Creating the Image of Yourself You Want Others to See
There are many factors affecting career development that you have little control over. These might be the company’s willingness to expand or the repeated failure of projects that severely affect the company’s bottom line.
However, when it comes to you and how you are seen by others you have full control. I bet you are asking now, why does this matter? You do your job well and you are a valuable member of the team.
What you might not realize is that one of the most important factors affecting career development is how differently other people might see you. This may have a negative impact on your career advancement as different people see a different side of your “working” personality. If they do, they will judge your ability to take on senior management roles in different ways.
Let’s take a look at all the different kinds of people you work with. There will be those under you, people in your team, your colleagues at a similar management level in your company, and of course, your bosses, those at a senior level you aspire to join. Each one sees you differently from each other, as well as, from how you see yourself.
Confusing, isn’t it? Well, it’s also quite a normal thing because we behave differently towards others we are in a senior position to than those who are senior to us. We might be more serious looking down the corporate ladder, and more appeasing looking up. We might be more fun and share jokes with our colleagues, and be more emotionally supportive to those on our team. If you take all of the different sides to your personality it goes to make up you as a whole.
The important thing to note here is whether you are hiding the important aspects of yourself and hurting your chances of promotion in the process.
If you are at an impasse in your career then it might be time to take a look at how others perceive you. You might be frustrated by seeing others promoted over you. You may feel that you are not being valued and should perhaps find employment with another company. This can take time and a great deal of effort so make sure it is what you want. Or could you simply change how others see you and stay in a job you enjoy?
What you should do is identify the things that people see in you that are positive and worthwhile to the company. You could create a file that lists the people you work with, and what they know and understand about you.
The next step is to use that information to influence your own view of yourself. This will help you build a better picture of who you are, and more importantly, what you have to offer the company. This will help you influence and change how others see you.
Getting to know yourself will always prove to be tricky so you might want to enlist the help of someone you trust at work. They might be able to show you how to adjust your personal and professional approach to ensure that you are seen in the very best light by each and every person you work with.
Getting that promotion you deserve and climbing the corporate ladder may seem easier for some than others. You might feel like you are missing out, and that is simply not fair. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Taking control and power over where you want to go is about seeing yourself more clearly. Understanding what changes you need to make to succeed and implementing those changes are the first steps to developing a successful career in management.
And always remember:
Great managers are made. Not born.
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