional relationships will pay big rewards in many ways.


6. Watch Your Body Language

You might want to read and study this topic. If you take up the least amount of space in a meeting or have “closed” body language, it signals you aren’t open to interaction.

Your body language can be doing you a disservice. Watch how other people use their arms and hold their body as a way of learning what you can do.


7. Observe the Sweethearts

Every group has one or two people who are the favorite child(ren), and all attention goes to them. While you don’t have to aim for that same level of attention, you can observe and learn some of the things that set them apart. Convert what you learn to actions you can take to garner more attention by the masses.

Don’t think that being ignored has to be your life. You can establish a strong and well-regarded personal brand that will have the boss and others knocking on your door.

How do you make yourself acknowledged at work? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Flickr

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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