4 Key Visibility Questions to Ask Yourself
Much has been written about the importance of visibility for your career progress, and about ways to achieve it with authenticity and integrity. In fact, I’ve written a lot about these issues myself, both in this website and in Forbes. But before you launch into raising your profile, to establish the context, motivate yourself to become more visible and to give you a structured plan to get you where you want to be, there’s some groundwork to be done. It’s a great idea to complete a visibility audit or inventory on yourself to provide a foundation and baseline for your plan to move forward.
I’ve devised a simple, 4-step exercise to enable you to conduct this personal inventory with ease. It involves you examining your rationale (your why), your current situation regarding visibility, your existing assets and promotional resources, and your plan for the future.
Ready for auditing your current state of visibility? Let’s go!
1. What is your Why?
We know that visibility helps you to be considered for opportunities, stand out, be remembered, and attract allies – all of which are vital for career advancement and leadership transitions. But knowing how this relates to you and your goals is a necessary first step towards planning and taking your visibility actions. It is also important for you to understand how your visibility can help your team and/or organization moving forward.
Consider these questions, and how you would answer them:
- Why do you want visibility? In other words, what is your visibility “why”?
- In what ways will being more visible help you in your career?
- And/or – how will it support you to achieve your desired goals?
As part of your journaling practice, take a moment to reflect on these questions and complete these sentences:
I would like to be more visible at work so that I could…
Being more visible at work will enable me to…
I would like to be more visible at work so that we could…
2. What is Your Current State of Affairs?
Take a moment to continue your journaling, to get a sense of how visible you currently are. Here are two prompts to consider and answer:
- How visible are you inside and outside your organization? Here, you could choose to describe the ways in which you are visible or make yourself known; you may even want to rate your visibility on a scale from 1 to 10 with an understanding of why you give yourself this score.
- What are you known for? Think about what your boss knows you for; then, your boss’s boss. And what about your peers? Your staff?
This exercise enables you to take stock of where you stand now, and gives you a baseline from which to measure your progress towards greater visibility. It is important to have an understanding of where you are at the moment, and of how you currently show up. This information, along with your identified goals, is going to help you to decide what you ultimately want to do to increase your visibility and raise your profile.
3. What are Your Assets?
What assets or brand collateral do you have, already developed, and all ready to promote you, your skills, qualities, and your work? And which of them do you need to create, update and improve? The following are not the only assets it’s possible to have, but they are some key ones:
- An up-to-date keyword-optimized CV
- A current, engaging LinkedIn profile
- Your personal brand
- Your leadership brand
Your written assets like CV and profiles should reflect your energy and passion, as well as your skills and experience to increase your visibility. Your personal brand is both your reputation and the promise of what you will deliver. Crafted and communicated well, it embodies your strengths, values, uniqueness and passion and ensures that you stand out from the crowd. For the basic what, why and how – see my article How to Develop Your Personal Brand: 101.
4. What is Your Plan?
Now, considering all these factors: your why, your inventory and your assets, let’s look at how you are going to put all this together.
- What visibility actions do you want to take in the next 3 months?
- How will you do it? Break down the steps.
- By when? Set milestones, with specific dates.
- What additional support/resources do you need?
Then, extend that:
- What do you want to do in the next 6 months?
- How are you going to do it?
- By when?
- And what additional resources do you need?
Putting this all together in a plan helps you bring to life your visibility “why” by planning with a purpose.
Use your reflections from this visibility inventory to help you to achieve your visibility goals – for you, your work, your team…and remember to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. In addition to doing good work, it’s important for us and teams that others know about it.
Check out my new resource Designing Your Leadership Self-Reflection Practice – Guided Writing Prompts – packed with tips, tools, and guided prompts to launch your leadership self-reflection practice as you continue to strengthen your leadership.
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LinkedIn: Palena Neale