Raise the Bar on Your Visibility

Consider the analogy between attaining physical fitness and achieving career visibility. It’s clear that if you exercise, you will become physically fit. Similarly, if you engage in activities that raise your visibility, your name will become attached to your accomplishments.

Simple enough? To take the analogy a little further, staying physically fit requires that you exercise regularly—several times a week. The same idea applies to self-promotion: it’s not as if you can just exchange business cards with one person at a conference and call it quits. Instead, find a few activities you can engage in every week to help build your personal brand. If you’re an introvert, choose activities that play to your quiet strengths such as writing for publication and building one-on-one relationships. Also, rather than feeling that you’re pushing yourself on others, focus on the benefits you bring them.

If the thought of self-promotion makes you cringe, consider your career goal—for this year or beyond—and what it will take to get you there. Whether you’re searching for a job, seeking a promotion, or building your business, chances are you’ll need to influence certain people and get credit for your contributions to meet your goal.

As an introvert, you’re likely to get absorbed in your work and it may take extra effort for you to spread the word about what you’re doing. Consider this: “A recent study,” according to Psychology Today, “found that those who pipe up in meetings are seen as more competent and gain more influence than others even if they’re not actually adding anything.” All the more reason to get your voice heard—and you can do so while adding value too.

No need to run the self-promotion equivalent of a marathon without any practice. Start small by getting on the agenda at meetings at work. Or by asking a contact for an informational meeting to learn more about what she does. Then build up to tasks you find more challenging—like hosting an event, facilitating a panel discussion, asking for a promotion, or interviewing an industry leader for a trade publication.

Need an extra boost to get motivated? Find the equivalent of a gym buddy for your self-promotion efforts. You’ll egg one another along to go the extra mile on the way to your career goals.


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