Ever found yourself getting these kind of comments in a performance review:
- ‘They’ don’t know who you are
- No one has heard of you, so I couldn’t get you that bonus / promotion ?
- What do you do exactly?
- Maybe I should sit with you, to see why you are SO busy?
- I just don’t get what you do?
Visibility is the key to career progression.
What is it that the ‘people with power’ don’t know about you?
How are you making yourself and your work visible?
This isn’t about a name tag.
This is about your work being known.
Here are 9 tips to help you be MORE visible:
- Identify the people that you want to know who you are and what you do
- Find a way to increase the face time you regularly have with these people. You could work on a project of theirs, attend social events that they attend, grab a moment to talk to them, attend a talk or workshop they are running, find opportunities to be seen and heard
- Circle back – after receiving advice, come back to that person and let them know how using their the advice went and what it meant for you and your work
- Status reports – be the one to send out the regular status report, so your name and key information is always popping into the right inboxes (delegate the formatting, the collation but not the high vis opportunity)
- Run a workshop, seminar, talk series or other event. You don’t have to be the one talking, just be the one organising (and the name popping up in the inbox, the person visibly asking for interest and ideas).
- Organise a charity event, help out with organising an off-site (of course only do this for events that you are genuinely interested in.)
- Use random down time, to your advantage – nothing says ambitious like swinging by a senior managers desk when you’re computer is ‘getting repaired’ than ‘hey, I’ve got half an hour spare is there anything I can do for you that doesn’t involve a computer – photocopying, grabbing them a coffee or lunch, chasing up something with someone on another floor.) You don’t want to be seen as an admin clerk or dog’s body so don’t get into the habit of routine tasks. Make sure each time you up level the task but also have humility when the boss really does need a coffee (tip : they will always be grateful if you remember the order).
- Put your hand up for extra projects
- Celebrate successes as visibly as possible.
Find a way to delegate non-essential work to your direct reports and 2IC.
No one to delegate to?
Find time and the budget to increase the size of your team.
No budget for increasing your team?
Then its time to get some budget and show off your negotiating and influencing skills.
Alternatively, look over your workload and really assess what is core and non-core aspects of your role. Opening up just an hour a week for networking and increasing your visibility will make a big difference.
Is there a non-essential task that can be dropped or completed less often?
Its time to go after what you want and to stop ‘making do with what you’ve got’.
Now, I’d love to here from you.
How would being more visible improve your career opportunities?