We’re all busy; it’s hard to find enough hours in the day to get the things we need to done.
It’s easy for weeks, if not months to pass without giving thought to what we need to focus on career wise. However, like most things in life, continuously managing your career is essential. A core part of active career management is your visibility at work.
Visibility at work, also known as your professional exposure, is the skill of making sure people beyond your immediate team know who you are and know you for something good. These are the people who make decisions about promotions, the projects and clients you work on, the teams you are put in. In other words, these are the people who make decisions related to your career. Increasing and maintaining your visibility at work, even while remote working is your career trump card.
PIE Theory of career success
It often surprises people that, according to the PIE theory of career success (Coleman 1996), Exposure is the most important element, ahead of Image (30%) and Performance (10%).
However, when you think about it, it is logical. If people don’t even know who you are, how can they possibly know anything about more about you are and your performance in order to put you forward for increased opportunities or promote you? When we accept the logic of PIE we can accept how building your visibility is for career success.
Building your exposure at work does take time. It is even more challenging when we are predominantly working at home, so here’s some advice to help you.
Seven ways to build your exposure in a virtual work environment
Here are the top considerations I help my clients work on for building exposure when working virtually.
- Reflect on what you want to get from building more relationships at work with peers and more senior people. A key one is to learn from other people’s career journey or their expertise. People are often very happy to talk about their career so far or areas of expertise. Be clear about what you would like them to talk about and why, then arrange a time to talk with them.
- Consider what value you have to offer someone. For instance, do you have an idea about how the area you work on could work more collaboratively with another for business benefit? Or, are you seeing an area of learning you could share with them or you could learn about together? Jot some ideas down then approach them.
- If you tend to pass work on to another department at a certain stage, think about how you can stay involved to some degree and be part of the success story when it completes. Can you suggest review meetings? Or an end of Project Meeting with lessons learnt that you attend?
- If you have people you used to engage with more regularly e.g. a former boss or mentor, consider how you can reinvigorate those relationships. Suggest a virtual coffee, mention how they used to know you well, and as you’re thinking about your career you would value some of their thoughts.
- Reflect on what else you could get involved in at work to help your profile. An example is a networking group committee that organises events and speakers.
- If you have a supportive boss, talk to them about increasing your visibility in meetings, additional ones you may be able to join and how you could contribute more in certain meetings.
- Assess whether you get all the credit for the work you do or whether someone else is getting it (not necessarily on purpose). Consider how you can take great ownership for the work you do.
Download this for support: My Nine Skills for career success short email series and eBooklet with a page per skill is likely to be a great resource to help you work on your career development. You can request it here.
About the author
Joanna Gaudoin, Inside Out Image specialises in helping ambitious professionals and their organisations improve performance and achieve their goals.
She does this by helping them master and strategically use the business skills of Personal Impact and Relationship Management. These skills are required for professional success.
Before establishing Inside Out Image, Joanna worked in marketing and consultancy in large corporates. She understands the business world and its challenges. She now helps organisations and individuals understand how to succeed in it.
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