Visibility As a Path to Healthcare Career Success

By Keith Carlson via Multibriefs

Being visible is a key to success that the savviest healthcare professionals adopt as their modus operandi. Visibility is multifaceted, occurring both within and outside your workplace, and the potential impact on your career trajectory is often woefully overlooked.

Visibility Within Your Organization

As a healthcare professional, visibility is crucial to navigating the current chapter of your career and moving towards the next phase of your journey.

Visibility within your place of employment creates new opportunities since those with influence may more readily take notice of your contributions. It also creates circumstances wherein you can leverage what you accomplish in your current position to curry favor with future employers.

Being visible within your organization can manifest in a number of ways:


One strategy for increasing visibility at work is being an “intrapreneur,” an employee who truly takes ownership your responsibilities. Intrapreneurs act as if the company they’re employed by is their own, and they go above and beyond to produce results.

Intrapreneurs often proactively and independently solve problems and tackle challenges without going over their managers’ heads. It’s a bold way of being in the workplace, especially for those who are natural leaders and innovators.

Chiming in and speaking up:

Being visible within your organization may mean taking risks and speaking up. When change is needed, you don’t wait for someone else to say something; instead, you make your opinion known.

Chiming in does not mean you freely share your opinions with everyone; this calls for strategic verbalization of your ideas, taking part in the ongoing conversation that is part of any organization’s culture.

Volunteering and stepping up:

Visibility within the workplace can be nurtured by stepping up when asked to do so. When the boss requests volunteers for a new committee, you agree to take part.

When your supervisor asks someone to take the new EHR for a test drive, you do it. This isn’t about having poor personal boundaries; rather, it’s about being actively engaged.

Those who sit in the corner doing only what’s expected (or less) will fade into the woodwork. In contrast, those who step out of the shadows and participate are actively creating a much more robust personal presence, increasing their visibility exponentially.

Being Visible Outside Your Organization

Visibility outside of your workplace is essential for creating a personal brand that reaches deep into your chosen profession. Having a strong brand that speaks volumes about who you are is a savvy career strategy.

Being visible in the professional world comes in many forms, and largely depends on your goals. Some ideas include:

Your LinkedIn presence:

If potential employers are going to Google you anyway, why not give them something substantial to find? It’s a prudent practice to optimize your LinkedIn profile and keep it updated with keyword-rich text that maximizes your profile in the LinkedIn search engine. LinkedIn allows you to:

  • Connect with like-minded professionals
  • Create a positive online presence
  • Strengthen your brand
  • Search for jobs
  • Join groups
  • Reach out to recruiters
  • Read the latest articles and updates
  • Write and publish your own articles to demonstrate your expertise
  • Research companies and organizations
  • Use LinkedIn as a powerful touchstone of your networking efforts

Your networking strategy:

Networking assiduously throughout your career has the potential to expose you to an enormous number of colleagues. Increasing your circle of influence lays the groundwork for serendipitous conversation and connection, as well as reaching out to your network with specific requests when the need arises. You can also make a habit of helping and supporting individuals in your network without expectation of reciprocation.

Networking can be accomplished in many ways, including:

  • Leveraging the power of LinkedIn
  • Using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc)
  • Attending regional, national, and international conferences
  • Connecting with professionals in your home town or city
  • Being an active member of a nursing organization or association
  • Volunteering locally or beyond

Other means of visibility

Your visibility can be fostered by means that increase your public profile, self-confidence, and your ability to share opinions on important issues. Such strategies can include:

  • Writing letters to the editor
  • Meeting with local and national legislators
  • Joining the Board of Directors of an organization you admire
  • Volunteering and giving of yourself
  • Becoming a keynote presenter or motivational speaker
  • Writing freelance for websites, magazines, or other publications

Remain Visible

Throughout your career, you can foster visibility both within your workplace and in the world beyond employment. You can just as freely share your opinion in various forms of public discourse or in a staff meeting.

Speaking up, being a force for change, and influencing others takes courage. You will be forced to grow beyond your comfort zone and expand your repertoire as you move decisively forward in your career.

Being visible is something to foster on many levels, and where and when you’re visible is entirely in your hands. Choose wisely, and consistently move your career in a positive direction.

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, has been a nurse since 1996. He is the blogger behind the award-winning blog, Digital Doorway and a widely read freelance nurse writer. Keith is also the co-host of RNFM Radio, a popular Internet radio station devoted to the nursing profession. Under the auspices of Nurse Keith Coaching, Keith's passion is helping nurses and healthcare professionals create ultimate satisfaction in both their personal and professional lives.


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