It’s no secret: visibility creates opportunities. Without making yourself known—showcasing your talents, capabilities, and aspirations—no one will recognize you as the perfect fit for what you truly desire to achieve.
One common challenge faced by the women I coach is a sense of being unseen or lacking visibility. Many hold onto the belief that hard work and exceptional performance alone will automatically lead to rewards. You might have heard me mention the “Cinderella syndrome” before. I understand how uncomfortable it can feel to talk about yourself. You may acknowledge the value of your work but find it difficult to share it without feeling like you’re bragging. However, it’s time to let go of that notion! Those who confidently communicate their achievements tend to accomplish even more. With the rise of remote work, knowing how to stand out and be noticed is more crucial than ever.
The fear of compromising authenticity while increasing visibility is another perception that needs to be dispelled. Putting yourself out there and reminding your employer and colleagues of your contributions is not “playing politics.” It’s about shedding the habit of hiding and making a name for yourself.
Let’s explore the keys to equipping yourself with the tools to enhance your visibility in the workplace:
Write it down
Make a conscious effort to remember and document your daily contributions and the value you bring. It’s easy to forget even your most remarkable achievements in a month’s time. Often, we take 80% of what we do for granted, and others will too unless reminded. Keep a journal and ask yourself daily: “How did I add value? What did I do well?” Record feedback you receive, and if feedback is scarce, don’t hesitate to seek it out. Cultivating a habit of tracking results is essential. Start today!
Use your time and space
Every meeting presents an opportunity to shine. Unfortunately, many women tend to downplay their accomplishments (“I’m just doing my job, I don’t want to speak up as the meeting is running late”). No! Always contribute something meaningful. You have been adding value, so ensure it’s in the spotlight. There’s a reason why complainers and disruptive individuals seem to grab all the opportunities—they make themselves heard. Utilize your time to be heard for positive reasons, showcasing how you solve problems and deliver results.
Give great updates
Whether it’s in one-on-one discussions, team meetings, or in front of leaders, it’s crucial to share your story. This might seem daunting at first, but you can provide structure by using the acronym CAR as your guide:
Context: Explain the background, complexities, challenges, and what you’re focused on achieving.
Action: Describe the actions you’re taking, highlighting your unique abilities.
Results: Share the outcomes you’ve achieved, including primary goals and secondary benefits (e.g., relationship building, increased morale, processes that can be leveraged). Remember, impact is everything!
Don’t be afraid to take credit
While it’s important to acknowledge others’ contributions, remember to claim credit for your own accomplishments and highlight your impact. If you don’t share your achievements, how will others know? Your direct manager may be aware, but colleagues across the organization won’t be. Shape your own reputation and take control of it.
Ask for high-visibility projects
Speak about your strengths and offer your expertise for tasks that align with your personal brand. Pay attention during meetings for opportunities to step up. Don’t hesitate to sell yourself and explain why you’re the ideal candidate. “I excel in X, I have experience in X, and I achieved Y.” How can you progress if you never step out of your comfort zone or remain invisible to those beyond your immediate circle? Clearly communicate your aspirations to your manager and seek their support in making them a reality.
Practice, practice, practice
Talking about yourself might feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re not accustomed to it. But you can overcome this by rehearsing. Talk to your cat, practice in the car, or speak in front of a mirror. Verbalizing your accomplishments, describing your actions, and emphasizing your achievements out loud might seem odd, but it significantly eases the process when you share them with others.
Make visibility an integral part of your weekly action plan, while being selective about the commitments you take on. Ask yourself, “How will this help me achieve my career goals?” Overcommitting in the pursuit of visibility can lead to burnout and counterproductivity. It can dilute your personal brand. Focus on becoming the go-to person in your areas of expertise and learn to say no to what doesn’t align.
By following these actions, you’ll cultivate confidence and give yourself an extra boost. Remind yourself that you are worthy, and get comfortable expressing it out loud. You have every right to take pride in your achievements, and it’s your obligation to ensure others recognize how amazing you are. Given the significant amount of time you invest in your career, it’s only fair that you receive the recognition you deserve!