The power of visibility can never be underestimated.Margaret Cho
Has your lack of visibility resulted in you being overlooked for a promotion?
I’ve been there too and it sucks. But my boss was straight with me.
He said, “You can suck it up and we can work together and succeed next year, you can bitch and whine and never get promoted or you can leave and go somewhere else. Your call.”
Guess what, I sucked it up and succeeded the year after.
One thing I have learnt during this experience, being a promotion candidate evaluator and being on promotion committees, it that visibility matters.
The Clue Maybe in the Name
The word overlooked is a hint at a possible solution.
What are you talking about Nick?
Well, let’s look at the definition of overlooked. Overlooked means to fail to notice or consider something or someone.
Fail to Notice
Are the decision-makers –
- Noticing the impact you and your team are having on the organisation above and beyond your role?
- Seeing you behave as a leader at the next level?
- Hearing positive things about you from your stakeholders, clients, peers, teams and dependent departments.
Who Are These Decision Makers?
Typically the decision-makers for your promotion will be a promotion committee made up of the following –
- Your boss.
- Your boss’s boss.
- Some of your boss’s peers.
- Senior leaders from departments you have direct contact with.
What Action Can You Take
So what actions can you take to increase you and your team’s visibility?
- Can you ask your boss for a stretch task that has visibility at your bosses leadership table?
- What have you done or learnt that can help your boss’s peer’s teams?
- Can you partner with someone in another department to help with their priorities?
- What internal talks or events can you do?
- What else?
Remember It’s a Number Game
Typically organisations have a limited number of people they can promote each year. It stops them from becoming top-heavy.
If the decision-makers want to put too many people forward for promotion and a ranking takes place, then you can guess the impact of your visibility.