I started a new job almost six weeks ago. Before I became a solopreneur a few years ago, I left my last job feeling pretty invisible. For most of my career, I assumed that if I just did great work and built strong relationships, I’d be promoted, people would see my potential, and I’d reach the pinnacle of what was possible from a leadership perspective. That was not the case. While I had a clear vision of all the things I could do for XYZ Company, I failed to paint that picture for others and advocate for myself more strongly.
So, like all humans, I’m carrying some baggage into New Company.
An important part of remote work is making your value visible. I went in aiming to make myself visible, posting in various Slack channels over the first few weeks and scheduling more than a dozen internal networking chats with new co-workers. And then it occurred to me, maybe I’m trying too hard. I realized I’m overcorrecting for the past.
I want to have a voice and influence immediately when I’ve built very little social capital. So, rather than appearing as someone interesting who others might want to connect with, I’m potentially appearing as someone who is desperately trying too hard, and actually repelling potential connections.
In honor of grace and kindness to myself, I’d prefer to take more of an objective observation approach than a beat myself up approach. Hmn, isn’t this interesting? What do I need to learn here? How might I find more patience with this and get to know people over time?
It’s all about balance. I’ve struggled with what to disclose about myself, my work experience, and when, and I want everyone to know all the ways I’m awesome in one nice list: the instant download of history, skills, interests, talents, passions that makes a colleague want to get me on the project team for that exciting next piece of work (I write this mostly tongue-in-cheek).
So, time to pause and slow down for a bit while I determine my strategy.