Work in an agency? Then don’t underestimate the importance of raising your profile. JB gives some guidance on the best ways to go about it.
You might be the best damn adcept-drawer, meeting-room-booker, or powerpoint-animation-generator EVER, but that’s no goddamn use if the majority of people in your agency don’t know your name.
Raising your profile at work is one of the most important things you can do during the early stages of your career (especially if you work in a medium-big sized agency), and here’s five ways how:
>> 1) Put your hand up.
Sometimes you’ve got to be a bit of a keeno and volunteer for shit. Social clubs/research groups/agency meetings etc. Getting involved in more stuff than your day job means that people you don’t always come into contact with start to know your name, and start to understand the added value you bring to the workplace.
>> 2) Push for new opportunities.
If you’re lucky, opportunities will fall in your lap. But that’s the exception not the rule, so if there’s a big career box you feel like you need to tick then make it happen. Laziness is rife and even people with lots of ideas often let them die because it would take a bit of added effort. DON’T BE ONE OF THEM! Persevere (aka polite pestering) until you make headway on that new initiative you have in mind. This no doubt means shifting your current commitments around and probably creating a business case too: extra work initially but the pay-offs will be hugely satisfying.
>> 3) Drink!
It’s a sad but true fact: there’s no better way to bond with colleagues than to drink with them. Even if you’re tee-total, get yourself out there to the social nights/birthday parties/pub lunches and converse with people (we work in the communications industry, after all). Even if it pushes you outside of your usual clique, you’ll start to be known by more and more people (hopefully not for any antics…) and you’ll become a recognised face in the agency.
>> 4) Write for your agency’s website/blog/social media.
Most agencies these days have blogs. Those that don’t will at least have social feeds, and I’m sure they’ll be crying out for people to help write content. Get involved and suddenly you’ve got a bit of digital airtime and your name is permanently associated with your agency.
>> 5) Stand out.
Yes, physically. I don’t mean dying your hair green or wearing furs at all times, nothing as contrived as that, but at least try and have a physical presence. Slouching around in scruffy gear isn’t going to turn heads. There’s a guy at my current agency known for his tartan trousers. He wears them about once a month, and the rest of the time dresses pretty normally, but he made a splash that he’s now known for. And that’s much better than blending into the background.
A high profile means opportunities start coming to you, rather than you seeking them. It means you have the ear of important people who will at times make important decisions about your career. And it means you start to become an indispensable member of the agency – which can only be a good thing.
Words by Jo Birch