For some reasons, the topic of “Getting Visible” has been popping up left right and centre with my friends, clients and colleagues last week.
It daunts on me that the common issue here is that women tend to have a disadvantage in getting visible in our nature. It has been socialized and conditioned into our psyche that we need to take care of others first and so getting visible never seems to be our first instinct.
However, it definitely affects our chances to get a promotion or pay rise at work. This is not because women are being discriminated necessarily, but if our work isn’t visible, and at the same time we are not proactive in asking for more, our boss doesn’t know our worth and what much we have been doing in the shadow.
If you are running your own business, getting your product and services visible means strong marketing online and/or offline. So many women I know love to tirelessly improve their product or services, and they will keep learning and perfecting their craft and skills. But when it comes to marketing and sales, they are not as nearly as excited, if at all.
Now, when it comes to our home front, how many of us feeling our workday doesn’t actually end when we leave our office? When we get home, we need to make dinner, tidy up the mess and wash dishes. If you have children, then we add picking up the kids, bath them, feed them, prep the next day lunch/school and eventually put them to bed.
What I’ve noticed is that many of us tend to “suffer in silence” as in, we try to do it all. We want to manage things our way and if things get tough, we just work harder or endure.
Although what I’ve outlined are 3 separate and different scenarios where we get stuck, there are common “remedies” that can be helpful in all three scenarios.
We need to speak up and show up
No one can read our mind, and in a busy world like this, our boss or customers don’t know what we have done and what we can offer unless we tell them and show them. Nothing needs to be a hard-sell, but we must communicate what we are working on, our progress and how can we be more helpful to our managers. Only then, they are aware of our responsibilities and accomplishments.
As for our business, we also have the responsibility to communicate with our customers how we can best help them to solve their problems. And that’s the essence of authentic marketing. It’s not about how to try to make money from people but how to best serve them with our product and services.
Ask for help
This often requires a change of mindset, where asking for help is not a sign of weakness but courage. Sometimes we can’t do certain things on our own, and the end result will be actually better if we have creative ideas or physical input from others. The old saying used to be “It takes a village to raise a child”, and in a way, it is better for the child to grow up in a close-knit community than just a nuclear family.
Not only we should ask for help, but we should ask as early as possible. People generally like to help and if we can just let people know in advance what we need, it is much easier for people to help us too. This applies to ask your spouse to take over dinner or washing up duties when you have a work deadline. If you are looking for a new job, invite your friends to help you to brainstorm ways to improve your C.V. or suggestion for new roles. If you are a business owner, you may want to call in other business owners or friends who know your industry and bounce new marketing ideas.
Do you notice how some people walk into the room and people look up and pay attention? I am not trying to ask you do wear crazy clothes or talk in a way that will raise eyebrows, but I know there is a subtle difference when someone is confident and centred versus those who are not.
Confidence is not something that you are born with or if you are an extrovert, then you automatically have it. On the contrary, I know many extroverts who are actually insecure inside but they only try to mask it. Confidence is a skill that we can all improve. If you know what you are saying and doing, you will be more comfortable to share your opinion or ideas. So if it is at work or business networking, do your homework, learn about the topics that will get discussed, attend more events to practice your confidence.
Another aspect of this is about loving yourself, know that you matter, you have something inside of you that is worth sharing. We all have our own individual purpose, gift and talent, don’t under-estimate yours and over-estimate others. All men are created equal, but how we view and treat one another is our completely own choice and responsibility.
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