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Increase Your Visibility at Work
September 2010

If you come in on time, keep your head down, do your work and show that you are a team player – surely your boss will realize your dedication right? And there's no way that your company will be able to overlook your hard work and above and beyond contributions right?

Wrong.

In today's world of work, hard work, being a team player, and adhering to basic professional standards are baseline expectations of all employees. Promotion, recognition and reward more often land on professionals who have learned how to maximize their exposure to the right people and the right opportunities. Increasing your visibility at work isn't about kissing up or brown nosing – it's about positioning yourself in the right place from which to make your next best career move. Savvy professionals take the initiative to be relevant, contribute and to make sure that their efforts are visible to people of influence within their industry and organization. Here are five ways to increase your visibility at work:

Volunteer for special projects: Unless you are in a very small company, there's a wealth of action taking place outside of your desk, cube, department and floor. And chances are the people making decisions aren't sitting right across from you.  Looking for special projects that you can be a part of is a great way to get your name, skills, ideas and performance in front of people who can help you make vertical and horizontal career moves.

Find and share relevant information with people outside of your normal network: While your primary responsibilities may be in IT, spend some time browsing trends and insights in other areas. Did you come across an interesting article about marketing? Or maybe you just found out about a new book related to leadership development. Pass a quick message onto someone outside your normal connections to start building new relationships and increasing your exposure.

Attend those "optional" meetings and events: Meetings, especially boring meetings can be the bane of existence for busy professionals. But, they can also be a good place to show your face with higher up required attendees. Show up, listen, contribute and introduce yourself. Not only are you increasing your visibility, you are showing that you are interested and getting first hand experience of how things work outside your cube.

Ask for bigger and better assignments: When a new project is announced, step up and ask for the lead role. The misstep here is one of two things: You will either expect it will go to the usual person that gets put in charge of things, or you wait and hope that you will be hand picked by your boss. Don't wait for someone to be assigned or someone else to take the lead. Speak up and step up to ensure you are getting more responsibility and more opportunity for exposure.

Start a group: Chances are there are other ambitious professionals looking to connect within your organization. If there are no existing opportunities to connect through something like a book club or community service project, create one. This gives you a chance to practice and demonstrate leadership skills as well as build new relationships.

Learn how to toot your own horn: You can be the most productive, innovative results-driven professional in your company, but if no one knows about it – it won't help you build the career you want. Most of us know how to talk about ourselves – we share our successes with friends and family easily. The challenge here is to find a way that feels comfortable for you to communicate your accomplishments at work.  For tips on how to do this check out this practical article from Psychology Today: How to brag about yourself without being seen as narcissistic.

There's an old saying, "out of sight, out of mind." Help ensure you are never out of sight by using the tips above to increase your visibility at work. Being proactive about your exposure puts you exactly where you should be – in the driver seat of your career.


alumni@drexel.edu