In my experience working with folks on career-related issues, often the one thing they don’t do until they have to is: to reach out to others for help in their job search or be thoughtful about what to say when someone says, ‘what do you do?’ Do you reach for a one word answer, like Teacher or Computer Programmer to get you off the hook? And actually those one word answers don’t tell anyone much about what you do or who you are. You are not really visible. You leave it up to them to figure it out.
In the world today, transitions are constant: changing jobs or careers; having children or watching your children go off to college; wanting to go back to school — each are situations that require you to have a new story to tell about ‘what you do’ and what you want to do. Crafting that story is essential to be able to tell someone who you are and what you want or are looking for. Some people call it your personal and professional brand, which it is. From my perspective, call it what you want, you will more likely get what you want if you know the story you want to tell about you.
So, you want to be visible.
• Being visible means being thoughtful about how you want others to see you and know you.
• Being visible means being prepared to tell your story — and your story can have many different chapters depending upon who you are talking to.
• Being visible means being you, not someone you think you should be or who someone else thinks you should be.
• You will want to be visible at work, while searching for work, sharing a meal with colleagues and friends and all the rest of the time, too.
Here are some visibility tips for the workplace.
First: To be visible does not mean to be a loud obnoxious person at the office.
• Be visible by being clear about who you are, what you want and why.
• Know and be able to articulate your strengths and the ways you contribute to your organization, team, department, co-workers. And— knowing how you want to contribute is important so that you will communicate clearly and effectively.
• Do not just put your head down to get your work done. You might get yourself not noticed right out of a job.
• Do recognize and even seek out opportunities to let others know what you are doing, or have accomplished, or what you are thinking about or a new idea you have. You could present this formally in a meeting or casually at a lunch.
• Talk to your boss regularly about the status of your projects. Just because she or he does not ask doesn’t mean you can’t keep them posted. You want to stay on their radar screen.
• Offer to work with other teams or initiate a special projects where you would like to contribute.
• Stay connected with colleagues regularly, those you are currently working with and those from previous jobs. You will feel more comfortable when you want or need to reach out for assistance and connect with them.
• Be politic–be savvy and aware of what is going on in your workplace– which does not mean you have to be political or engage in the politics if you don’t want to. You do want to know what is going on.
• Humor, laughter and helping others are great ways to be visible.
visibility 2.0 will focus on your story.