I’ve been working on raising my profile at work for over a year now. In my career, even though I’m quite visible at a global law firm with 30+ offices, it’s easy to become stagnant and hidden while completing everyday tasks. It took me a while since joining the firm four-years ago to realize just how complacent I’ve been in my role; and I quickly learned what needed to be done in order to shift gears.
- The very first step I took was to be seen. Attend company events, social events like happy hours, conferences, and meetings. Basically, become a familiar face to your colleagues, even if you don’t directly work with each other. Well, I certainly don’t mind surrounding myself with like-minded people; but it’s the second step that causes me to get anxiety.
- Be heard! Be vocal in your work place. Be proactive by suggesting useful ideas to implement. Ask questions, and provide answers if you’re the expert. This is definitely the hardest for me. I’m an introvert and shy, so it’s a little difficult for me to break out of these traits. Happy to be at the party, but once there I’m okay with standing in a corner to myself. But, I had to force myself to be heard more often starting off by using the very thing I hate – small talk. I had to share random or work related conversations with co-workers or managers even. You’d be surprised about how much you have in common or how they may have a role in helping you in your professional development. I forced myself to speak up during meetings and conferences and provide ideas. Sometimes, I feel as if my ideas aren’t good enough, so I doubt myself and pass the idea along; but if you’re an expert at something like I am, I specialize in Capital Markets and the Financial Institutions industry, you are most likely more knowledgeable in that subject(s). So this knowledge can be of good use to someone who is less experienced.
- Be involved. Get involved in committees, organizations, and actively participate. So, just like the step before, this is also a difficult task for me. I have to give it up to my manager who advised me to do this for professional growth. I joined an internal BD committee and immediately started providing innovative ideas towards our goal as a team. I am also on the Associate / Junior Board of CASA-NYC, which is a special advocate agency for foster children in NYC. And just yesterday, I hosted and moderated my firm’s Business Development town hall conference. I performed way better than I could have ever imagined. So the town hall conference, just to give you an idea of what this is all about, is a conference call amongst BD department members around the globe (my job has 32 offices in 4 continents). This hour-long call is held about every other month or quarterly to update everyone on new updates, hot topics and new initiatives for the firm. So I hosted and led this call, and received so much positive feedback afterwards that my nerves are still shaking lol.
- Be promoted or recognized. I know that we only have partial control over this. But if you follow the steps above and become an excellent performer in your daily tasks – there’s no way you can be passed on for a promotion, an accolade, and/or recognition! Also take into account that in order to be chosen for the job, many times people have to already envision you there. Like you have to be doing that next level “work” in the interim. Don’t only just do the work that you were hired to do. There aren’t any extra points for that, even if you are meeting expectations with high productivity and consistently meeting deadlines. Many times it takes a little more effort like speaking up, putting yourself in the spotlight and getting your hands wet in roles outside of your role.
I hope these tips are useful in raising your profile at work and lead to a better and increasing performance in your day-to-day work responsibilities.
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