If you’re aware that you could be hiding your light under a bushel, or you’re consciously choosing to keep a low profile, read on for some proactive steps to help you to move out into the spotlight and fast-track that path to a fulfilling career.
Keeping a low profile can sometimes be a very good thing: avoiding unnecessary or unwanted attention; preserving what little anonymity you have left; avoiding the pressures of stress and expectation. But while a low profile may be possible, even feasible in some areas of your life, your career is one area where keeping a low profile can be a hindrance rather than a help.
Quite apart from being overlooked for progression opportunities (and the potential to earn more money), having a poor profile at work could mean that you miss out on personal and professional development, thus scuppering your chances of growth and fulfilment. You also risk become isolated and withdrawn from your team as a result of operating below the radar, a position that is unlikely to reward you with happiness of fulfilment at work. In order to succeed in a competitive marketplace, you need to be visible, so hiding yourself and your talents away is blocking all chances of a positive career experience.
Here are our tips to help you to raise your profile confidently at work:
- Assess the situation
This involves taking a non-blinkered view of how you are perceived at work; your reputation, how others view you, how you compare to your peers. This is best achieved by asking other people. It sounds simple but choose wisely. There is no point asking anyone who feels indebted to you in any way or those seeking your approval. Ask for objective and honest counsel from someone who knows you and your work well but isn’t afraid to be honest with you. You may find that the view others have of you is not the same as your own perception, or that your self-awareness is not as developed as it could be. This exercise will help you to assess if there is an issue and how deep seated it may be.
- Be ready to share your successes
Unfortunately we are not all in entirely glamorous jobs and if you happen to be in a seriously un-sexy role, it can be challenging to gain the recognition and praise that you really deserve. Even if your own team and manager recognise your stellar performance, it’s still not enough if the decision makers in the business can’t see your worth or only notice you when something goes wrong. In such situations, it’s necessary to undertake some positive PR. Keep a record of successes and wins and how your work, or that of your team, has contributed to business success. Store positive feedback from clients or internal managers or peers. Be ready with examples so that when the opportunity arises, you can offer some compelling examples of why you are indispensable for the business. Be patient in waiting for the right opportunity to talk about your success. Grabbing someone in the lift or whilst they are mid-way through lunch might not always be ideal timing. You don’t have to wait for annual review time but make sure there’s enough time for you to go into detail if you succeed in catching the right person and spark their interest.
- Give credit where credit is due
If you’ve ever watched reality TV, you’ll know that bad mouthing others rarely leads to a happy ending (although it invariably makes great TV). Rather, seek opportunities to celebrate success, whether it’s your own or that of others. Give praise freely but genuinely and make sure you share success stories – particularly those from fellow bashful folk – and you may find the favour returned. If compliments come your way, thank people for their feedback and don’t brush them off or they may not give praise so freely the next time.
- Get involved
If your job remit limits your capacity and scope for being the star of the show, look elsewhere for recognition. This doesn’t mean starting your job search, although that may be a course of action for the future, but it means taking every opportunity to get yourself out there into the spotlight. Become a first aider; organise a social event; proactively introduce yourself to new starters; attend training sessions with energy and positivity; volunteer to lead that cross-functional project. These things demonstrate how you add value to the organisation outside of your day job. They build your reputation and credibility as a positive force in the business. Just make sure you have enough time left to do your day job.
- Revisit your core value proposition
In a nutshell, this means remembering what makes you great. What was it that got you hired in the first place? List out your skills and assets to define what makes you special and how you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you have a unique skill combination, a particular technical ability or an interesting background of experience. Can you speak Russian? Are you the go-to technical person? Are you a natural coach or mentor? Share your skills and knowledge with others, empower those around you by developing them and enabling them to do things themselves. Teaching others is a great way to boost your confidence and as your confidence grows, so will your profile.
If you’re in need of some further positive reinforcement, look no further than FindMyWhy, a completely free personal purpose project dedicated to helping you craft a career – and a life – that you love. Developed by our expert team of psychologists, FindMyWhy starts with an online questionnaire which unwraps the core you, producing detailed reports tailored specifically to you as an individual. The reports provide meaningful insight into who you are and will help you to confidently articulate your core strengths and values, taking all the leg work out of communicating why you are great.
With detailed guidance and high level insight to hand, you’ll be primed with examples of how you add value, boosting your own confidence and that of your employer. You will also gain a clear understanding of how others perceive you, how you react in certain situations and how you can manage that. You’ll receive guidance on your weaker areas and how that might impact your career goals and performance. All this information is created in an accessible report format which is fully mobile enabled and yours to keep forever.
FindMyWhy will help you to celebrate being you, enabling you to identify and acknowledge the many aspects of yourself that come together to make a truly unique individual. Visit our website to find out more, including the many testimonials from those who have already used FindMyWhy for guidance and insight to achieving goals in their personal and professional lives.