When we consider the plethora of reasons an individual may have for leaving his or her place of work, one of the most common is that the employee feels unnoticed. This can be a result of many different experiences, from not getting the promotion one believes he or she deserves to feeling unwelcome to present new ideas. If you’re feeling bored at work, it could be a sign that your manager is failing to recognize your potential of the employee, which may be a sign it’s time to reevaluate.

If you’re looking for a job, it can be pretty tough to get noticed in a crowded industry – like every hiring manager passes you by. And the truth is, sometimes that’s exactly what’s happening.

Whether it’s in your current role, or in a field of fellow applicants, it can be easy to blame this on circumstances you can’t control, like the fact that other people have more experience, more degrees or more training. But it’s important to stop and consider whether you’re doing everything in your power to stand out in your office or the industry at large. If you feel stuck in a rut, it’s imperative that you pick yourself up and make an effort to make yourself heard in the workplace. But how can that be done?

Sometimes when an employee feels bored at work, the reality is that he or she is simply not being “asked” to do anything. However, you must abandon the mindset that you should only do what is asked of you if you want to stand out. By taking initiative and asking instead what you can do for your managers and even your coworkers, you can demonstrate that you’re willing to go the extra mile for the success of the company. Can you point to a time you have stepped up without being prompted, if you were asked in an interview? Plus, extending a hand to help others will build your rapport; not only to managers notice employees who get the job done, but they also notice those who are well-liked and extremely kind. Believe it or not, even in the workplace, being nice can actually get you somewhere.

That being said, acting rude or inappropriate in a work setting will have the opposite effect. If you’re that employee who’s getting a bit too buzzed at the office holiday party, it may be hard for your bosses to take you seriously, thus hurting your chances at getting that promotion – no matter how hard you work. Plus, talking smack about your company or your coworkers doesn’t go unnoticed, and can lead others to label you as untrustworthy as a potential employee. These may be extreme cases, but it’s important to note that even if it seems like you’re not noticed in the workplace, it’s important to take a second glance at your actions and consider whether you are getting noticed – just not in the ways you desire.

Though you should never talk negatively about your experience at work while you’re in the office, if you are looking for a promotion or attention for your big ideas, you do have to talk in general. Some people believe that their position in a company (i.e. intern) automatically designates them as a silent member of the team, but in reality sharing ideas and even constructive criticism demonstrates leadership ability that will surely be noticed. If you think something should be done differently (by the way, this is a common interview question!) and you can adequately explain why, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.

Finally, the best way to stand out in a crowded field is to create a distinguished personal brand. You don’t have to go crazy with social media posts or expert design, but a simple website to display your past work can go a long way when hiring managers are sorting through a bottomless pile of resumes. Can you reveal information about who you are a person and why you’re a valuable asset? Is there something different about you that will stick in a potential employer’s mind? Be sure to capitalize on your best, most unique traits and skills, while keeping things relevant to the work at hand.

So, next time you’re feeling unnoticed, think about the ways in which you’re helping (or hurting) yourself in the way you come across to other employees or potential hiring managers. Are you feeling too nervous to speak up at brainstorms? Have a habit of bad-mouthing your CEO? Unfortunately, until you adapt your behaviors so they’re conducive to positive responses, it might be hard to get noticed in a crowded industry.

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Also published on Medium.