Hard work and passion can payoff. But, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone OFTEN and doing things that make you more versatile, more visible and create value will advance your career.
My last post was about becoming more versatile within your function and cross-functionally. Today, I’m focusing on becoming more visible. From my experience, there are two different ways to do this… in and out of the office.
In the Office: There are typical things you’d expect me to write about here like volunteering for the unwanted project or sitting on an internal committee. Yes, you should do these to become more visible. BUT—I want to give you a different perspective when volunteering for one of these … pick the right project/committee based on the following:
- Ability to Impact Change: If the project will be a game changer for your company (will build enterprise value like establish a patent or some other piece of IP) or if the committee will impact change (a new policy, an awards program, etc.)—definitely participate. These will be high visibility in the organization to your supervisor and others higher-up in the food chain
- Working with Different People: Work with other people outside of your core, everyday team. By doing this, you’ll raise your visibility in a broader sense, open yourself to learning from new people plus garner more understanding of what others have going on in their areas at the (going back to my versatility post)
- Lead and then Lead Some More: By volunteering you’re stepping up and leading to a certain extent. But if there is an opportunity to own a part of the project or lead the entire initiative—seize it. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Being in a leadership position will create more attention and visibility.
Whatever you do when you participate in a project or sit on a committee… communicate, communicate, communicate. Have an opinion. Offer relevant input. Praise others when appropriate. Challenge when the time is right. Whatever you/your team achieves, make sure your supervisor is aware of it. You have to help yourself build your own profile and visibility … and eventually others will do it for you.
Out of the Office: One of the best things I did earlier on in my career was getting involved in an association based on my foundational experience—for me this was the American Marketing Association. Involved is the key word here. It’s just not about attending events. It’s about volunteering your time and talents. I first sat on a committee, the Board then eventually became President of the Atlanta chapter.
- Great way to build/hone leadership abilities and other skills you may not use in the office
- Great way to show your employer your drive, passion and motivation
- Great networking
- Great way to grow your functional expertise or help you become more versatile
If you are really a solid contributor, it can also be a great way to be recognized in your industry and by your peers … and this can speak volumes to your employer. If your employer is career-development focused, they will support you in this effort, allow some time to contribute to the association and even pay for your dues. This involvement not only helps build your profile and raise visibility, but helps build your employer’s brand and reinforce value proposition…and can help grow the business as well, good for future recruiting, etc. Find the association that’s right for you and your company.
Get out of your comfort zone & advance your career by being more visible—in and out of the office. Palladium Energy is a technology and engineering company that develops portable power solutions for the world’s largest device brands across medical, military/government, industrial and commercial markets. We aspire to be an Employer of Choice…this includes giving our employees every opportunity to get involved in and out of the office.
Thoughts? Comments? Stay tuned for part 3 focused around creating value.
--Rebecca Kritzman, Director, Strategy, Marketing & Communications, Palladium Energy