“It’s better to be remembered for standing out in a crowd than to be forgotten for blending in”
Being visible is essential to attract opportunities and progress within your career and I’m sure you will be familiar with the following phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know” and whilst to some degree this can be true I believe that it’s about …
What you know, Who you know AND who knows you.
If I think back to when I started my career I mistakenly thought that in order to achieve career success all I needed to do was to put my head down and get on with the job. I worked hard, I built strong relationships with my clients and I generated income for the business but at the end of the day did anybody notice? In those days we just got on with the job without fully appreciating the importance of being visible within the workplace, the term networking was related to computers and the IT world; we certainly didn’t sell our skills and knowledge to our employer, selling was a job for double glazing salesmen. Branding was a term that only businesses used and we had no idea of social media at all!
In order to be successful it’s important for YOU to promote yourself whether you are looking for opportunities outside or within your existing organization. You shouldn’t assume that other people will do this for you.
Take a look at my following 7 points to help you to become visible within the workplace:
- Who Knows You Exist? Building your network takes time and effort and means speaking with strangers, people who don’t even know that you exist. Utilise your existing contacts to help you to build new relationships and always show enthusiasm and willingness to help as you never know who might notice! When seeking new job opportunities we can often forget to talk to those people who already know us within our existing network and whilst I wouldn’t suggest that you ask these people directly for a job you can certainly rephrase by asking who they might know that they can put you in contact with.
- Give Something First Share your expertise, an interesting article or an introduction to someone else. Pay for a coffee, glass of wine or perhaps offer to help if you can but REMEMBER be careful not to bribe!
- Volunteer Hold volunteer positions within your employee networking groups, clubs or societies. This is a great way to stay visible and to build your network.
- Be Knowledgeable Learn as much as you can about the area of work you are interested in. Approach experts or seek a mentor who can help you to develop a wider knowledge.
- Contact Card Having a card to give to someone will enable them to remember you. Create your own professional contact card to include your name, contact number and what you do. Be creative and memorable. Describe where you add value in a short memorable catch phrase for example “Financial Accountant, bringing numbers to life”
- What Is Your Message? Prepare and practice a clear message. Recognise where and how you add value, what is your area of expertise, knowledge and skills. What exactly are you looking to achieve and what separates you from your competition?
- Follow Up People generally don’t follow up. Stand out by always being polite and thanking people for their time and help. When following up ask when would be a good time to catch up and speak again. Do they know of anyone that they can put you in contact with?
“The larger the network you develop the greater the probability of progress in your career”