Getting visible at work

In my recent survey you told me that you wanted to hear about how to be more visible at work so here we go!

Let’s start with some background… I remember so well the day I learnt that visibility is more important than doing the job. I was in a Women’s Network session at GE and a senior woman leader was taking us through a presentation on how to get promoted and be successful in the company.

She started off by saying that doing a good job only counted for 10% of your success. I nearly fell off my chair. Whaaat?

That’s what I was doing: performing well in my role, getting good feedback from my boss, having good relationships with my peers. Surely that stood me in good stead to get promoted?


Instead what mattered was everything but the work. The lightbulb moment was it’s taken for granted that you will be doing a good job.

What makes the difference is: how I show up, my style of dressing, my handshake, how much eye contact I make, how my emails sound etc etc. All these image-based elements count for 30%.

And what REALLY makes a difference is how visible I am. A massive 60% of career success is down to this. This simply means how well I am known by others, particularly those more senior to me. Who knows you and what do they think of you?

It means that when future opportunities arise, your name is more likely to be mentioned. And if someone suggests you for a role, it is more likely that other leaders will recognise your name and say ‘Oh yes, she’s good,’ rather than ‘Who is that?’

It doesn’t mean they need to know you well, but they need have a feel for what you are like.

So today’s tip for getting more visible is to schedule time for it in your diary. This might seem crazy, but if visibility is more important than the actual work, it needs some time and focus dedicated to it.

It doesn’t have to be scary like getting on a stage. Think of it as building relationships, because that’s all it is. Women are typically very good at connecting with others, so just get intentional about it!

It can be as simple as:

🦋 spending time at the coffee machine
🦋 lingering after a meeting to chat one-to-one
🦋 making the effort to go to a social gathering
🦋 realising that one of the leaders has the same hobby as you and exchanging thoughts on it
🦋 bonding over your love of dogs…

Whatever feels both natural and yet a bit edgy, do that!

Giving yourself permission to make time to put into building relationships is key.

ACTION: look at your schedule for the week ahead and ask yourself where the natural opportunities are to connect with people. Then be intentional about making time for those interactions.

It doesn’t need to be burdensome and once you are in the habit of doing it, you will wonder why you felt such resistance to it in the first place!

Let me know how you get on!

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