Written by Lori Thiessen

This is the next installment in the series on strategies to over the challenges facing the average java commuter. If you wish to see the full list of challenges, please go to the article entitled “Challenges for the Java Commuter” in this blog.

I’m going to double up on the next couple of challenges because they are closed linked. They are:

Fewer career and promotion opportunities and Reduced influence in office and business matters

If you are an independent java commuter (i.e. self-employed), these challenges won’t really affect you.

Try to stay in close contact with the decision makers in your organization.

One way to try to stay in close communication with the decision makers in your organization is by regular meetings. Face-to-face is best but at least some human contact on a regular basis puts your name in front of the higher ups. If your company or department doesn’t currently have regular meetings to assess the current status of projects, plan for new projects and assess how the process is working for everyone, then suggest implementing them.

If your company has a central office and a receptionist, make friends with him/her.

I think too many people overlook the receptionist as just the voice that answers the phones and redirects calls. He/she is the information hub of an organization. As the frontline person, he/she is the face and voice of the company and is often in the know about many issues in the office. Having this person as one of your network of colleagues can pay off in surprising ways.

Make sure to read all the emails from your colleagues, even if they look like spam

One of the tragic results of email is the cc button. It is overused and abused. I know it can be tiring to sift through the seemingly endless numbers of cc’s from people who aren’t even really connected with the issue addressed in the email, but sometimes golden nuggets of information can be hidden in one of those wretched cc’s. Do be sure to keep copies (hard or otherwise) of especially important emails. Back ups are oh so critical.

Read the company blog regularly

The company blog will hopefully contain a lot of information about what’s going on in the office. Add a useful comment when appropriate. If there isn’t a company blog, suggest that it might be worthwhile to start one. Then suggest you can write it. You will be asking around for stuff to put in the blog which will help to create those useful networks.

Provide informational emails or clippings to the appropriate colleague

This is a great way to keep your name in front of people. Read magazines and newspapers then clip out or send links to colleagues who would find them useful. It’s a value-added communication from you to show that you are keeping yourself current on trends in your industry and being thoughtful about your colleagues interests. But use a light-hand with this. Don’t swamp anybody with links or clippings.

Q: Which strategies have you used to maintain or increase your presence in your company or department?

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!