Lately, I have fielded a lot of questions about how invisible people feel in their career due to the pandemic. If you are working remotely, this is probably even more of a concern. You are not being dramatic, jumping to conclusions, or being paranoid. When you are out of the office, “out of sight, out of mind” is a legitimate concern. You may go back to your physical workplace in the future and some of you are going to work remotely going forward. This invisibility does not have to be your fate. YOU can take the helm of your career, guide it out of choppy waters and into calmer seas. There are so many things you can’t control right now. That is one of the many frightening things about the pandemic, the world is unpredictable! When humans are faced with chaos, having some things they can control can really improve your mental health and your career.
One of my favorite books is by Pam Lontos, published in 2013, I See Your Name Everywhere. I was familiar with Pam because her company PR/PR always ran ads in the National Speaker’s Association magazine. Her book became one of my “go to” guides for my business. She was THE guru in my estimation. You should have seen and heard me the day she called me! Out of the blue, Pam called me and told me she had seen my name recently several times. Wow! I was speechless and for those of you that know me well, that doesn’t happen very often. After some discussion, I found out that she had sold the business and as part of her semi-retirement she was doing consulting. I could not sign up fast enough. The words Pam consistently drummed into my ears were: leverage and buzz. You may work in a corporate position, in a non-profit, or in a small business and think creating career buzz does not apply to you. Hold on, my friend, YES it does. It’s where, why, and how you create the buzz.
Your first step could likely be making peace with the concept of creating buzz about yourself. Some of you can hear your mother saying, “Don’t brag, don’t sound conceited, don’t toot your own horn.” It’s time to tell mother to “zip it!” You likely didn’t just get this message at home. You may have gotten this same message in your schooling, church, community, media, or society at large. If you don’t leverage your successes, accomplishments and awards you are missing great opportunities to advance your career. Replacing that message with that of the great humorist, Will Rogers, is powerful. Good ole Will said, “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.” This is different from seeming needy, screaming for affirmation isn’t career enhancing, either.
With whom could you highlight your successes, accomplishments, awards, etc.? Here are a few to get you rolling:
- Your former bosses
- Your former co-workers
- Your former mentors
- Your alma mater
- Your professional associations
- Your networking groups
- Your closer professional network
- Your social media connections
- Your current boss
- Your next level up
- Your current mentor
- Your current sponsor (people who have opened doors and opportunities for you)
- Your sorority
- Your community
- Volunteer causes that you participate in
One of my clients is a dynamo. I know it and she is realizing it. On our coaching calls we often start the session with celebration of her current successes. I acknowledge her successes, the talent it took and the effort it took to achieve it. Next, I ask, “How are you going to leverage that?” At first, she was resistant, as she had been socialized to be very humble about her successes. Then she got to the point where she would beat me to the punch and say, “I know, how am I going to leverage that?” Now she leads with, “Here is what I have done to leverage that.” It’s a process.
One of the most effective steps I have taken is to create a “Buzz Buddy System”. You can give a shout out on social media, inter-office message boards, company online newsletters about your buddy’s success! You can say laudatory statements about them that they might be uncomfortable saying about themselves. Make sure this is reciprocal. It feels great to know that you are assisting a co-worker, colleague, or friend advance their career. It is possible to leverage your successes and create buzz about you!
Perhaps this entire article makes your skin crawl, but you know it would be valuable to create some “buzz”. You don’t have to jump over this career hurdle alone. Call me at (513) 561-4288 or email me at Kay@highheeledsuccess.com. We can schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss this and other steps to your High-Heeled Success.