Occasionally I give career advice on Linked In, and the number one question I get asked over there is about how to gain visibility in the team. Here is a typical example:
How should I ensure that my work and my contributions gain visibility within the company? What new skills do I need to move ahead?
In today’s post I will talk about how to gain visibility. The second part of the question about skills is very contextual and hard to give a general advice on. Feel free to reach out to me on Linked In or our community page and we can have a 1-1 conversation.
Does Visibility Matter?
Yes. In most cases it does. You might have heard the expression “Out of Sight and Out of Mind” and that certainly is true. Feel free to google stories about folks being passed up for promotions and opportunities because no one new about them. The problem is that without visibility you become irrelevant and sometime that is worse than being let go. Because you get stuck in this state where you are not improving and not moving forward, but nothing is forcing you to change your behavior, so you just stay in limbo wasting precious time.
Gain Visibility by Creating Value
To gain visibility in any organization you must create more value. In fact unfortunately sometime people who have visibility are assumed to be valuable – at least initially until people find out that they are just a talking head. So the best way to gain visibility is to create real value within your organization. Let your work speak for itself, creating real value and visibility for you.
Create Value and you will gain Visibility. Create Visibility without creating Value and you get Bad Publicity.
So the real secret to success is to create real value and increase it over time. The more people you can positively effect with your words and actions, the more good visibility you will get. This holds true outside of your job as well.
Here are some tips on creating visibility through value:
Tips on creating Value within your team and gain Visibility
- Understand the value you bring to the table and then build on top of that. I have written about that in another post and I recommend reading that if you haven’t already. Use compound effect to gain momentum.
- Dig deep into your team and organizational needs and find places where you can positively contribute. It still has be relevant to your job function – don’t go start marketing projects if you are a programmer – instead find opportunities within your domain.
- Help others with their problems. Often time I see people are too busy with their own issues that they don’t take the time to help others. I am not recommending you do their work. But look at their problems, understand them, give them a different point of view. In most cases that is all that is needed.
- Ask for more impactful work. There is nothing wrong with asking – it shows initiative and ambition. Plus, there are almost always things that need to be done.
- Showcase your work. When a project or task is assigned to you, try and figure out a generic solution. How can your solution become a framework or library that others can use. Once implemented you can then present it to the team and it could be used by others. In turn creating lot of value for the team and you.
I hope you found this post helpful, I also found this article useful. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reach me on the community page. You may also enjoy reading my post about understanding your value proposition and how not to become irrelevant in the tech industry.