In a critical annual annual review meeting, my manager said: Tasneem you are doing great work, keep at it! But, in order for you to be promoted, more people need to know you, inside & outside at work.
I left the meeting feeling sad, frustrated, and lost. I wanted to tell him, do you know how hard it is for me to go and 'network'? Do you know how difficult it is for me to start talking to that 'cool lady' there who seems like she has it all figured out? Why can't my great work be enough?
After receiving that feedback, I vowed to myself I will try, not by becoming someone I am not, but finding ways that will work for me as an Introvert and still build my visibility. I stepped back, tapped into my strengths, and came up with ways that worked wonderfully for me. I continued to progress in my corporate job in fairly senior roles.
You see, in your earlier years, putting your head down and doing great work gets you far. Then comes a point when you are ready to become a leader; whether it is a role like team lead or getting a title like Director. These roles require you to step up, have a network you can rely on and of course, them to rely on you and have stakeholders who will vote for you when it is time to get promoted.
But, this requires you to have strong, impressionable relationships.
As a leadership coach and trainer, I see the issue of visibility show up for my introverted clients over and over again. They say things like 'small talk is really hard for me' or 'I sometimes hide in washrooms at conferences when it's break time' or 'I find being on camera in video meetings really draining and uncomfortable'. I have helped many overcome this by coming up ways that feel authentic to them.
I want to share some ideas with you as well in the hopes they help you build the visibility you need so you can continue to thrive in your career in an authentic way. Please consider this free resource a gift from me to you. It has 10 easy ideas that you can start to implement right away to build your visbility and your network at work in a way that feels right, with ease and flow.