Hard work and good results are not enough.
If your career progress has stalled it may well be time to focus on raising your visibility. You are unlikely to have the type of impact you want to have or to get recognised for the work you do – if no one knows who you are, what you do and how well you do it.
Whether it’s raising your profile within your industry, speaking up in meetings or promoting your achievements – they are all part of stepping up as a leader.
If you are being overlooked, there is a fair chance that you don’t need to improve your job performance, learn any new skills or achieve bigger results to land your ideal project or position.
You already know enough! You are experienced in what you do and have the results to prove it.
At this level of leadership – hard work and results are not enough.
A strong professional profile is key. And this requires being well known and visible.
But many women struggle with raising their visibility. Perhaps this stems from the behaviours that are encouraged in our early years. Little girls are praised for being good and for being seen and not heard.
Throughout junior school years, girls get attention from the teacher by knuckling down and producing beautifully put together projects.
As we grow into mature young women with ambition, getting good results is our passport into the plum graduate roles.
So, it is no surprise that as adult women, we struggle with being seen. We work hard, follow the rules and get the job done, hoping that our efforts will be rewarded and recognised.
But… many learn the hard way; that corporate promotions don’t come purely through hard work. Those that stand out and grab attention are often the ones being rewarded.
So what is it that holds women back and has them shrinking from the spotlight?
The reasons are many and varied but generally fall within these categories:
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of failure (or of success)
- Fear of standing out
- Fear of revealing their true selves
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, experienced enough.
The other objection I often hear women raise is that it feels inauthentic and out of character. They would never want to brag about their achievements, grandstand or play the political game.
They believe that their efforts and results should speak for themselves.
But here’s the truth. Your fear and discomfort associated with owning the spotlight is holding your back!
It’s time to get comfortable with raising your profile, speaking up, sharing your wins and getting yourself known. And of course, find a way that feels authentic to you.
Realise that you have true value to bring to the table. Be positive, excited and proud of the contributions you are making. Share your wins and acknowledge the progress you and your team are making.
Pay attention to the signals your body language is giving off. Do you own your space? Does your voice sound like that of a woman of influence not that of a shy young girl filled with doubt?
Build strategic relationships both internally and within your industry and make time to regularly touch base with those who support your work and can advocate for you.
Is there more that you can be doing to become visible?
Now is your time to step up, stand out and be seen.