I know what you're thinking.
When I say the word 'visibility' you cringe.
You see yourself standing on a stage. Presenting to a big audience.
Or, standing at the back of the room, looking around. Awkwardly balancing a writing pad, a handbag, a cup of coffee and that delicious-looking (but frankly disappointing) Danish you picked up. Knowing no one. Leaving with nothing.
Or worse: You feel that the one way to make yourself visible is. Posting. On. Social. Media!
And yes, I've got bad news for you.
No. not really.
It's bad news and good news.
If you want to change careers, at one point you're going to have to get visible.
You can't do it on your own.
Moving jobs: You're going to have to network and get information from others, talk to recruiters, and, in the end, go for a formal interview.
Change industries, change profession, change careers: First of all you'll need to find out if this new career idea you've thought up is even for you. Which means that you'll have to network, talk about what you want, about what you want to find out, and see what opportunities are out there.
Setting up your own business: You're going to have to get customers, and suppliers. You're going to have to (say it with me) ... network. You're going to have to get comfortable with talking about what you do, why you do it, what results you get.
In other words, WHATEVER your career transformation consists of (or EVEN if you DON'T want to change careers at all, but WOULD like to get that promotion) then you're going to have to get ... ?
Visible. That's right.
The good news though is that you don't HAVE to get visible in a way that makes you cringe.
Not very good at standing in a room full of strangers, looking for people you can talk to? (Is anyone?) You don't HAVE to do that.
So, here are some ideas:
First of all, do you know who you would like to talk TO? To find out more about that job opportunity? Or what it is like to work in his or her industry? Or what it is like to set up your own business? No? Well, let's start there.
The HOW of networking (where do I meet people like that?) becomes a whole lot easier. Because networking can then mean: joining a workshop or a webinar, or a conference, doing a course. It can mean going on a networking walk or a coffee date.
Networking is, really, a different way of saying 'To meet interesting people' (and if you're interested in that you *may* be interested in our regular - Coffee 'n Chat - coffee date every Friday in Pick 'n Mix - the community for creative, multi-passionate women).
Joining groups online or in person
To immerse yourself into a new field you may want to dip your toes in the water first. Join groups. Meet people who do the work that you're interested in, or have the same passion or interest as you. Get known. Find your tribe.
'Mining' your network
Are you interested in a specific industry, or even company? Have a look at your current network. Do you know someone who knows someone who works in that company (Tip: Look at your 2nd connections on LinkedIn)? Would your contact be happy to make an introduction? Yes? GREAT!
Follow organisations or people that interest you. Find posts you can get comment intelligently on. Follow, like and comment.
Asking for an informational interview
Have a real conversation. Ask for 20 minutes of someone's time. Ask what it's like to work in their organisation. Get curious about what people do. Test if the organisation and the work they do sound fun, interesting, and like something you would enjoy doing. (Don't know what an 'informational interview' is? Read my blog: 'What even IS an informational interview')
Writing an article or post
Yes, I'm going to mention it here. Not because you have to. Because not everyone feels comfortable posting or sharing their wisdom publicly.
However, regularly posting content *may* establish you within your chosen industry. It shows others that you know what you're talking about. It shows what you've got to offer to potential clients or employers.
In summary, the bad news is this: You can't do this career change thing on your own without ever talking to others.
You're going to have to become visible.
The good news is: you don't HAVE to choose the most scary way of doing things (first). Take a look at what feels EASIEST to you. What *may* even be fun.
And then do that!
One little step after another after another.
Let's get visible!
Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler.
Join her now in Pick 'n Mix - the FREE community for creative, multi-passionate women ...