Visibility is the key to career progression

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:

  1. Identify the people that you want to know who you are and what you do
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. 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).
  6. Organise a charity event, help out with organising an off-site (of course only do this for events that you are genuinely interested in.)
  7. 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).
  8. Put your hand up for extra projects
  9. Celebrate successes as visibly as possible.

Too Busy?

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?

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Can you fail safely?

"No one misses out and talent never goes unnoticed"
“No one misses out and talent never goes unnoticed”

 

“No one is critical and everyone is super supportive.

There is an open forum where you can present a big idea, win or improvement.

We get trained in how to present and if you don’t want to present live, then you film it as a webinar for anyone to watch.

No one misses out and talent never goes unnoticed.”

What would happen if you could fail safely and trial & error were encouraged?  

What would happen if every talented person and achievement was visible to decision makers?

Would this make a difference to you, your workplace, leadership style or company culture?

 

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How to get a YES when you ask for promotion

I used to wait to be asked, now I ask to be promoted.  This has taken a huge mental and skill shift to take this approach. Some people around you may say this lacks integrity but how is waiting to be ‘discovered’ and holding yourself back, lacking integrity ?

People who want a recording contract – perform, compete on a talent show, run YouTube channels and busk.

People wanting a promotion do not wait, they stand out and they ask.

Timing

Ask when promotion, new jobs and opportunities are available. If there is a lull in available jobs, practice the following skills and techniques to boost your chance of the being no. 1 pick when jobs do come up again.

Credibility

Know your business case and know your ask  and work on making this visible to the ‘powers that be’.

Be the Obvious Choice

The right role is the easiest role – apply for and show interest in the roles that most easily match your ambition, skill sets and connections.

Visibility

Make your work visible and in demand (I will write more on this next month but for now, I have included some tips at the end of this post).

We want you!

Make your future leadership team and peers want you on their team!!

You know the ‘vibe’ is good when you start hearing things from senior management like:

“How do I find the right role for you, so you say yes”

“I NEED you on my team”

“We’re so glad you’re here”

“You’re wasted in that role, you should be doing XYZ role”

“They really have great THINGS to say about you”

Advocate

Find someone to advocate for you who is on hiring and promotion panels. This person could be influential with a potential sponsor or may hire directly as well.

In a hiring decision, who will recommend you if asked to provide an opinion on you?

Sponsor

Find someone that you would like to work for and talk to them about your ambitions. Apply for roles working with them and keep yourself and your work visible to this potential sponsor.

Who wants you on their team right now?

Influence

Make your ambition visible and known to people who are influential with hiring managers but may not be in formal positions of power. Talk through your business case and pitch and ask them for advice. Ask for help to gain a promotion.

What role do people see you in next?

Increase your visibility through celebration!

Celebrate successes and draw people into your success.

Celebrate team successes frequently and invite advocates and sponsors to these events.

Create a winning vibe !

Persevere!

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Repeat until you have it! (And then start working towards your next one!!)

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, how have you got a YES when you’ve asked for promotion ?

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