I’m big on setting goals (not resolutions…goals.) I’ve been setting annual goals for 30 years and attribute my process to success in many areas of my life. It works for me.
One of my goals in 2016 is to increase my visibility on a number of fronts. (I’m telling you this because one of the success factors for goals is to share them with others.) I, like many, can get busy and fall into the “keep my head down and do my work” mode. Last fall I let that happen when I had a number of projects going on. The good news is that the projects were successful. The fallout is that there are other things that now need more attention.
I tell you this because it happens to all of us, especially when times are tough or when we get too busy. We get busy with the tasks at hand and forget to spend time on the long term relationships or activities that can help us in our career.
This month’s article is about why and how you need to keep visibility in the forefront of your mind…all the time.
If you find it difficult to commit time to your visibility and development, consider registering for the next session of Creating Your Career Opportunities. It’s an easy virtual format with a small group of women where you’ll learn three skills to create more opportunities for your career.
“I just found out they’re posting my job before I thought they would.”
“I’m finishing up this role and there aren’t many opportunities in my area of expertise.”
“With the new organization structure, I’m not sure where I fit.”
I wish I weren’t hearing as many of these comments as I am these days. My heart goes out to what these women are experiencing.
When times like this hit, it’s absolutely critical that our name, reputation, talents and accomplishments be in the forefront of people’s minds. This is where visibility pays off.
When we keep our head down and focus on the task at hand, we can forget to manage our visibility. Our thinking is ingrained with “deliver results”, which of course we must do. But there’s another key piece to it: people need to be reminded that you’re delivering results. If you don’t stay visible in multiple venues, you can be overlooked.
My husband says, “All publicity is good…so long as they spell your name right.” Well, I’d temper that a bit in a career perspective, because having a good reputation is important. But his point is this. People will remember you if they see or hear about you frequently. They may not remember the details, but having your name in front of people is important. When they don’t hear about you, they forget you.
When we’re stressed, it’s even more tempting to keep our heads down. Yet that is the time we most need to be seen. Looking up from what you’re doing will add to your perspective as well as give you information and connections.
I keep in mind three tips for staying visible. Make them a part of how you work on a regular basis. Schedule them. Write them on a card and keep in front of you. Put reminders in your phone. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind on these three activities to enhance your visibility:
Get your voice in the room: In every meeting, conference call or virtual forum, contribute something. Add your perspective to the discussion. Bring your knowledge to the table. When there are special projects or teams, ask to be included. Offer to lead where you can shine.
Tell people what you are doing: Take advantage of opportunities to communicate your accomplishments. Weekly updates with your manager. Team meetings. Lunch, coffee or get to know you meetings with a broader network. Be intentional and strategic about who knows you and what you have accomplished.
Stay in touch: Maintain and develop relationships with past managers, people of influence in your company who have interest in you, mentors and advisors to your career. Stay in touch with more than your current colleagues. Drop a former colleague an email. Congratulate a former boss on his/ her recent promotion. Keep a list of people with whom you’ve had some meaningful connection and contact them regularly. Find reasons to check in with influencers on a regular basis. Key point: Be sincere, transparent and authentic in all your connections with people.
Hard work and delivery are important.So is visibility. When it’s time for a change, it’s the people in your career that can help get you through. Make sure they remember who you are.
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling careers. Visit our website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com.