Most professions that don’t involve physically manual labor all share a common trait. Advancement and progression require more work put into curating how you’re perceived, as opposed to reality. This probably seems odd for most, especially considering all those years in school we’ve all had told us the opposite.

Unfortunately, that was a setup for failure. So today we’re going to dive more into perception, and how you can use some tactics to influence it to your advantage.

Widespread Comunication Of Your Work

This is a sad reality of the workplace today. If you’re working on something, and it’s not widely known you’re working on it, then you actually aren’t. I know that sounded like complete word salad, but let me explain. Most people inherently don’t fully have trust in the people they work with, or progress is being made. This is even more so when the personality/work style of yourself and your manager doesn’t fit.

So taking the extra step to ensure all your work is visible via Slack, team or org-wide demos, etc. It’s an extra step, wish it wasn’t necessary, but it is.

Focusing On The Right Pojects

As much as completing work, with a good velocity, of course, is important, it’s more important to ensure you’re a part of the right projects as well. Unfortunately to a degree this is out of an individual’s hands and has a strong reliance on your relationship with your manager. However, it is important to be able to identify opportunities that present the most impact and flash.

Having the right portfolio of work is another key aspect in building up your perception, and preparing you for promotion.

Building Your Own Relationships

Good relationships amongst people you work with can be critical in a lot of situations you could find yourself in. At the end of the day, all the good things you do mean nothing if the people around you can’t vouch for your character and work ethic. No matter who you are, or where you are, there will always be a time when a situation occurs and you’ll need the support of the people around you for support.

Working Outside Your Direct Team

Adding on to building relationships, taking the next step is going beyond your immediate work circle. Depending on your skill level and experience, this could be easy or difficult. For those more established it’s not hard to get involved with other teams, not so much for those starting out. Either way, it’s important to make the effort because this is the final step in establishing your presence within the entirety of the organization.

In Closing

It’s a hard truth, but it is what it is. The most critical aspect of growing your career is managing perception. Depending on your personality, and life experience, this can be easy or difficult. Either way, the sooner you understand this the better off you’ll be in the long run. While this was a good introduction, there is much more to managing perception. In a later article(s) we’ll go more into how to mitigate challenges to your perception and character, and how to know when it’s time to walk away.