The 7 Step Guide to Raising Your Profile at Work

Posted on July 27th, 2015 by

young-woman-in-coat-

It’s no good being good if no one knows you’re good.

We women are very good at sharing the credit for what we do with others. That’s a lovely trait. I’m a woman, so I like it.

However, there are times when you have to let people know just how good YOU are, not everyone else in your team.

Do not assume doing your job well is enough to get noticed.

It isn’t.

Do not assume that virtue is its own reward and one day someone will notice just how dedicated and clever you are.

They won’t.

You need to give folk a little nudge, and here’s how:

7 tips to help you raise your profile at work

1. Physically talk to people instead of sending yet another email.
This is such an easy thing to do and so few of us do it. Admit it now, haven’t you sent an email to someone sitting just a few hundred yards from you? Apart from being very good for your health, standing up and actually speaking to someone will make you stand out as well as stand up. Don’t waste their time. Be pleasant, and ask them directly what you need, or want to arrange, and the matter is done. Try to do this with one new person at least once a day. You are much more memorable than an email.

2. Use a respected social media site for business, like LinkedIn.
We all know we have to be careful with social media and that many employers routinely check up on their employees. Well, make this work for you. Take some time and effort to make sure you have a very business like profile out there. So many women tell me, “yes, I’m on LinkedIn but nothing happens”. That’s because they uploaded their details a few years ago and sat back to wait for something to happen. Funnily enough nothing does happen.

Savvy women know that they have to use LinkedIn as a dynamic tool. They know that if someone Googles their name often the first result shown is their LinkedIn entry (try it). So if you’ve signed up and then neglected it resolve to go back and update. I always suggest writing it in the first person as everyone knows we write our own blurb. It looks a bit weird as if you suddenly start writing about yourself in the third person (just my view). Be immediate and enthusiastic. This is currently mine but I change it regularly Jane C Woods on LinkedIn. I would advise using LinkedIn at least once a week and find out just how to use it properly. I’ll be writing a post on it soon. You can sign up to get my posts regularly  (2 or 3 times a week) if you wish. More information is here.

3. Speak Up – resolve to make your voice heard at work.
You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? I have a whole audio programme devoted to the topic. There is a wealth of research on this. My favourite quote is from Mary Beard who said: “We have not yet learned to hear authority in women’s voices.” That is so true.

Typically we women do not interrupt. Researched fact. By being so polite we often miss a chance to add our point of view. Resolve to speak up as soon as you can in every meeting you attend. Read the agenda in advance and prepare your thoughts. Then say what you want to say with confidence.

4. Understand the other areas of your business
Women tend not to move jobs until they really know their current one inside out. This  is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The disadvantage is that we can spend too long at a lower grade and miss our time to shine. The advantage is that we are a repository of knowledge about our area of work.

But do you know what goes on in the rest of the business? We women are naturally inclined to be good at this. Our brains are good at seeing the whole picture. Understanding some of the other systems and how it links with yours can make you invaluable. And raise your profile!

5. Be a clever networker
By which I don’t mean get a reputation for turning up to the opening of an envelope… Choose your events wisely. Take a long hard look at who is going to what and what effect it is having on their career. Ideally you will choose events where there are some senior managers whom you can dazzle with your knowledge. (Did I say you have to talk to them when possible? You do.) You may even go to events outside of your work but connected with your profession. Then you can send round a short email explaining what happened at these events and share any new thinking. Which brings me to the penultimate point.

6. Volunteer for something outside of your area
Your career can get a great boost if you volunteer to do something different. Not only will you add to your knowledge and experience but you’ll meet with a new group of people. You might have to invest some of your own time in this, but this is your brilliant career we’re talking about and no one cares about it as much as you do.

7. Find a mentor/coach/supporter
This can be from within your own organisation but don’t forget about outside of it. There are various schemes where you can offer support and get some back, too. Be specific about what you want. The best people are probably very busy and in demand. Put a time limit on their involvement. For example, ask them if they will mentor you for 3 months while you work on the new project you’ve volunteered for. And remember to thank them and keep them updated on your progress.

If you’ve some tips that have worked well for you, please do use the comments section to share.  I love to hear from you. It’s your career and no one will ever care so much about as you do. Resolve to take charge. It’s no good being good if no one knows you’re good…

Photo Credit: FreeLImages Everardo Ramirez

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