Some people believe that if you put your head above the parapet at work it will only result in it being “shot off”.  But is keeping a low profile at work really a good idea, or should we be more proactive?

On the basis that you only get out of something what you are prepared to put into it, then work is no different.  Great sportsmen and women didn’t become great by waiting at home for someone to find them, they worked hard to improve themselves and put themselves about so that they were known.

Gary Player once replied to a gentleman who claimed he made a lucky shot out of a bunker “Well, the harder I practice, the luckier I get”.   Work is not different, if you want success and promotion you need to “put your head above the parapet”.

The key thing to do is to make sure you sell yourself on a regular basis.  Too often people think that all they need to do is a good job.  While this is clearly vital, if no one knows that you have done a good job you may as well not have bothered in the first place.  It is exactly the same in business – you may have come up with the best product in the market, but if no one knows about it they won’t buy it!  This means that you have to let your manager and others know when you have been successful.  Whilst publicly bragging about your achievements will just alienate your colleagues, a simple email to your boss outlining the success you have had in a particular area will probably suffice.

Equally important is building a network in your organisation.  By getting to know colleagues in other areas of the business, you may find opportunities to expand your role or develop yourself further.  Again it is unlikely that these opportunities will be handed to you, you have to go out and find them. Get to know the senior managers in the organisation, demonstrate to them that you are interested in helping the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives.  Show them that you care and talk to them about how you might help.

It’s never really a good idea to keep a low profile at work and it is probably even more so in the current climate.  Many organisations are actively seeking to reduce costs and cut jobs, so make sure you don’t become one of the statistics and make yourself indispensable.