It’s not just what you know that matters – it’s who you know.
In today’s workplace, exposure matters. You may be a top performer among your team, but that’s not enough to give you the success you want or expect. Exposure is a key component to success in the workplace, especially when you want to be looked at for a promotion, receive a pay increase, or develop your career.
How often do you think, “If I just hit my numbers this month, I’ll get that raise…”, or “If I stay later and work a little harder, my boss will notice and give me that promotion…”
Yes – performance is important and it is something you should actively improve; but it’s not the ONLY thing that matters. Combine your outstanding performance with exposure and visibility and you will increase your chances of being SEEN and HEARD in the workplace.
What’s so important about it?
Performance is not enough. Your stellar work may speak for you to some degree, but not if key people aren't aware of you. You will miss out on opportunities for growth, despite your hard work and good performance.
Your development is likely important to your manager, but he or she is busy too and isn’t always focused on advocating for you. It’s your responsibility to gain exposure among your organization.
How can you gain exposure and visibility in the workplace?
1. Speak Up in Meetings. Demonstrate your knowledge and increase your exposure in your own team or department. If you are currently not speaking up in meetings, make it a goal to contribute at least one meaningful thought or question next time you’re in a meeting. Helpful Tip– review the agenda before the meeting, and come equipped with a few questions or statements you want to make.
2. Build Your Relationship with Your Manager. Even if your organization has a formal review process, you should meet with your manager on a regular basis to talk about your growth and development. Ask your manager what you’re doing well and where you can improve. Discuss where you are able to add more value to the team as well as areas where you can build on your success. Helpful Tip– don’t expect your boss to answer these topics for you; come to the discussion prepared with solutions/ideas.
3. Ask for High-Visibility Projects. Seek projects that work with people or teams in other departments. Look for opportunities to work on assignments that may have a big impact on the organization’s bottom line. These types of projects will help you gain exposure and visibility among other parts of the organization. Helpful Tip– don’t wait for these projects to be assigned to you; ask to work on them when you find out about them.
4. Leave Your Desk. It’s easy to get trapped behind your desk all day. Take some time to walk away from your desk and engage with other people on your team or others in your organization. Your exposure will increase as people get to know you and become familiar with who you are and what you do. Helpful Tip– make an effort to go to a common area throughout the day where others frequent as well, such as the break room (refill your water bottle, don’t eat lunch at your desk, etc.)
5. Participate in Growth Opportunities. If your company holds seminars or lunch-and-learn meetings, it’s a great opportunity to gain visibility among others in your organization. As you attend these sessions, make an effort to speak up and participant in discussions. Helpful Tip– when you attend these events, partner with people you don’t already know so that you can build your network.
6. Set Goals around Expanding Your Network. It’s important for you to be strategic with your networking goals. Write down your networking objectives as well as who you need to connect with in order to achieve those goals. Remember, it’s important to build meaningful relationships with others in order to increase your visibility. Helpful Tip– make an effort to connect with people outside of the workplace; plan a social gathering or event and schedule it for after work hours.
Although it’s important for you to bring your A-game when it comes to your everyday performance, actively practice gaining exposure in order to truly dial in on your success. Lack of visibility and exposure will lead to missed opportunities for your growth and development. Your career success is important – get out there and gain exposure!
What are some ways you gain exposure in your workplace? We’d love to hear from you - I invite your comments, additions, and feedback.
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Whitney Ohmer is a talent consultant for the Corporate Talent Institute. To learn more about her organization, visit www.corporatetalentinstitute.com