How to Raise Your Profile
We all want to feel as if we are making a strong contribution to what goes on in the workplace and that our inputs are valued and would, well, be missed if we weren’t there.
We also do not want to have a high profile for all the wrong reasons; being consistently late, being the source of office gossip or being labelled as unreliable by our peers and managers. The list could go on for some time!
It may well be the situation that what you do is valued but your good work is just taken for granted – you are part of a productive team that is reliable and hence does not appear on the management radar as it perhaps used to do.
So should you be bothered?
The danger here is that being overlooked means that you will be looked over when it comes to new tasks, projects or initiatives. A good, visible presence is more important than ever in a competitive and fast-paced working environment – being seen and recognised also feeds your goals for advancement and promotion.
You are productive and effective but you are just not in the mind’s eye of those making decisions about future work or development opportunities. This needs to change and quickly – perhaps by examining the following strategies;
Developing some specific skills or knowledge
Those staff that fit into the general category rarely get to shine – they are taken for granted and whilst important are easily replaced. New businesses often hire generalists, because they can perform in so many different roles. With time the business changes and a specialist function will grow and multiply as the market becomes more challenging and dynamic.
If you fall into the generalist camp think about the skills need in the workplace and cultivate a path to getting into such a role. The more knowledgeable and skilled you become in a particular area, the more likely you are to be noticed for your work.
Building a Network
The more people you can work for, or can advise and support, the better your chances of developing your presence. Building relationships may feel like hard work but it does pay dividends as they become trusted sources of information and advice, which you can then use to structure your career path and passage to a higher profile accordingly. Those staff recruiting employees to exciting, cutting edge projects will always look for people that they know and rate as safe pairs of hands and people that they can trust.
Just consider how many times your colleagues have been head-hunted into a new role and ask yourself “What networks did they have?” I would be pretty sure it would be a wide network, almost certainly wider than your own!
Tracking Your Accomplishments
People seldom keep a professional record of their achievements – relying on the annual Appraisal is not a good way of catching this stuff, you must maintain your own records.
After all it’s about you. You need to be at the centre of your world – nobody else will do this for you.
When you’re working hard, it’s easy to forget all of your achievements over the last six to 12 months. This won’t help when it’s time for your performance review.
Keep track of all of your accomplishments both at work and outside; record how you felt about specific projects and the skills that you used to see them through to the end. Set up a Portfolio of evidence that shows your successes and the steps you took to achieve them – priceless stuff when applying for jobs but also very important when presenting your case for greater responsibility and wider personal development. And more pay!
Find the Limelight!
Make sure that you get credit for both what you are doing now and what you have done in the past! Others will always try to claim good work is theirs rather than the real author or designer – avoid that trap and publicise your work!
IT systems are a tool of the trade so make sure you use the software to protect yourself; Headers and Footers on every page are great and the eye is always drawn to them if carefully designed. Similarly use the watermark facility – get your name on it!
Taking on More Responsibilities
Nothing looks better than a willing volunteer. It catches the eye of the management and put those volunteering in a different light. The danger here though is that you could volunteer for the type of assignment that you have no real chance of securing and become demotivated by the process.
”Oh, they don’t want me!!!”
Choose your path carefully so as to catch the eye and so that saying no to you is a hard task. Also be very wary of taking on too much – your bright and committed enthusiasm can evaporate once you get embroiled in a topic you cannot master and you find yourself doing severe damage to your standing in the workplace.
You should also bear in mind that the main parts of the normal day job will still probably need covering; forgetting this is another bear pit of folly waiting to grab you. Be careful!
Some other areas that could be considered as part of your master Plan for World Domination!
Keep current – make time to really know the trends in your industry – greater knowledge is always valuable especially if you can spot a new development or see a new challenge on the horizon. Point out your new knowledge to those that matter!
Find a mentor – such people offer excellent advice, guidance and if chosen well can open new doors to you.
The workplace is packed full of shrinking violets who almost certainly have much to offer but rarely get the chance. Your view must be to become a colourful bloom that people see and value for the additionality and contribution you bring with you.
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