In a larger company, it’s difficult for everyone to know your name but that should be the goal, says Sykes. “Get on leading teams and projects that can get you noticed by your bosses and their supervisors.” Doing so will enable your colleagues to view you in a different light and become aware of your full set of skills.
Networking with others in person or through websites like LinkedIn is important. “What this will do is give you the information on who is getting hired and fired, where the (job) opportunities are, and what’s new and next in the industry,” says Sykes.
Looking polished is key in the workplace. “How you present yourself is huge because it is the very first impression people have of you,” says Sykes. She points to ESSENCE Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor’s Commander in Chic book as a great guide on getting dressed for work, but she also recommends owning at least a nice black dress, a good suit, a great pair of heels, beautiful accessories, and proper makeup.
Sykes also stresses the need to understand your skill set and how it makes you unique at work. “It is a way for you to stay on top of people’s minds,” she says.
In addition to staying on top of the latest news and technology, take courses and attend lectures or conferences that keep you informed about your industry. “Be an educated worker,” urges Sykes. “In 2013, as a valued employee, you are either making or saving your company money. If you are not doing one of those two things, you may not be there long.”