Want to Get Ahead at Work? You Need to Be Visible
If you have even the smallest amount of ambition for your career, visibility to the decision-makers is critical.
We hear about visibility, but we don’t always understand it or think it’s in our control. Let’s look at it and why it’s important to your career:
Visibility Goes Two Ways
Never thought of that before, did you?
It’s important for key decision-makers to have exposure to or contact with you. It’s part of their decision-making. If management or your customers understand what you contribute and how well you do it, they’re more apt to think of you for things like promotions and opportunities.
It’s important for you to see what’s going on with them, which is why visibility is really two-way. If you can see what your decision-makers are focusing on and what’s important to them, you’re positioned to respond to it better. It’s a classic business proposition. If you aren’t supplying what your customer wants (in this case, upper management or customers), then you won’t be the one they select for anything. Stark but true.
Here are some tips for the kind of visibility you want to get:
1. Don’t Be In Awe
Oftentimes, we allow ourselves to get intimidated by those ranked above us. You have to understand that they’re people, too, and they’re working for a living. That means they also want to be successful in their jobs.
Certainly, you want to be respectful of their time, but don’t steer clear of them, thinking what you do is unimportant. If it were unimportant, they would never have hired you.
2. Pay Attention and Ask Questions
The most prized people (and therefore employees) of all are the ones who show an interest. Interest starts by being curious and involved with the goals of the other person. If you feel like you can’t form good questions, pay attention to what they pay attention to and ask your boss for more insight.
Share important things you do that they might find interesting. Not everything you do falls into this category, which means the previous tip is vital in figuring out what to share.
3. Pick the Right Time
You don’t necessarily have to schedule time for your share. You can share in group meetings, hallway or for an unplanned office drop-in. Look for opportunities.
4. Share The Right Amount
One thing Introverts have to watch out for is sharing too much information.
We usually house a ton of good stuff in our heads. When you share with upper management, they can typically only handle the top-level input on a topic. I call this the “scratch and sniff” of information sharing. Short and to the point is what will win the heart of an executive.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to building your own visibility? Share your thoughts in the comments!