career advice, career management, Careers, Personal Branding

Be Visible Where it Counts: At the Top

Mary Rosenbaum | February 7th, 2012

One sure way to manage your career is to make sure that you are visible to the right target audience inside your organization. How often do you get exposure to upper management? And what do the interactions consist of?

Ideally, you want upper management to know about the great job you are doing. But there are other reasons to reach beyond your immediate boss and get to know those above his/her level.

Seeing the bigger picture.

Someone at a higher level has a better understanding of how your job and department fits with the goals and mission of the company. They are also better informed on any new and upcoming initiatives and strategic goals. Having more conversations with upper management provide you with insight as to where you might fit in the greater scheme of things.

Getting a different kind of feedback.

Although your immediate boss provides you with periodic feedback on your work, it’s important to obtain feedback that is geared toward future development rather than past performance. You can gain a better understanding of which areas within the firm would suit the skillset you have and what you need to learn to stay on a forward moving track.

So how can you go about having more of those one-to-one conversations with upper management? Being shy or timid has no place in your life when you are the one in control of your career. I’m not advocating stalking or hounding upper management but there are more subtle ways to get the face time you need.

Stay in touch.

Are congratulations in order? An update on a project you’re working on that they have an interest in? An article you read or wrote that will remind her of a conversation you shared or a talk he gave or a lecture you both attended? A simple email that addresses and adds to the conversation is a great way to “touch” them at different times and stay visible in a good way.

Are you working on a project that is of interest to upper management? Although you are probably updating your immediate boss with progress reports, a cc on an email to his boss highlighting important achievements or milestones during the duration or completion of the project would be a great way to spotlight your achievement. In situations where this might be deemed inappropriate, ask your boss if you should cc upper management or would she rather forward the email to her boss instead. In either case make sure you write it in a way that highlights your work along with hers and anyone else who worked on the project.

Volunteer.

Is there a project of particular interest to upper management where your expertise would be welcome? Working with different people in different departments provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain visibility and showcase your skills and talents in a productive collaborative way. It also enables you to gain a different perspective of your company, maybe see the forest AND the trees.

Be creative.

Think beyond your immediate walls. Is there something you know that can be improved upon? Whether it’s creating greater efficiencies, finding new ways of applying information, or new tools that could be useful, take a risk and offer to spearhead the effort. The bigger your vision, the greater your visibility with the people who make the decisions in your organization.

In what other ways have you been successful in staying top of mind with upper management?

Related posts on Taking Control of Your Career and Expanding Your Network:

https://yourcareerbydesign.com/20120105/strengthen-your-personal-brand-build-your-career-with-purpose/

https://yourcareerbydesign.com/20111129/9-steps-to-building-your-network-learn-from-strong-leaders/

https://yourcareerbydesign.com/20111102/grow-your-network-leverage-your-brand/