How much thought do you give to gaining internal exposure in your organisation? Have you ever considered how vital it is to your career progression? In the last few weeks, I have heard of yet more examples of people missing out because of ‘a lack of exposure’ or a perceived absence of relationships with senior people.
This can be very frustrating, as after all, surely as long as you are doing a good job, why does it matter? The problem is people need to know for themselves what you are like at your job and as a person. One contact of mine didn’t even know about a promotion opportunity until they were told they were considered but didn’t get it, another person was telling me that there are constant promises of promotion but she didn’t get the one she went for due to her inexperience at managing senior stakeholders.
If you consider that often people several levels above us will be contributing to decisions about who gets promoted. They will assume if you have been put forward by your line manager you are good at the technical aspects of your job. Therefore the people they know of and something about are more likely to get the promotion as they are a ‘safer bet’.
I help many clients look at what relationships they need to work on and the specific approaches/ways of doing this in a genuine and natural way. Here are my top tips for starting to think about this for yourself:
- Have a clear objective of what you want to achieve in the next year and 3 years.
- Consider all the people in your organisation who could help you achieve this. It might be people actually contributing to promotion decisions or providing feedback on you, someone that would be a good mentor or people that could help you work on a specific area where you need to develop.
- Prioritise the top 3 to start with according to your objectives (you can add more later).
- Consider their perspective – what is their situation in their current role? Do you have any relationship with them at all? If you do, what is it like?
- Consider the key next step for each person, if it is building a relationship, consider how you might do that. If it’s working on an existing relationship, think about what needs to change and how you can facilitate this.
- Work out how these actions become part of your day job, as they need constant attention. If you don’t do this, it is the path to frustration, you are unlikely to progress your career as you would like.
If you feel you are stuck in your career and need some help to navigate the ‘people stuff’, get in touch. I have worked extensively with clients through my Career Impact Programme to understand how they are perceived at work, be clear on what they need to achieve to gain exposure and build better relationships with the right people; ultimately to progress their careers.