Sometimes it’s hard to get noticed within an organization, especially when you’re working remotely or not a show-off. The belief that your performance will speak for itself doesn’t always work and may not be visible to the decision makers. “Out of sights, out of mind” can be a career hinderance even though you’re a high performer. If you’re just a name and not visible, you’re at a disadvantage. Here are some thoughts to consider:
Exposure – If you’re not seen, it’s difficult to be noticed. If you’re working remotely, make sure you spend meaningful time with your supervisor going over subjects like plans, performance expectations, discussing issues or impediments for results, career goals, and opportunities to add value to the organization’s objectives. Visit the office and take the time and effort to personally stay in touch with co-workers, supervisor and support staff. Familiarity is one way to increase your exposure and gain an increased comfort level with those around you: Those who depend upon your work.
Participation – Active engagement with your co-workers is a great way to increase your visibility. Initiating conversation with others increases their comfort zone with you. They may not be comfortable in an initiating role. Another way to participate is to volunteer for an extra assignment like training new employees, starting up a new project or assisting with a task where you can add value. Any time you can go outside of the parameters of your usual job and help others, you will be noticed.
Questions – Asking intelligent questions can add to your credibility in two ways. First, when asking a question, you’re telling an individual or group that you value their opinion or answer. That is a very positive reinforcing position. Second, the right question at the right time can clarify an issue that others are thinking but not speaking. On the other hand, the right question can insert an alternative fact or solution that hasn’t been presented for consideration. Questions are more subtle than making statements. Speaking out with a meaningful question can put you in a leadership position. Use it judiciously and you’ll be noticed.
Smile – Research has shown that a person that smiles is perceived to be more competent and more attractive than those who choose not to smile. Not surprising, people that smile are more liked than others that don’t smile. A smile expresses friendliness and acceptance, and projects sociability, openness and warmth. An unsmiling person usually projects the opposite.
There’s no need to smile all the time, but it’s meaningful when engaging in conversation, or when someone asks you a question. It’s a sign of acceptance and an expression of a positive, welcoming social engagement.
Of course, there are things you don’t want to be remembered for: Underperformance, bad attitude, inconsistent attendance, inappropriate business attire, bad language, poor writing skills, or unacceptable behavior.
Summary: Three major steps to increasing your exposure (in order): Visibility, Credibility, Influence.
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