When transitioning from post-secondary education to the workforce or from a small company to a larger corporation, a fair amount of adjustment and innovation is required to make it through smoothly. From learning new processes to making a few office friends, it can be tricky territory to traverse, especially when you are trying to bring new ideas along with you. It can be quite intimidating to approach your superiors with alternative ways for them to run their business, but incredibly satisfying if they see value in your concepts. The difficult part is really making these ideas stand out among your peers who are probably also attempting to initiate process changes.
Have A Structured Outline
Before you approach your manager with your new idea, it’s important to ensure that you have a structured outline for it that is easy to follow. The last thing they would want is to decipher a haphazard email sent their way or to quickly transcribe your verbal proposition on a busy Monday morning. Take the time to lay out your plan, what you hope to achieve with it, and what that could mean for the success of the company. Elocution and confidence are hard to ignore, so pairing that with a clearly written proposal will exhibit your idea in the best light and show that you are capable of taking on a big project.
Coming up with an intricate and well-structured proposal is only the beginning of implementing your ideas and showing that you are capable of seeing them through. For your team leaders to invest their trust in you and your plan, you need to remain organized enough to start and finish it with little room for error or confusion. A great place to start is by storing all of your intellectual property in a virtual data room for safe keeping. With a VDR’s complex permission settings and security features, only those you want to view your documents will be able to and unwanted third parties won’t have access.
Once you know your ideas are safe, you can then begin planning how long they will take to complete and how much man-power will be necessary. Having an understanding of how it will look overall will help your leaders provide you what you need and trust in your process.
Dress The Part
First impressions can make an enormous difference in the way your leaders perceive you and your capabilities to follow through on a project. While the way you dress isn’t the only thing that matters when presenting a plan, a well put together outfit does indicate a sense of awareness, organization and initiative. If you aren’t putting effort into yourself and your appearance, then it could be perceived that you won’t be putting enough effort into your work, especially something as ambitious as an innovative idea to change the processes within an office.
So, your proposal failed the first time. Maybe your manager wasn’t quite convinced it was a good idea, or they passed on it for someone else’s. That’s no reason to give up. Once you stop fearing rejection, revaluate your idea to ensure it’s the best that it can be, then you will find the motivation to push it a bit harder within the standards of office etiquette. Showing your persistence can completely flip your manager’s perception of you and how passionate you are about your work. If you are trying to make a positive difference, then that will show even if you have to give it a few tries before someone notices.
Know Your Strengths & Your Weaknesses
No one is perfect, that’s a given. But you also don’t have to be too hard on yourself. Find the balance between knowing your strengths and acknowledging any weaknesses you need to work on so that the perception you have of yourself isn’t completely different to how your manager can perceive you and your ideas. Expresses the flaws that your initial plan might have and offer a few suggestions to improve them. Also, don’t be afraid or too humble to advocate for yourself. This passion will resonate and invite someone to notice.
Nothing is ever completely done, so don’t feel like once your idea is accepted or rejected that it doesn’t need any improvement. Something can always be tweaked or changed to make the new version even slightly better than the last. A lack of insecurity or fear will illustrate to your superior that you are willing to take constructive criticism and turn it into productivity.