To Succeed At Work, Make Yourself More Visible

You don’t have to be a jerk to do it.

To Succeed At Work, Make Yourself More Visible

Whether you’re a painter or a statistician, you need a platform to succeed. You need to be seen.


Citi managing director Linda Descano recently wrote a LinkedIn post about the subject–giving her plenty of visibility, incidentally–in which she consolidated her conversations with a career coach, an executive recruiter, and a consultant. All to get at one question: how do we grow more visible?

For one, it’s more than your follower count.

Master your craft

If you have a lot of quality talk and not a lot of quality work you may be a charlatan. This is not a good thing.

Instead, let’s get intentional about improvement. So Good They Can’t Ignore You Author Cal Newport talks about doing deliberate practice to create career capital. But as Descano observes, there’s a social aspect to mastery: finding a mentor helps. Also, summon your inner publisher and share and write articles (that people want to read).

Or if debt sounds interesting, go back to school.

Work together

It’s all about relationships. Since other people understand things better than you do, knowing them exposes you to ideas that you wouldn’t have had in isolation.


To de-silo yourself, Descano says to take on rotational or lateral assignments and join task forces that will broaden your exposure. And remember, the strength of an individual’s network is a predictor of a group’s success, so you’re not being totally self-centered with all this self-actualization.

Speak up

Eventually you’re going to have to talk to people you don’t know.

Getting into meetings with senior staff is good for you–and also frightening. When you get into them, Descano says you need to show that you “own” the work you’re tasked with. You can train in this by honing your ability to give a clear, concise message at meetings. And, like that other unavoidable social scariness of negotiation, you get better by doing, so speak up often.

And when it’s time to speak to a group, remember that whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, engaging an audience is easier than you think.

5 Ways to ‘Up’ Your Profile

[Image: Flickr user ModernDope]


About the author

Drake Baer was a contributing writer at Fast Company, where he covered work culture. He's the co-author of Everything Connects, a book about how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational psychology shape innovation.