How good are you at shining the spotlight on your work?

If you are squirming, maybe you grew up hearing adages like the following – 

– Let your work speak for you. 

– Do such good work that you cannot be ignored.

– A lion never needs to tell that it is a lion.

You think talking about your achievements is bragging. You probably feel inauthentic or uncomfortable while drawing attention to yourself and your work. And you believe that working hard and adding value will ensure your success in your career. 

Let me tell you that good work is necessary to move ahead, but not sufficient because achievements do not speak for themselves. Recognition for good work comes with visibility that you create for your accomplishments and expertise. Here is how visibility helps you at your workplace –

  • You get more opportunities – If the key people know you and what you bring to the table, you are more likely to get opportunities to work on key projects. At senior levels, the stakes are higher, and leaders like to work with people they know, like, and trust. Opportunities come to you when people in power see you and what you are capable of. When you are known for your skills, capabilities, and attitude by the key people in your organization, you are more likely to be picked for new and exciting opportunities. It creates a positive loop. New opportunities help you increase your skills and capabilities and further enhance your visibility, opening more doors for you in the future.
  • It is easier to get things done – Today’s organizations have a matrix structure. You work with colleagues who are not a part of your team. Being known across the organization makes it easier to get things done. Your network and alliances increase your capacity, further strengthening the positive loop. 
  • You benefit from mentoring from people in key positions – When you push yourself out of your comfort zone and work on projects across the organization, you get opportunities to connect with key people. You benefit from their perspectives and guidance and enhance your exposure. You build relationships that may help you through challenges and open new doors for you. 
  • You get better performance appraisals – When people know you and your work, they are more likely to support and endorse you during the appraisal discussions, helping your boss justify the business case for your rating and promotion. 

You cannot expect to get ahead if people don’t notice you, even if you have all the skills and qualifications necessary to do your job. By not speaking about your achievements, you run the risk of coming across as unexceptional, unambitious or disengaged. You may get labeled as a good worker bee who is not leader material. You must be visible to be recognized and to get the opportunities you want. You cannot shy away from self-promotion. You must be accountable to design your career, stop lurking in the shadows, and be visible. Remember, achievements do not speak for themselves.  

If this is a challenge for you, check out our signature program here.