In a training recently a woman shared that she’d gotten the feedback from quite a few senior managers that she’s not visible enough.
She asked: “How can I become more visible in a team meeting?”
And it wasn’t just a matter of “being seen”, but by not speaking up and getting involved, she actually put her career at risk. In fact, they already took two projects away from her (even though she did a solid job!), because she didn’t engage with others.
Maybe you can relate to her: feeling overlooked (or comfortably and intentionally under the radar?).
And like her, you might think “I only speak up if I have something to say.”
and: “When people ask me how my project is going, I just say ‘all good’. I don’t feel the need to expand or brag about what a great job I’m doing. I just go and get things dones quietly.”
Believe me, I get it!
But those thoughts keep you stuck. Because they keep you quiet. And hidden. And they quite literally jeopardize your career.
Just like with those projects you’re currently having, where you don’t feel the need to represent your work, in your career you then also wait for opportunities to be given to you.
You outsource your aspirations to others!
Or worse, you might even forego opportunities, because you don’t want to raise your hand for fear of seeming too eager.
Don’t do this to yourself!
Waiting for your boss to pave the way or talk you up to others isn’t the solution.
You have to start advocating for yourself. Showing up regularly, share your achievements (and not just in the yearly review).
I could give you a whole list of names of my clients who all struggle with this in some way. Even on the more senior levels!
But it was also true for me: In a research job I once had, I was stuck. Very unhappy with the fact that I didn’t have enough to do, I kept asking my boss for help. And while he was sympathetic to my situation, there was nothing he did to help me out.
He only told me to be patient!
It had gotten really bad and I felt more horrible each day.
The day things changed was when I started to engage with other managers – up to the director level – as well. When I actively asked for new opportunities. When I started advocating for myself.
The result of that shift in what I did, was that 6 months later I started a new job within the company. One that came with a job description I literally wrote myself and a pay-rise.
You ready to take your own aspirations seriously?