How to Increase your Visibility at Work


“Recognition happens when you see yourself from the inside-out: as someone who can make an impact on the world instead of navigating the impact the world has on you.” ~Justine Musk

Ascher, who worked in a medical technology firm, had been making an effort to enhance how others perceived him over the past six months. He felt certain his coworkers saw him in a positive light. Those who worked most closely with him had been commenting on his strengths. His presentation skills had dramatically improved, a colleague had said after their last meeting. So had his confidence. Yes! he’d thought to himself. My plan is working!

However, Ascher wasn’t getting the same comments from his boss, or his boss’s boss. It seemed he needed to do something differently. But what?

I sat down with Ascher and quickly got to the root of the problem. He’d enhanced his perception, but he needed to take the next step: Increasing his visibility in the organization.

  1. You’ll never get ahead at work by lurking in the shadows.

    And by remaining visible only to those who work directly with you, you’re doing just that. In every career path, there’s a level at which leadership skills and visibility play a much stronger role in promotions than job skills. To advance further, you need to actively promote yourself to ensure your visibility increases throughout every level of the organizational hierarchy.

  2. Need to take risks to increase your visibility.

    For example, you could tackle a tough assignment—maybe the one no one wants to do, because they all fear they’ll fail. Find out what’s most important to your boss as well as your boss’s boss, and seek out opportunities to volunteer for those projects. Pitch a novel solution to an issue that concerns them. You’re bound to increase your visibility and gain appreciation from such endeavors—as long as people know what you’re doing and hear about the results you get. Your work will not speak for itself!

  3. Send your boss, your boss’s boss, and other key player’s periodic updates about your progress.

    They will be just as excited about it as you. They’ll have a better sense of how much you contribute as a result. They will have key project updates and talking points to share at the leadership team meetings.

Through these strategies, you won’t just get noticed; you’ll also be remembered. You’ll make a strong impression that illuminates your strengths and the outcomes you achieve, so others will fully recognize the value you bring.

Ascher made a list of the key qualities he wanted leaders in his organization to associate with him. “Resourceful” and “innovative” topped the list. He set up a meeting with his boss to talk about his boss’s most important priorities and how he could help resolve persistent challenges. Since he knew his boss had long been struggling to track the results for a particular line of projects that was her brainchild, Ascher came up with an innovative system for doing just that. His boss was floored. This would help her to score points with higher-level leaders, and in turn, she became more invested in promoting Ascher’s success.

Like Ascher, look around for the opportunities to solve problems that others may have given up on fixing. Don’t hesitate to ask, too. For example, ask your boss this question: “If you could snap your fingers and have something that has been frustrating you suddenly start working, what would it be?” Search for ways that others in your industry or outside it have tackled similar problems. Seek out high-profile projects as well, especially those that align with your boss and other leaders’ priorities. Make your boss look good by getting outstanding results, and she’ll be in your corner when it comes to advancement opportunities. Your visibility will increase dramatically when your boss becomes one of your best advocates.

Joel can provide executive coaching to help you get on the fast track to cultivating perception, visibility, and influence at work. His expertise on the promotion process through visibility will propel your career to the next level. Contact him to propel your career to the next level by leveraging the PVI model.

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