Are You Hiding Under an Invisibility Cloak at Work?
It’s one thing for Harry Potter to don his magical cloak to escape detection as he sneaks past the Death Eaters. It’s quite another to be passed over for a big promotion or development opportunity simply because you’ve gone unnoticed too. If you’re hoping that your work “speaks for itself” and it’s just a matter of time until somebody taps you on the shoulder for your next big opportunity, think again. The boss may not see you under that cloak of invisibility.
Creating visibility at work is not about office politics, or selling yourself. It’s about beingyourself. Being comfortable with who you are, being open, curious and approachable. It means picking your head up from your desk, getting to know people, sharing your insights and connecting in an authentic way.
5 Signs You May Be Wearing the Invisibility Cloak
- You dial into meetings even though there’s an option of attending in person. When you do call in, you keep the phone on mute and speak only when absolutely necessary.
- You eat lunch at your desk – a lot.
- You let others take credit for your good work, or fail to acknowledge your own contributions ("...it was the team you should thank!")
- You choose email over phone calls and face-to-face discussions.
- You’ve outgrown your current job and nobody knows it but you.
8 (Fun) Ways to Create Visibility – Now!
- Fill your calendar with lunch dates. Have lunch with different co-workers and senior leaders every day. Be genuinely interested in knowing people, what they do, what they love. If this feels out of your comfort zone, all the more reason to start now.
- Fill your dish with candy! Not that every strategy is about food, but a candy dish on your desk is a sure fire way to get interesting people to stop by, say hello, and get to know you.
- Just say “yes.” Instead of rationalizing why you can’t attend the optional meeting, dinner after work or reception at the home of a colleague, just say yes! You will be amazed at what opens up for you when you create new experiences and begin building genuine relationships that create ways for others to know you and support your development.
- Find a mentor. Mentors can make a tremendous difference in helping you navigate your company and your career. Most people enjoy mentoring, so don’t be afraid to invite someone you admire or find intriguing. Be clear about your goals, how often you’ll meet, and the support you need. And consider what you can do for your mentor, too. Often learning, exposure, and opportunities go both ways!
- Change something. It can be anything, really, to help you from fading into the background. A great haircut, new briefcase, stylish accessory. It’s not about your appearance so much as your image as someone who is current and confident.
- Start a group. Create an affinity group, special interest group or task force to resolve a problem or make an improvement. It’s a great way to pursue your interests, expand your network and build your leadership skills.
- Share your skills. Offer a lunchtime seminar in an area where you are knowledgeable and others want to learn. Write an article for internal newsletter or external publication in your area of expertise.
- Share your story. Do you have a “ME” file? That’s the long list of everything wonderful about you. It’s everything from how you won the sixth grade spelling bee to the recent accolades from a satisfied customer for your exceptional service. Invest the time in documenting your strengths, accomplishments, and positive attributes that make you YOU! Keep adding to it, and read it often. When you know your story, it’s so much easier to share it with others.
Don’t wait for someone else to pull off your cloak of invisibility. Be proactive about your exposure, be genuine, and have fun out there!
MY AMPLIFICATION PLAN!
I'm not ready to go public with my blogs, as I'm tying them to the launch of my new website and coaching practice. However, here is what I have planned:
1. Launch letter to 100 or more of my closest friends:) with invitation to subscribe to my newsletter, friend me (my business) on FB, follow me on Twitter and connect on LinkedIN.
2. Blogs posted weekly (or so) to my website, with teaser and links posted on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn - all taking people back to my website.
3. Newsletter sent to subsriber list every few weeks, with content of my latest blog, any key business updates, and a Round Up of links to my most recent blogs "in case you missed them'"
I plan to engage in conversation around the blogs on the social media sites. Am I missing anything?