Boost your company's profits, boost your career

By Michelle Conlin

(Money Magazine) -- The person at your office who routinely brings in millions of bucks worth of business probably doesn't have to worry about job security. Or begging the boss for a raise. Or advocating for a promotion.

But what if your position doesn't directly affect revenue? Better start thinking about how you can become more of a rainmaker -- someone who increases the company's growth or cash flow.

"Today this is everyone's job," says career expert Penelope Trunk, author of "Brazen Careerist." These strategies can help you turn your position into more of a profit center:

Team up with top talent

Ask around your company to identify who the hotshot rainmakers are and what they're working on. Then find a way to attach yourself to one of their projects, advises Jody Miller, CEO of Los Angeles executive recruitment firm Business Talent Group.

Talk to one of the players on the team to explain that you'd like to volunteer and what you can offer. If you work in market research, for example, and your firm is developing a new social-media app, you might be able to help them figure out who the target audience is. Says Miller: "Companies are so lean right now that everyone is eager to have an extra set of hands."

Push an idea up the ladder

Don't underestimate the value of your insights. Upper management is often so obsessed with what's happening inside the business that they're out of touch with what's happening outside. Leverage your knowledge of your area to come up with three new moneymaking ideas. (If you're in legal, for example, you might see a fresh way that your company could license its intellectual property; if you're in marketing, you might suggest some new avenues for client leads.)

Write up brief pitches that give a sense of revenue potential, and e-mail these to the business development folks. Let them know that you're happy to discuss further. Even if the ideas don't go anywhere, your move will show the kind of initiative and entrepreneurialism that companies value, says New York City organizational psychologist Ben Dattner.

Lower overhead

True rainmaking typically involves increasing revenue, but you can also help boost the company's profits by cutting costs. Scour your department for ways to do it: Are there cheaper suppliers available who wouldn't compromise quality? Is there a process improvement that could save money? Are you spending too much on overtime pay? Reducing overhead, after all, makes room for your next raise.  To top of page

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