Key my career habit principle: Visibility leads to opportunity
If you want to get what you want from your career, you need to create opportunities. Opportunities at work come from being visible. Unfortunately, many of us think the best strategy at work is to hide and keep our heads down.
Here’s why visibility is so important and how you can make yourself visible to create opportunities.
Why is visibility important to your career?
1. People help people they know
Want to avoid being just another number in a redundancy?
If senior people in your organisation know who you are, you’re less likely to get picked (unless you want to be!).
People help people they know. It’s one of the principles behind career resilience.
Not only do people help people they know, they’re less likely to so something bad to someone they know. It is human nature. It’s one of the reasons the military, and corporates, create euphemisms for people.
2. People think of you when an opportunity comes around – hear about interesting work or new jobs.
Want to be the person who gets told about the interesting work or new job?
People need to know you exist to reach out to you. If you have been invisible they won’t think of you for the new opportunity.
That might be because it needs to be quickly filled or people want to put someone in place they know and trust.
3. Protection from terrible leaders or toxic environments – the ability to escape or not be labelled.
We can do our best to look for great jobs and work for great leaders. Unfortunately, you can also end-up with bullying managers and toxic environments.
If nobody knows you exist, nobody can help you. Not only that, you risk being labelled with the situation you find yourself in.
If you have been visible prior to this role then you have people you could reach out to for help.
4. Recognition for the work you do – work doesn’t speak for itself.
You can be the hardest worker, delivering the best results, but more often than not your hard work won’t get recognised if people don’t you exist.
Most modern jobs are complex and it is difficult for people to see what good work is.
If you are a quiet achiever, no one will know you are achieving. You may tell yourself you’re happy with that, but are you really? And how happy are you when someone else gets the promotion or pay rise.
But, I’m an introvert, I can’t possibly make myself visible at work
The classic excuse for not being visible is:
“I’m an introvert.”
“I just want to do my job, and be recognised for the work I do.”
Unfortunately, you have to be visible to be recognised. There are some good managers out there who will make an effort, but that will still not get you the value from all of your great work.
Being visible doesn’t mean you have to be a self-promoter. It doesn’t mean you have to be a presenter.
How to make yourself visible? Talk to people you like.
If you want to help yourself and make visibility lead to opportunity, then one of the easiest ways to do it is to go and talk to people you like.
Some people might call this – friendship!
Networking is about building and maintaining connections with people we like. The people we like at work are often our professional friends.
Follow this simple guide to network with people you like
Make this a career habit
Get over your prejudice to networking and connect with professional friends.Network with people you like