Many of us work with people who are more than happy to put their head down and produce great work. We love these colleagues because they work hard, they’re willing to take on additional tasks, and what they produce is of high quality. We know they are superstars, but no one else does because most people don’t really know who they are and may not even remember their names. You know someone like that – or you may be that person.
If this is you, or it sounds quite familiar, then this behavior could be getting in the way of your career. To advance your career and create the kind of work life you desire, you have to be in the mix, not on the sidelines. People often say it’s “who you know” that gets you promoted, but in reality, it’s “who knows you.” It’s having a strong reputation and a rapport with others, and having your name associated with your great work and great ideas.
Now, we all can name the person who dominates meetings by talking too much, who always asks the first question (and the third and sixth) in company town halls, who takes credit for other people’s work, and who looks for every opportunity to be in front of the senior execs. We often use this person as the excuse for not wanting to toot our own horn or heighten our visibility. But we have to get beyond this pretext for not stepping in, because you don’t have to be obnoxious to raise your profile. Instead:
- Present your work and ideas yourself – don’t do all the work and get none of the credit. If you have a great idea, share it and be a part of implementing the plan. If your work is being presented, play a role in the presentation.
- Volunteer to be part of a new project team that aligns with your interests – there are always special initiatives being launched, and they are often great ways to meet people outside of your immediate area and to engage with senior leaders in smaller group settings.
- Take advantage of professional development opportunities – continuing to build your skills, knowledge, and expertise will lay the groundwork for a strong portfolio of achievements and credentials to raise your profile.
- Commit to making authentic connections on a regular basis – set a goal of getting to know more about someone at work – once a month, every week, whatever goal works for you. Real and meaningful relationships are important to you and pushing yourself to take the first step to deepen your connections will help others to know you as well.
- Leverage your strengths – It’s easier to put yourself out there and boost your profile when you are tapping into the skills and competencies that are your strong suits. Use your strengths to open the door to new opportunities and new relationships.
- Find buddies and allies – it’s always better to have a friend by your side when you are in uncomfortable situations. Connect with people who can be a support, cheerleader, and partner as you step outside your comfort zone to meet new people, try new approaches, and boost your profile at work.
Taking a few small steps to create a higher profile at work will help you build your reputation, expand your network, and get opportunities that you may not have been considered for in the past. With greater visibility and more authentic connections, you can have the career you want where you are.
What have you done to boost your profile at work? What has worked for you?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For more information about how to increase your visibility at work, contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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