I am very long and early in my career. One of the tips I received from friends, parents, and others is "be more visible to the boss". That means:

  • Raise questions in meeting no matter how small or big, but at least it must be reasonable

  • Join team building sessions and events, despite the fact that I might hate joining (I'm somewhat of an introvert)

  • Participate as a volunteer in the company's work, such as helping to organize events, etc.

But one thing I notice is that this probably works "in the long term", and the reward of it takes a very long time to see. From my current point of view, I see that it seems like a waste because the reward is not even visible to me. I mean, how can "appearing more in their eyes" translate to "better trust, promotion, and responsibility, etc."?

I want to ask: how did you guys do it, and did it help?


3 Answers 3


So - your Parents and friends are right.

Source: I'm one of the most visible people in my team. Both physically (I've got long hair and a beard) but also in the manner described - I've had no problem in speaking up and speaking my mind on an issue.

Now, I'll start with the bad - it is a double edged sword. If you push to hard or are too visible, some people may form a negative opinion of you. That did happen at one place I worked at - however there were other factors at play there.

It will also place your work under much higher scrutiny - so you need to put in that extra effort to ensure that everything is done properly.

And should you screw up - you'll need to make your amends equally visible (once, I screwed up a migration project - caused a lot of downtime etc. I bought cake for both offices as an apology)

Now, the Good.

It has benefitted my career. Senior management know me and know my name. They know that if something is going wrong in their organization, I will let them know about it. They know that I'm not going to kiss-arse and be a yes man and that I will disagree with them (respectfully, of course, and with an alternative plan, fully realized and developed).

I get invited to participate on interesting projects - both because they know I'll get shit done, but also they know that if needed, I'll make the necessary noise to accomplish it.

I continually demonstrate initiative - I'll not sit on my ass, twiddling my thumbs - I'll go out and look for trouble (poorly optimized systems, business inefficiences etc.), I'll reach out to other parts of the business and talk with them about things (we've had a lot of company merges and integrations and lots of silos - I'm breaking down those silo walls).

All these things have put me in very good standing with the Company.

You've put in your answer that you are a junior and just starting out your career - think of it like this: By practicing speaking up and participating and making yourself visible now, when you get more experience and seniority, you'll have honed those abilities to be a truly corporate force.

Don't dismiss the value of forming a good habit now - it will pay dividends in the future.


This might help you getting promoted.

When someone is evaluated for an internal promotion the decision makers usually look whether a candidate already has shown some of the behaviours they expect them to perform in the new role.

As you progress through your career from an entry level position to a more senior role (whether it is management, or as individual contributor) usually two things change:
1.) your expected area of influence increases. First you focus only on your team, then you will work with multiple teams or a small area and the most senior roles taking responsibility for whole departments or companies.

2.) you will more and more be responsible to define your own work, rather to just take a well defined task from a backlog.

To increase your chances for potential promotions that means you need to have an impact in a little bit wider area than you are usually comfortable in and ideally you come up with the ideas for this work yourself. You will only know what is going on outside of your immediate team, if you are in meetings with people from other areas.

I am an introvert too, but I also love to work on stuff that makes sense and matters, so I naturally want to be involved in the bigger discussions. Now I am the go-to-person for questions around my area and I keep running in people I never met, who already know who I am.

These are things I have done (these points might be very specific to software developer, though):

  • I wrote some part of our development guides.
  • I voluntarily reviewed code changes to an important part of our code base, many people write to
  • When trying to solve problems, I reach out to people in other teams who have done it already
  • I am joining cross-department work groups
  • I am part of the hiring process as an interviewer
  • I was part of our organisation wide on-call schedule
  • I took over on of the on-boarding trainings for new highers
  • I am the first responders to many bugs and inquiries in our slack channel
  • I am asking question in presentations from leadership

This is a long list, since I am doing my job for a while and some of these required me to get out of my comfort zone, but now they start feeling more natural to me. If you are in the beginning of your career, you might want to pick one or two things that you feel mostly comfortable with, but that push you a little bit out there and give yourself some time to grow into it and see the benefits of it by yourself.


There aren't really any silver bullets.

Different managers have their own idea of what they like and don't like, and any one behaviour or trait will be seen differently by different managers.

There's only a few general principles. Pushing yourself modestly is a good thing, but it's best also to go with the grain of your own personality most of the time.

If you're in a real career, then you usually have to be work-oriented. You can't just go home and forget about it all.

Career progression also usually means being given responsibilities of some kind. You must show that you work effectively and have initiative to get things done - as opposed to somebody who has to have things organised for them, or makes a mess of things.

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