I feel I am much more than what my current job asks me to be. I feel parts of me are not at all visible to others because it’s not part of my current role. I wish people could see the whole of me than just what my job entails.
This could be you.
You are employed based on the market value/demand of certain skills you have.
Fitment for a job is usually done by comparing the knowledge/skills a person has, with the knowledge/skills that are needed for the job. While 100% skill fitment is Utopia, our current recruitment endeavour seeks to maximise the commonality between the above two (not that I am saying its perfect).
Once such a match is found, the person gets onboarded provided all the other hygiene factors match expectations both ways. The person who gets onboarded leverages the skills he was recruited for and gains experience, efficiency & effectiveness on the job.
They become even better at their skills as they exercise it every other day. Once this happens, it’s easier for people to bucket them on what they do best. So more opportunities larger in scale come their way to do the same thing.
One may wonder, what's wrong with it. Nothing: if the individual likes that kind of progression.
One of the reasons not to like it is: there could be a set of strengths the person has inherently, that are not leveraged because it's not in the nature of their job that they do. These strengths remain hidden from others for years sometimes.
It's possible some of these strengths could never be leveraged in the organisational context. Fair enough.
Its also possible, that there could be a lot of strengths that are useful for higher roles like strategy, ideation, creativity, inclusiveness, etc that remain hidden because they were not leveraged in operational/execution roles.
While one can have a victim mindset ranting about how the system does not make them visible, it more prudent to have a player mindset to help oneself.
The ‘Johari window’ is a self-awareness tool created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham.
It helps one to make sense of what information is known to self and what is known to others.
It also details what one needs to do to help the cause.
Information known to Self & known to others becomes the ‘Arena‘ (that is open and place for constructive conversations & relationships)
Information unknown to self & known to others becomes the ‘Blind spot’ (where one needs to get feedback from others to understand)
Information known to self & Unknown to others becomes the “Facade” ( Wearing a Mask, not being able to authentic)
Information unknown to self & unknown to others falls under “Unknown” which needs specific opportunities/context to be discovered.
One’s strengths not being visible to others falls under the ‘Facade’ category and the only way to go to the “Arena” is by “Self-disclosure”. Self-disclosure does not mean proclaiming “I am good at this.”
Its rather being self-aware and taking concrete actions in a way that helps the cause of discovery of one's strength.
How does one become visible on “un-leveraged strengths”?
Look into your job with new eyes: It is one thing to play your role as per the book and what others expect. Its another, to creatively add elements to it even though its not part of the JD. You may find scope of doing this in “Value-additions” to what you do.
Volunteering for Initiatives: There will be common initiatives that your organisation is embarking on and you can volunteer to steer one of them where you see the potential of leveraging your strength. This not only makes you proactive, it also lends a lot of benefits to your organisation.
Pet Project: Create a pet project for yourself that you will work on to build your un-leveraged strength. This will help you be excellent at your strength when an opportunity arises.
Find Mentors: Identify mentors who are good in the strength you have and ask them how you can build yours. This helps you build a network where the un-leveraged strength matters.
Educate yourself: Educate yourself through conferences, learning material & trainings which will keep you ready for opportunities.
Do remember to be patient. Its not magic that everyone notices that you are different immediately.
With time & multiple efforts you can not be far from the horizon.
Do you have any strength that the world is yet to see? How are you going to show it to the world?