Shatter the Glass Ceiling by Raising Your Visibility… Outside the Office
An article on cnbc.com states, “The coronavirus pandemic has forced Americans to reassess their relationships with work.
The Labor Department’s most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary suggests that roughly 4 million Americans are quitting their jobs each month in a trend that has become known as “The Great Resignation.”
Today, CNBC and global gender equality firm Catalyst released a report titled “The Great Work/Life Divide: How employee desire for flexibility and employer concern is driving the future of work” on the subject.”
These new statistics may sound surprising, but not so if you have felt the urge to reassess your relationship with your job like many others have over the last couple of years.
With more people seeking to change their work/life balance, they’re also evaluating their professions and realizing that their worth as an employee has rapidly changed, necessitating the need to look for work elsewhere to have the flexibility they desire.
It may be helpful to take note of a few pointers to assist you in making your next career move, one that encourages a smoother transition.
First, let’s take a closer look at current habits and situations that may repel your efforts. Understand that as much as you may be fond of your peers, shattering the glass ceiling in your career as you up-level your position usually depends on your ability to gain connections and recognition outside the workplace. It’s also important to know that your next, highest level in your career will, most likely, come from a connection you made outside your current company.
Regardless of where you are right now in your career, it’s important to gain the attention of people outside your office if you are looking for future advancement opportunities. As difficult as it may sound to break out of your comfort zone and the 6 x 6 ft space you’ve become accustomed to, expanding your database and getting in front of more people who will notice you for your specific expertise; pointing you in the direction of a new opportunity, is an action that’s imperative for your career growth. That’s why I’ve put together these 5 techniques to gain more visibility for yourself, which can eventually put you in a position to advance your career faster than you think is possible.
Building Recognition Outside the Workplace
- Join like-minded groups. Take part in groups with other like-minded individuals who are closely related to your field. Be positive and focus on people who you may want to follow up with. Become an active participant and show up on a regular basis. Volunteering and fundraising are also great ways to meet other people who may be “in the know” when new opportunities become available. One Facebook group that is popular for professional, career-minded women is the Facebook Group, The Powerhouse Women’s Collective.
- Acquire testimonials. Showcasing positive feedback about your expertise by gathering testimonials to add to your website is a great way to show others that you have quite a few quality people who back your work as well. So, be sure to ask for a testimonial with everyone you do business with.
- Use LinkedIn. If you have ever looked for a new job, then you know that LinkedIn is the place to be when it comes to displaying your qualifications to recruiters who may need your services. Recruiters from all over the world hang out on Linkedin, so it’s to your benefit to a regular participant of this platform as well. Be sure to always keep your profile current and up to date.
- Become the local media guru. Local journalists are always looking for experts to provide new facts and information. Developing relationships with local news or newspaper journalists in your area is a great way to get noticed. Journalists need experts in all fields to verify facts and to acquire quotes. In fact, when I first moved to Texas, working for a major, long-standing newspaper publisher as their Marketing Director was my first job and an exciting one, I might add. The marketing projects that I did for the newspaper gained me lasting relationships with powerful people throughout the city all the way up to city and state leaders.
- Be prepared. Business leads can turn up anywhere. Carry business cards with you in case you run into someone interesting while you’re having your dog groomed or washing your car. The idea is to always be prepared. There are many other ways to scan your contact information from your phone or connect to social media. It’s best to find the fastest and most efficient way for you to connect with other people you meet through your new networks.
- Post comments. Let colleagues know when you’re impressed with their articles or find them thought-provoking. Provide useful information and links to other reputable sources. When appropriate, include your website or other contact information so others can get in touch with you. Make social media your friend if not only to spend a few minutes a day connecting with your new and old connections.
- Publish articles. Contact sites that advertise for outside authors. Check their policies on making payments or providing bylines. If possible, include your photo, social media links, and other contact information to drive traffic to your website. Additionally, you can post regular articles on your own blog or on LinkedIn. Just make sure each article leads back to your contact information.
- Start a blog. Contribute to your company blog or start your own. Stay on topic and provide fresh content so readers will have a reason to keep coming back. Interview leaders in your field or comment on a popular news story. Review a new software package or report on a major conference. The main objective when writing blogs is to show yourself as an expert in your field. The more you write about your area of expertise, the more you will be noticed and ultimately recognized for your vast amount of knowledge in the area. Who knows, the people you interview on your blog very well may be your person of contact for your next, new higher level.
- Participate in your professional association. Become active in the local chapter of your professional association. Attend the monthly lunches and show up early for networking—volunteer to serve on the welcoming committee or help with planning the annual fundraising dinner. This suggestion will work only if you show up on a consistent basis. Additionally, signing up for a leadership role can also gain drastic results in the quality of people who can be added to your new network.
- Volunteer in your community. Select a charity you care about and propose a volunteer project that will involve working with others. You could research historical information or strategize a marketing campaign. You can also think about missions you’ve always wanted to be a member of. Remember, volunteer communities are always looking for heart-centered people to help them with their cause. It would be great if that additional person was you. Each time I’ve ever volunteered my services, I’ve always made great and lasting connections.
- Become a media source. Journalists need experts in all kinds of fields to verify facts and give them quotes. Develop a relationship with reporters who specialize in your field of work at local newspapers. Email them with a brief bio and story ideas. Reply promptly if they request details for a piece they’re working on.
- Mentor others. Reach out to students and young professionals. You can learn a lot by teaching others. On the other hand, it’s also known that you advance more within your area of expertise when you help guide others to greater understandings as well. This is a secret to immediately being seen as a leader. And, the more people you find to mentor, the more they will tell others that you are the go-to person in that industry.
- Start Public Speaking. It may be the perfect time to brush up on your public speaking skills. Becoming a public speaker isn’t only a way to get high-paying speaking gigs; it’s also a way for you to be seen as an expert in your industry in front of a large crowd at once. Advancing your public speaking skills is an enhanced skill that you can take with you to any job. And if you think about it, this is the one skill that leaders have above the rest; their ability to communicate and motivate their team with confidence, clarity, and competence.
These are just some of the many ways that you can shatter the glass ceiling on your new career path. As always, be prepared with business cards in hand or other ways for people to easily get in contact with you. Remember to always respond promptly and follow up. The idea is to build recognition offline. When you do this, soon you’ll notice that as you extend your Rolodex, you’ll also become more marketable within your industry, making it easier to up-level your career.