I am back from vacation. Yes, I had a great time, thanks for asking. Having disappeared for a week or so I thought about visibility as I came back. Two blog posts by other bloggers prompted this thought, so I thought I would pass on their ideas and add a couple of my own.
The first thought comes from Alan Collins writer of Success In HR in his post Seven No B.S. HR Career Strategies Your Boss Won’t Tell You About! His fourth point is “Visibility is not an official HR competency, but it should be.” Alan makes the comment “…focusing on doing what you do better than anyone else and trusting that that alone is enough, guarantees you one thing and one thing only: a long life laboring in oblivion.” The implication is that you need to “toot your own horn.” People within your organization need to know that you are good, not just your boss. My experience has been that you can increase your visibility by working on committees, task forces, etc. You can also increase your visibility by being a good speaker and making good company presentations. Alan also makes the comment that writing a blog can increase you visibility. I can attest, it does.
Kris Dunn, The HR Capitalist, makes the comment “Develop a professional identity outside the workplace, and you’ll never be held hostage intellectually to the job you currently have.” In his post How a Sucky Economy Makes A Professional Identity Outside of the Workplace More Important… he makes the point that having an identity outside the workplace is protection against the psychological impact of losing your job. I think it also makes you somewhat more resistant to losing your job. So how do you get a professional identity outside of your workplace? Well following Alan Collin’s advice of writing a blog can help. But there are other ways too. Volunteer! There are many non-profits that need help, especially on their Boards of Directors. This allows you to demonstrate your leadership ability and your decisionmaking skills. It can be fulfilling, challenging and provide you a stretch. It can also position you to go to work for someone else if you lose your current postion.
So vow to be visible! It will make you a better current employee and a better future employee.