Today, being good at your job isn't the only requisite for getting ahead in your career.
If key people aren't aware of you, you'll likely miss out on opportunities to improve your skills and take on interesting assignments, despite your hard work and good performance. It's not only what you know that matters – it's who you know, too.
Women often have to work harder to demonstrate their leadership skills and be taken seriously, despite research by Harvard Business Review showing that they score higher than men on leadership skills. This has recently been demonstrated by how women-led countries have brilliantly managed the Covid-19 crisis, for example New Zealand with Jacinda Ardern and Germany with Angela Merkel.
It is especially important for women not only to perform well but also to speak up and show the results to their organisation. A participant from a workshop I have run recently on how to get more visibility at work has shared this interesting quote:
“When I don't speak up, I am denying the group the opportunity to learn from my unique experiences. I try to remember this when the 'voices' tell me I have no value to add to the conversation.”
So how can we increase our visibility at work so we won’t miss out on interesting opportunities?
Some of my top strategies include:
Speak up at meetings, cross-department events and conferences. If you are afraid of public speaking, start small. Begin by asking questions at online events. Practice speaking in small groups until you are ready to speak at larger events.
Strengthen the relationship with your manager. Don't wait for formal appraisals; instead, regularly discuss your work and find out about available opportunities to help you progress. Be proactive and volunteer for high-visibility projects that will give you exposure to other departments and senior leaders.
Think out of the box. If your company doesn't offer you opportunities for visibility, create your own! You can organise a special-interest group (e.g. women in leadership or a career progression group) or a charity fundraising event so you can meet people from different parts of the business.
Check out Metamind programmes for Women in Leadership, Authentic Leadership, and First-Time Managers.
Author: Ivana Fertitta
Ivana Fertitta is a trained psychologist and focuses on wellbeing in the workplace. Contact us to learn more about resilience, stress management, and how to