Out of sight, out of mind: managing visibility at work

invisible-3843385_640.png

Working hard and providing value should keep your career from stagnating, right? Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just not enough. Recognition for good work starts with visibility. So, what can you do to make sure your hard work is seen by others?

Inform your manager about major milestones and accomplishments

Your manager can provide opportunities for broader visibility and recognition – but for that they need to be aware of the projects you own and are participating in. When you reach major milestones for projects where you have made a significant contribution, let your manager know. When you are part of a team, share the overall team accomplishment and highlight your personal contribution.

Use internal/external social media

If your organization has an internal communications platform, use it to share your accomplishments. Shout out your thanks to others for their contributions – it will encourage people to do the same for you.  Participate in external communities in your job domain or industry. Share learnings with a blog in internal and external communities – not only what went well but things that went wrong, and how to avoid them.

Share best practices

Most organizations have somewhere to share best practices. When you finish a successful project, consider writing up a best practice. Volunteer to represent the team to present a best practice on an open call. Use external communities to do the same, being careful to modify content if needed to protect confidential information.

Share kudos with your manager

When someone thanks you and gives you kudos for work well done, be sure to pass it on to your manager.  If they give you verbal recognition, ask if they would mind putting it in writing. Most people are happy to send a note directly to a manager to inform them of work well done by their employee – but don’t necessarily think to do it without prompting.

Establish a relationship with your 2nd line manager

Your manager can be a great resource to create visibility for your successes. But sometimes, managers are more interested in taking credit themselves. Regardless, it’s good to get to know your manager’s manager. Often, second line manager’s will hold round tables and town halls to get to know their extended team. Be an active participant – take advantage of Q&A to ask a question. Follow your 2nd line manager in internal and external communications and comment on blogs. 

Ask to participate in a cross departmental task force

Large organizations love to launch task forces to resolve sticky questions. When change is in the air, talk to your manager about how you can participate to influence decisions. Representing your department in a taskforce can give you opportunities to meet new people and share your expertise outside your immediate hierarchy.

Offer to do cross departmental training

Are you an expert in something others could benefit from understanding better? Offer to do cross departmental training to share your expertise. For example, you could teach others how to read KPI’s for your department, or how to work effectively with your team. Sharing your knowledge freely, formally and informally, not only demonstrates your expertise but your good will.

Offer to sit in for your manager in their absence

Who sits in for your manager when they are away? Volunteering to sit in for your manager can be a big responsibility, but it can also be a direct way to have contact with your 2nd line manager and other managers in your organization. An alternative can be representing your boss in a regular meeting which presents a conflict.

Don’t be the invisible (wo)man at work. Share your accomplishments and your expertise and keep your career moving. 

First published on Forbes.com.