How to Increase Your Visibility and Potential for Promotion was originally published on uConnect External Content.
We recently received a question from a reader about their lack of visibility at their organization:
“The role I play at my organization is not really visible, but I am a valuable asset,” they wrote. “I want to know how I should sell myself to convince my boss of a promotion. I love my job.”
This is a common concern. How can you ensure that your supervisor understands your value when the work you do flies under the radar?
Let’s break this question apart. First, this reader is seeking a promotion. Can you land a promotion if you’re not “visible” at an organization?
Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s more difficult for you to move up if you and your projects fly under the radar.
“How much attention your work attracts usually depends on two things: (1) high-profile projects and (2) your results. For example, the product manager of a company’s flagship product is more visible than someone responsible for a small niche,” said Tim Eisenhauer for Axero.
Second, the reader wants to convince their boss they deserve a promotion. So, they need to increase their visibility in order to demonstrate the value of their contributions to the organization.
What are the best ways to increase your visibility when you’re on the quest for a promotion?
Speak up more often at meetings.
If you’re used to flying under the radar, you may also be letting the more talkative members of your team call the shots.
But if you want to raise your profile, the first step is speaking up in team meetings. Even if you only make one or two comments, your supervisor has no choice but to take notice – especially if your comments are meaningful, valuable, and thoughtful!
Take on a project no one else wants.
You may be happy with your niche and expertise. But even if the work you do is important, it seems like it’s a little unnoticed by your coworkers and supervisor.
Unfortunately, supervising certain high-profile projects raises your profile, while other initiatives that are equally as important are not as widely validated.
So, to raise your visibility, you may have to take on a few projects in the most-visible niches at your company.
This doesn’t mean burning yourself out or changing your specialty. Instead, the idea is to situate yourself as a leader in an area that’s meaningful to your teammates. This can often mean helping with difficult or undesirable projects.
“Most people want to work on the product doing well, but by taking on the product that isn’t succeeding in the market—and trying to change that—you have the chance to make a much bigger impact. You will raise your visibility and change the way the company’s managers see you. Now they know you are a problem solver, a go-getter [who can take] initiative and think creatively,” said Ivy Exec’s CEO Elena Bajic.
Keep track of your accomplishments and share them with your boss long before you ask for a promotion.
We all know that one person in the office can share their accomplishments without bragging. But for professionals who like to keep their profiles low, this can be difficult.
So, when preparing for a meeting with your boss, talk about some of the successes in the projects you’ve been working on, especially those that didn’t garner much attention.
If this still feels daunting, work with your boss to make goals for upcoming projects. After you accomplish these objectives, you’ll feel less like you’re bragging if you share them with your supervisor.
Share your colleagues’ accomplishments – in the hopes that they’ll “boost” you in return.
One of the reasons professionals can feel undervalued at work is that their coworkers don’t share their accomplishments with supervisors.
Having your peers talk about your successes is perhaps the most effective way to make sure your work is noticed.
But if this isn’t happening for you, then you may not be sharing your coworkers’ wins. After all, if you don’t boost your colleagues’ accomplishments, why should they do the same for you?
“Don’t hesitate to call attention to a colleague’s particular contribution to a team project, either verbally, in a group setting, or even within the software solution you use to manage your work. When we do this, our colleagues are more likely to respond in kind—either at the moment or sometime in the future,” suggests Shelbi Gomez.
Let your boss know you’re interested in a promotion.
If you’re someone who keeps a low profile at work, your boss may not even recognize that you want to be promoted.
So, you have to lay the groundwork that you’re interested in moving up. This can be sharing your interest and your recent successes, as well as asking your boss to help you make an advancement plan.
“You’re trying to prove that you’re already working at the level you’re asking to be promoted to,” said Sabina Nawaz.
Increasing Your Visibility at Work
For better or worse, it can be challenging to secure a promotion if you’re a diligent worker who flies under the radar.
Executives often have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality when considering who to promote, and if you’re not reminding them of your excellent work, they may simply overlook you.
So, if you’re not used to the limelight, add a few visibility-boosting tactics to your routine. Speak up more often at meetings and volunteer to take on more high-profile projects. What’s more, keep a list of your accomplishments and share them with your boss regularly at your meetings. Finally, let your boss know that you’re interested in being promoted.
Want to discover more strategies for boosting your profile? Read our guide “5 Ways to Expand Your Visibility and Earn that Promotion.”