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Stand Out! Seven Ways to Increase Your Visibility at Work

Guest Post By Joel Garfinkle

After many years of being denied promotions and a continued lack of recognition, Steven, a senior director at Cisco Systems decided he needed to make a change. His quiet nature and somewhat passive approach were interfering with his need to be visible. Senior management and other influential people weren’t aware of his value to the organization. He recognized how important it was to increase his visibility and become known in the organization.

Over a nine-month period, Steven worked hard to become visible, stand out and get noticed. He gained the recognition he wanted and the promotion he deserved.  How did he do it? By following the seven steps below to increase his visibility at work.  Follow these same steps to increase your chances of being rewarded for your hard efforts at work:

1. Seek out projects. To become a leader, you’ve got to develop initiative. Find productive projects and actively seek to get involved. Be pro-active and ask your supervisor to get assigned to high profile, important or challenging projects.  Seek out projects that have attention and visibility at senior level or ones that others have avoided or perceived as risky.   Push yourself outside your comfort zone and focus on areas that boost revenue or the bottom line.

2. Leverage your manager. Turn your manager into your missionary.   Seek out opportunities to represent your department or boss at meetings she usually attends.  This gives you opportunities to shine, and also frees up time on her calendar.

3. Gain face time with top executives. Look for ways to interact with the top management of the company. Help them put a face to the name. Volunteering for high-profile projects and committees will help.

4. Find cross-departmental opportunities. Expand your horizons. Work in accounting? You should look for ways to get involved in projects in sales, marketing, back office operations and communications. The reverse is true as well: If you work in sales, a thorough understanding of the support functions of the company will make you a better sales manager.

5. Become involved outside your job. Be a leader in your professional or trade organization. Write for industry publications. Get involved in community functions and charities – especially your company’s work initiatives. Chances are excellent you will make valuable contacts outside your workplace in the process. Opportunity can come from any direction. Give it an opportunity to find you.

6. Speak up and share. If you have an idea that will benefit the company, don’t keep it a secret. Instead, bring it up in a meeting and get it implemented. Always be prepared to take “ownership” of your ideas.

7. Become well-known and recognized. Become an expert in your industry. As you become recognized as an expert, people will seek you out for your knowledge and consider you to be an industry leader. Find speaking opportunities that highlight your expertise at conferences and trade shows.

Become visible right now. Don’t wait to feel comfortable. Take action now by selecting at least two ideas from the above list and implementing them over the next week.   Get results?  Send us your success stories in the comments!

Joel Garfinkle is recognized as a top 50 leadership coach in the U.S.  He has worked with leading companies, including Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Deloitte, Cisco Systems and more. He is the author of seven books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.  Subscribe to his Leadership newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!

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