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Raise your profile to gain promotion


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



Readers' comments (4)

  • It used to be called brown-nosing, now it's networking!
    Never make yourself indispensible at work, they'll never let you go!

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  • quite a good idea but those who really get to the top of the nursing ladder are the ones with the sharpest tongues and elbows, the loudest voices and are hot on narcissism.

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  • redpaddys12 | 11-Sep-2012 6:01 am

    unfortunately no-one is indispensible, have been there, we are numbers not human beings.

    Anonymous | 11-Sep-2012 12:39 pm

    to get to the top you have to be a puppet/yes person, so that you don't make waves. You challenge..then you can expect humiliation

    I was told by one student (yes student) that they would get where they wanted to be because they had the 'gift of the gab', and sadly that goes a long interviews.

    You may think I am being 'narcistic', but I know I am knowledgable and 'good at a job' I should have had, but pipped by... well have said already! Since then I have been in a managerial (lateral) position, honest in my selection of eligible candidates, but have been subject to the corruption of selection.

    Working in the NHS is one of survival, I feel privileged to be a veteran of the NHS in my 40th year. I dare say I won't feel the the same emotions once retired...for my advanced years. I do hope I have made a difference???.. but back to my first comment, no-one is indispensible.

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  • Anonymous | 12-Sep-2012 1:05 am

    Anonymous | 11-Sep-2012 12:39 pm

    I agree with you and feel more bitter after retirement with time to reflect on and analyse my career which had been highly successful until the last 10 years when I had to change jobs for family reasons at the age of 50. This was ultimately disastrous for my career and forced me into early retirement.

    unfortunately in British society, not just the NHS, we have been reduced to numbers to all except our own immediate family. I blame IT this. It seems to have damaged interpersonal relations and communications and led us into a largely uncaring, uncompassionate and sterile world. any service you use, you are just a collection of data which can be viewed on a screen. on the occasions you have face to face service your own personal appearance, attributes and preferences are of little interest, it is the recordable data which is of importance, some based on assumptions of the interlocutor, to identify you and 'serve' you. when you are born, details of your family, where you live, marry, have children, put money in the bank, purchase a house, use utilities and other services, pay your taxes, become ill, have a disability and eventually die, your data is turned into statistics, some of which is processed, and stored for posterity, or as long as needed.
    What is not needed after death can presumably be wiped off without trace. What can be used to the advantages of any company is retained and used or sold on for marketing, etc.

    It does not necessarily mean you will be provided with the service or support you require or request. So much for 'from ashes to ashes, dust to dust' your statistics will live on for as long as they are of any use!

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