Increasing Your Visibility
Raising Your Profile at Work
Do you sometimes feel invisible in your job? It can be all too easy to slip into the background at work. And even when you do want to push yourself forward, you might worry about treading on people's toes or looking arrogant.
The rise of remote and hybrid working has further complicated visibility. While there are new, exciting opportunities for collaboration, flexibility and innovation, there are also concerns regarding communication, and the possibility that people may "fall through the cracks." 
So how can you increase your visibility at work, in the most professional way possible? We'll look at some useful strategies in this article.
Why Be More Visible?
To get ahead in your career, it pays to be visible – when people know who you are and what you can do, they're more likely to consider you for promotions or interesting assignments. And those who keep their head down often miss out, despite their hard work.
You can't always rely on others, such as your boss, to increase your visibility for you. Instead, you need to figure out how to maximize your exposure so that you'll be "in the running" for opportunities when they arise. This is especially important if you work remotely and don't often see others in your organization.
Increasing your visibility is one way of getting noticed at work. For more ways to gain recognition and have your impact valued, see our article Getting Noticed.
How to Improve Your Visibility in the Workplace
Use these strategies to improve your visibility within your organization:
Speak up in Meetings
Do you feel comfortable sharing your ideas in meetings, or do you feel shy, because you're worried about how others will react?
Meetings are a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and increase your visibility within your team or department. If you don't speak up currently, work on developing your self-confidence, so that you feel more at ease being the center of attention. Also, learn how to be a more engaging speaker, so you make an impact that's memorable for the right reasons, and push yourself to say more.
To plan what you could say in a meeting, read the agenda beforehand and think about the questions you want to ask or the points you want to make. This preparation will give you the confidence to speak up.
See our article, How to Get Your Voice Heard in Meetings, for more tips on speaking up.
Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Boss
If you have a good relationship with your boss, they can be a valuable ally in improving your visibility. In your next meeting or one-on-one, let your manager know that you want to increase your visibility. Use the time to discuss what's going well, ask for suggestions on how you can add more value to the team, and find out about opportunities to raise your profile.
If you're a manager, you have a great deal of power to boost your people's visibility and raise their profiles.
One method is to create positive narratives. By paying attention to how you present someone, and the stories you share about them, you can improve their reputation, confidence and performance – which in turn will reflect better on you, too.
If you find that you're reluctant to do this, consider why. Do you feel threatened by your star team members? Perhaps you feel your own performance is inadequate. See our article Avoiding Managerial Self-Sabotage for ways to stop this type of situation by regaining a sense of your own self-worth.
Ask for High-Visibility Projects
Does your team work with people in other teams or departments? Or are there any assignments you could take on that have a big impact on your organization's bottom line?
Don't wait for your manager to assign these projects to you – ask to work on them when you find out about them. They'll help you to build relationships with people in other parts of the organization, and you might get more exposure to decision makers.
Volunteer to Represent Your Team
If your team sends a representative to cross-departmental meetings, ask your boss if you can attend. You could also volunteer to speak at project or committee meetings, or at company town hall meetings.
Start by giving presentations to colleagues or in small team meetings. As you develop your skills, and your confidence grows, increase the size of your audience. With planning and practice, you'll grow in confidence and your public speaking skills will improve dramatically.
Participate in Learning Opportunities
Company-wide training events, such as seminars or "lunch and learn" sessions, provide great opportunities for you to become better known within your organization. When you attend them, make an effort to contribute to discussions, and partner with people you don't already know in "break out" sessions, so that you can build your network.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
When you're seen as an expert in your organization, you'll develop a reputation as someone who others can come to for help. This type of expert power can lead to interesting work projects and opportunities coming your way, which can increase your visibility.
First, choose an area in which to build your expertise. For instance, you may have a talent for dealing with unhappy customers. Or, perhaps you're great at managing your priorities. Choose an area that excites you and that you already have some knowledge of.
You can raise your profile further by sharing what you know. For example, you could write a regular blog for your organization or contribute to a newsletter. You could also offer to train people or speak about your area of expertise at company events.
Form a Mastermind Group
If your organization doesn't offer many opportunities for you to connect with people in other departments, you could create a Mastermind Group based on a common interest. For instance, you could set up a group for people who are at the same stage in their career as you, or you could meet with people who want to learn a specific transferable skill.
This will demonstrate your leadership ability and help you build even more new relationships.
Grow Your Network
If you take the time to build and nurture relationships, you'll create a strong network of allies who can help you get assigned to interesting, significant, or eye-catching projects that might otherwise go to someone else. They may also recommend you to other departments, which can open up opportunities that might not otherwise have been available to you.
Although close colleagues may be advocates for you, your personal support base should extend well beyond your immediate team. To grow your network further, be strategic: write down your networking objectives and think about how best to reach the people you want to build relationships with. Build connections outside your organization, too – and find ways to link up your connections with each other.
Also, try to build your network outside of office hours. Socializing with colleagues after work can make everyone feel more relaxed and open to new friendships. If appropriate, organize an informal after-hours meet up, and invite people from other departments.
Find a Mentor
Mentors can offer invaluable advice on getting noticed, and they can serve as sponsors for you, within the company and further afield. Our article on Finding a Mentor looks at how you can identify and approach people who may be able to mentor you.
Highlight Others' Achievements
Finally, bear in mind that you don't just have to focus on yourself to raise your visibility in your organization. Be humble – highlight other people's achievements, and always share the credit with those who have helped you along the way.
In today's highly competitive business environment, it takes more than hard work to get ahead. Those who increase their visibility in the workplace are more likely to be considered for opportunities for professional advancement.
Use these strategies to boost your visibility:
- Speak up in meetings.
- Strengthen your relationship with your boss.
- Ask for high-visibility projects.
- Volunteer to represent your team.
- Participate in learning opportunities.
- Demonstrate your expertise.
- Form a Mastermind Group.
- Grow your network.
- Find a mentor.
- Highlight others' achievements.
This way, you can increase your visibility, without bragging or stepping on other people's toes.
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