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Wunmi Adelusi: Things that Downplay your Visibility in the Workplace

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With five months into the year 2021, I have received several emails inviting me to serve on committees within and outside my workplace. This is not to mention that I was recognised by 9to5Chick as one of the top 100 career women in Nigeria.

This is the result of all the work I have put into my career through the years. It is a culmination of years of efforts, some of which seem small but are paying off because I was deliberate about them.

But it is not just the efforts put into one’s work that counts, being visible is also important. The truth is that with more intentionality at visibility, we get results faster. It takes being strategic and intentional to get visible at work. Perhaps you feel you have done all that you know about visibility but still aren’t getting the desired result, you may want to pay attention to the many ways you are unknowingly downplaying your visibility moves.

So here are five things we do that downplay our visibility in the workplace:

Not Owning or Accepting Compliments

As a woman, one of the things we are taught from childhood is ‘modesty’. Unfortunately, we do not apply context to this. Well, I took this ‘modesty’ to the workplace, including when I am paid a compliment. So instead of accepting compliments, I am quick to interject or deflect it because… humility. Several years after, I have realized the damage this does to one’s visibility. Now, I am deliberate about letting people finish paying their compliments, and I take it further by saying “thank you, I appreciate it” either in person or on social media. Owning and accepting compliments shows confidence and confidence boosts visibility.

Being Secretive About What you Are Working on

Many of us have been taught that it is better to cover up whenever good things are happening for you and not let people know. I often struggle with making a decision to share or not to share. Well, this is not entirely helpful in gaining visibility. Understandably, some projects require confidentiality, however, you should understand the kind of confidentiality required – know what you can say or cannot say about the project and if asked whether you are a part of the project, simply acknowledge without feeling the need to explain yourself further. Acknowledging the projects you work on is a simple yet powerful move.

Not Doing More than What is required

To get better visibility, you always have to do more than is required. In most job vacancy adverts, the ‘instruction’ is usually ‘minimum requirement’, meaning there is room to do more, and only those who do beyond the required gets the attention of management.

Not Paying Attention to your Work’s Credit

Being indifferent when it comes to taking credit for your work does more harm than good. It is your work and you did it, so take the credit for it. That is how relevant stakeholders will get to know what you are capable of doing. 

Dismissing Collaboration

I know people often avoid collaborating with others at the workplace because of possible misunderstandings that could arise. Funnily enough, the misunderstandings we are trying to avoid will still come anyway, provided we work with human beings. Collaboration amplifies visibility in the workplace because it is two goods heads coming together, leveraging on each others strength and network. Collaboration aids your ability to work in a team, helps you go farther and achieve more. Never eat alone!

Which of these points resonates with you the most?



Featured Image: Pexels

Wunmi is an experienced finance specialist with outstanding academic and professional achievements. She is a mom of two boys. Currently, she works in the Financial Services Industry. Spurred by the desire to inspire young professionals, she started an online community of millennial employees where she shares relevant information aimed at building, empowering, inspiring, supporting and promoting employees to thrive in their careers.