As part of our Job Seeker’s Readiness Guide (July 2010 issue), we look at how you can improve your career opportunities through your résumé, your network, your skill set, your profile, and your flexibility (see the July issue of Black Enterprise). Here, we give you five tips for raising your visibility at work:
Follow the 100 days program. In your first 100 days of joining a company, sit down with top executives for 20 minutes in visible areas. Share your agenda and ask them targeted questions such as how they garnered their positions and how they got to the next level.
Get advocates. An advocate is someone who can give you insight, coaching, advice, and counseling; connect you to people; and speak in your favor. Also find mentors inside and outside of your company. A mentor is someone you respect and admire and who will share his or her experiences and knowledge. Make sure that your mentor is easily accessible, will provide you with an objective ear, and cares about your success as much as you do.
Self-promote. Don’t be afraid to make your contributions known. Show how you or your team was challenged with a situation and explain the actions that were taken to resolve the issue, and share the remarkable results.
Grow your network. Networking is relational. When you exchange business cards, put a note on the back that indicates where you met the person, a unique identifier, and some kind of action item, such as following up with an e-mail or sending an invitation for coffee. Manage, maintain, and get to know the person.
Use social media effectively. “Create the brand you want others to see,” says Patricia E. Perkins, CEO of Exodus Coaching Inc. in Chicago. Update your status with success stories, quotes, and join groups and create dialogue that is relevant and current. Avoid taking photos you believe can be jeopardizing to your career.
LaToya M. Smith is an assistant editor at Black Enterprise.