Strategies for Emerging Leaders To Increase Visibility at Work

Why Visibility Matters for Emerging Leaders

For emerging leaders, visibility in the workplace isn’t just about being seen; it’s about being recognized for your leadership potential and value to the organization. High visibility can lead to more opportunities to get ahead, increased trust from senior management, and a stronger influence in departmental or organizational decision-making.

For example, if you were a project manager and volunteered to lead a challenging cross-departmental initiative. Through this initiative, you not only showcase your leadership skills but also your ability to impact results. You then might catch the eye of upper management, which could lead to more open doors to future leadership roles. It’s like dominos where one thing affects the next.

What Exactly is Visibility in the Workplace?

Visibility in the workplace means that your contributions, skills, and potential are recognized and appreciated by both your colleagues and senior leaders within your organization. In my world, I define it as strategically positioning yourself in situations where you can clearly demonstrate your impact and capabilities.

So, how can you increase your visibility? Great question! Here are some strategies to do just that.

  1. Take on High-Visibility Projects – One of the most effective ways to increase your visibility is to get involved in projects that matter to the organization. These could be new initiatives that align with the company’s strategic goals or troubled projects needing a turnaround. For instance, as an analyst who aspires to higher levels of leadership in a tech company, maybe you volunteered to work on a new product launch that was critical to the company’s yearly goals. Your successful management and execution of the project not only delivered the desired results but also showcased your capability to handle high-impact assignments.
  2. Speak Up in Meetings – Your voice in meetings can be a powerful tool for visibility. It’s not just about talking; it’s about making meaningful contributions. Do your homework on the front side of the meeting and make some notes about where you can contribute. You can get noticed when you speak up, ask good questions, or propose solutions to which you’ve invested some thought. Jot these down on a notecard to keep focused; if there’s an agenda, that’s a great place to make some notes, too.
  3. Build a Strong Network – Networking isn’t just for job seekers; it’s a crucial tool for anyone looking to rise in their career or leadership. Once created, your network continues to be nurtured and developed, not discarded. Focusing on creating connections within and outside your department is always helpful. Attend industry conferences, company events, and networking gatherings. For instance, as an aspiring leader in finance, you can make it a point to connect with senior leaders during corporate workshops or events. This can facilitate mentorships and even get you a slot for an advanced training program.
  4. Take Initiative – Showing initiative involves identifying opportunities and proactively bringing solutions to the table. What do you notice within your organization? Is there something that could be done better? Maybe it’s a role you have in mind, but it hasn’t been created yet. In one of my leadership development cohorts, three emerging leaders had a vision for what they wanted to impact in their organization and how their skills tied in, creating new roles that benefited themselves and the organization.
  5. Engage in Continuous Learning –  Always keep learning. It doesn’t matter where you are in your leadership timeline; knowledge and implementing that knowledge keeps you relevant. The earlier you start this in your career, the more visibility it creates for you. It’s not just your skills but also staying tuned to industry trends. Whether taking courses, attending workshops, or getting a certification, continuous learning shows your commitment to your personal and professional growth.

What Now?

Are you ready to elevate your career and increase your visibility within your organization? Start by identifying one strategy from above to implement this week. Whether taking on a new project or speaking up more in meetings, each step you take is a move toward your future vision of your leadership.

Related: 5 Tips for Emerging Leaders: Boundary Setting to Prevent Burnout