Being excellent is not enough - you need to make sure others know you are the best.
It is important to stand out from the crowd. Research suggests that being good at your job does not get you promoted at work as much as people knowing about you.
For example, although all the athletes competing in an Olympic final are great, only three win medals and you will probably only remember the athlete that wins gold.
The difference between the first and second can be as little as micro-seconds, but the gold medal winner stands out from the other athletes and has a greater reward.
How then can you stand out from other fantastic nurses? One way is by raising your professional profile.
Think about why you want to raise your profile. Your objective should be to add value to your organisation and profession. In doing so, you will set out to be noticed for the right reasons.
Everyone has a talent. Raise your profile by showcasing yours. Find your strength and become excellent at it. Read the latest evidence and embed it in daily practice. Share what you learn with everyone because it will enable you to be seen as an expert.
Stick your neck out. If there is a problem at work, volunteer to fix it. Join forums and participate in them. Instead of airing problems, take a solution-focused approach. It will get you noticed for the right reasons.
Attend board meetings. You can attend first as an observer, then participate. The board of directors runs your organisation and need as much information as possible to make decisions.
Read the board papers, do your research and make your contribution by sharing vital information with them. If you are shy, inform the chair beforehand that you wish to contribute. At the end of meetings, introduce yourself and get noticed by the board.
Join professional groups. Share your expertise through writing for publications. Approach the editor of nursing journals and ask to publish material. Start by commenting in the opinion section. As you grow in confidence, read books and review them.
Everything you’ve learnt was because someone shared it. So, share with others. Write articles or publish research you have undertaken. Present at conferences.
Network at professional events. Grow your professional network through social media. LinkedIn is a good site. Create a CV and upload it. Join professional online groups and aim to do a lot. Blog to share your knowledge.
It’s not enough to be great if no one knows about you. So spread your seeds. They will take time to grow but, when they do, the rewards are great. Raise your head above the parapet; that’s the only way you’ll get noticed.
Ruth Oshikanlu is a nurse, midwife and practising health visitor in London. A coach and managing director of Goal Mind, she also works with individuals to uncover and analyse their key motivators, and coach them to perform at their best. She is also a Queen’s Nurse.
Seven ways to raise your profile
- Actively participate in work meetings, forums and board meetings
- Join professional forums and engage in them
- Present at conferences
- Publish in journals
- Take part in face-to-face networking
- Become a member of online professional networking sites
- Blog about your profession