The Millennial’s Corner with Miss Amofa: Increasing your visibility: a tool for career advancement

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Recently, a promotion opportunity came up in Kabuki’s office. She was excited! This was definitely going to be a big break for her. The job matched her skills and experiences perfectly. It was a no-brainer she was going to get the job. She had fantasized about sitting in that office in the corner for a long time. So, she was shocked when she didn’t get it—more shocked when she found out that Thelma got the top job.

Kabuki was furious. Why would she lose the job to someone who was less qualified and inexperienced? She queried her boss. Surprisingly, she was told that the panel didn’t know her, so convincing them of her capabilities was difficult. How could this be the case when she had devoted six years of her life to this company?

Unlike Kabuki, Thelma had built strong connections from the onset, contributed to several projects, been involved in stakeholder engagements, and represented the company at various gatherings and events. Thelma had built a track record, so the panel knew what she was capable of and what to expect from her when given the job.

This is the sad reality for most employees. People who put themselves out there get noticed, while those who keep their heads down miss out on opportunities—despite their hard work. Kabuki worked hard and contributed greatly to various tasks and projects. However, she gained little recognition for her inputs, because she didn’t want to take credit for her work.

Visibility has become vital in career, business, social platforms, networking, among others. Annually, businesses

invest greatly in efforts, such as advertising, branding, and digital marketing, in a singular bid to remain visible.

In today’s world, being good at your job isn’t the only way to achieve career growth. You need to network with key people to help you get ahead in your career. You may miss out on opportunities despite your hard work, if you fail to build relationships with the people who matter. Most of us feel uncomfortable taking credit for our work or promoting ourselves. We prefer to stay “low key’’ or assume a more passive position at the workplace.

So how can you increase your visibility at work? How can you highlight your contributions and show what you bring to the table without showing off? Let’s take a look at some strategies you can employ to remain visible.

  1. Speak at meetings

Speaking up in meetings is one of the effective ways to increase your visibility. Sharing your ideas and opinions during staff or strategy meetings can be a perfect way to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and experience. It also helps you build confidence, which is a key attribute for leadership in the workplace.

  1. Strengthen key relations

Building a great rapport with your boss will not only help you discuss business objectives but also explore ways you can add more value to the team and other future prospects.

  1. Participate actively in projects

Active participation in projects is a great way to show that you are an effective team player. Working with people in other teams or departments will help you build your people skills, build good relationships with other colleagues, and get you noticed.

Taking on assignments and projects out of your scope of work helps you to make great use of your knowledge and skills, while giving you the opportunity to learn and challenge yourself. If you possess an ownership mentality of your role, as well as other tasks, it goes a long way to contribute to the overall performance of the business. Ultimately, it shows your leadership qualities and helps you gain more exposure.

  1. Take up volunteering opportunities

Volunteer to attend meetings, events, and other social gatherings. Taking up such opportunities will keep you involved in decision-making processes. Such avenues provide rare opportunities for you to pitch ideas and represent the interests and concerns of your team or business.

  1. Participate in Learning Opportunities

Do not pass opportunities to participate in training programs. A good attitude towards learning puts you across as one that is willing to upskill for the good of your company. Learning opportunities do not only come in the form of training programs but also in casual discussions with more experienced colleagues and bosses at the workplace. Such interactions and contributions make you more visible to the people who matter at the workplace.

  1. Demonstrate your expertise

Showing a demonstrated history of expertise or skill in a particular area can increase your visibility. If you are known to be a solution-oriented person in your organization, people will bounce off their ideas and seek assistance in resolving issues.

For instance, if you are known to be the go-to person in a particular area, chances are you will be recommended to work on various projects and have access to other interesting opportunities. To build your expertise, you can decide to develop a niche or be an all-round person. Whichever way you choose, keep learning and improving on your expertise.

For example, you can offer to train your colleagues on your expertise as part of your firm’s training calendar. Speak to the person in charge of learning and development in your organisation for a slot to train on certain relevant skills. You can also hold light-box sessions during departmental meetings to share your knowledge.

  1. Join or start a career development platform

These days, most millennials participate in communities and career support platforms in order to share knowledge, learn from others, and gain access to opportunities. A knowledge-sharing platform is one of the ways to build a community of people who share the same, similar, or different career interests and seek to achieve certain objectives. Starting such an initiative at your workplace or even within your network can demonstrate your leadership abilities and prepare you for other career opportunities that may come up.

  1. Invest in Relationships

Gaining visibility means you have to invest in relationships beyond your immediate network. Networking must not only be with leadership but also with everyone at your workplace. A mere testimony about your work ethic and abilities by a colleague may attract the interest of your bosses to look in your direction when opportunities arise.

Growing your network means that you have to be intentional in reaching the people you want to foster relations with. You can build your network and connections through formal or informal ways. Taking part in team-bonding sessions and after-hour events is a great opportunity to connect and engage with people.

  1. Find a Mentor

Like I mentioned in a previous article, mentors are like coaches. They offer invaluable or expert advice on how you can get noticed. While a mentor may be different from a sponsor, he or she can also serve in the capacity of a sponsor and connect you to career or business opportunities within or outside your organization.

  1. 10. Acknowledge team accomplishments

Getting credit for your work is great. Nonetheless, acknowledging the contributions of others is equally important. Teamwork makes the dream work. Remember it takes a village to achieve a particular feat. Don’t take all the credit for something you didn’t do alone. Being able to highlight the efforts of others underscores the spirit of teamwork.

In your quest to become visible in your workplace, be careful not to engage in dubious means to attract attention. It is important to build from the ground up. Give a thought to the aforementioned strategies and work diligently, and observe how you get recommended for career advancement opportunities as time goes on.

Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa

>>>Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa is a Writer and Creative Lead of Scripted Impressions, a creative consulting agency that helps individuals and brands tell their stories. She works as Senior Editor at El-Evangel Publications. Her work involves content development, strategy and review of publications. She’s also part of the review team of My Story Magazine, an entrepreneurial resource magazine. Connect with Nana Akua via Instagram/Twitter: @missamofa, LinkedIn: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: [email protected]

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