Recently I was asked, “how do I know my relevance and impact in my current position?”
This is such a great question. Often times, we’re focused on looking for advancement or new challenges when we could be spending as much time making sure we are as relevant as possible in our current role.
Ask yourself a few questions to determine how you are currently perceived at work:
- What type of projects are aligned to me and my team?
- Do people seek out my opinion and advice?
- What role or roles do I have on projects?
- Do I ask for the opportunity that can increase my relevance?
Women can often be pegged for more administrative roles when they are part of a task force. With this, sometimes it’s difficult to increase their relevance. This can be because of the roles assigned to us and can be direct or indirect because we fail to ask for a power position on special projects or task forces. Rather than wait and see what we are offered, consider, asking for strategic roles or projects to increase your relevance.
Women tend to believe that if they work hard, show up and do their best that their boss and peers will see their relevance impact. However, the truth is another thing altogether. To be viewed as offering relevance impact within your current position you need to examine how you are viewed by your boss, your peers and by others within the organization. It requires a little strategic planning or strategic influence.
Perfecting your communication skills and seeking out relationships across business silos is an important step in developing your influence skills. Asking questions, seeking new knowledge and developing relationships across all levels of the organization allows people to see you and connect your name with the idea of being smart, creative, inquisitive and a person of integrity; all important qualities for developing strategic influence.
In my award-winning book Accelerate Your Impact, I have a chapter called Gauging Your Impact in which I talk in more detail about understanding your current relevance impact. Ask yourself this question:
How relevant do you think you are for where you desire to have more influence and impact?
I found through my informal survey that many professionals with more than 15 years in the workforce lean on years of experience, prestigious networks and situational career lessons to shape their relevance. But like many of us, they are now grappling with how to be more relevant as social media invades our inbox and shapes our brands.
Back to You
The first step is to hold the mirror up to where you are today and how you are being perceived. If there is a disconnect between how others see you and what you believe you offer, then you may have some work to do. Invest in yourself, talk to your boss, and ask for additional opportunities to contribute. Make sure people understand the relevance impact you have or have the opportunity to have.
Many professional women aspire to advance their career, but most encounter common obstacles because they don’t have “The Professional Playbook” to navigate corporate cultures. Download three chapters of the professional playbook for women that includes initiatives to accelerate your professional growth.
- What Will it Mean if You Say No?
- How to Deal with the Negative Attitudes that Threaten Your Career
- The Power of Words: Being Mindful
- Searching for Career Clarity and Direction
- How to Manage Career Fears
- You Are the Best Investment
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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