If You Don’t Raise Your Hand, They Don’t Know They Can Choose You
Every decision about you and your opportunities is made in a room you’re not in.
Yes, I know. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve heard me say this many, many times. Why? Because it’s true and I see people forget this simple point ALL the time. And the first thing I say, when I utter that phrase, is the following:
“If this is true, it is, then the first question you should ask is, am I part of the consideration set?”
Do they even know to choose you?
I have a couple of assumptions, myths, and downright missed opportunities I see multiple times a week when it comes to this question. Both from the leadership perspective and the individual perspective. Of course, I have some suggestions on what you can do to be in the consideration set more often. Why is this important?
If the people in the room don’t know you and don’t know you’re “available” to be chosen, you’ll never get the opportunity. And without the offer, you can’t decide if you want it.
Myth #1 — You’re in the consideration set it, so that means they’re talking about you the way you want.
Myth #2 — They offer you an opportunity, so you HAVE to say yes.
Myth #3 — You have to know HOW to do something before you apply to work on it, so don’t volunteer for something you can’t do.
Myth #4 — If I volunteer and screw up, I’ll look bad and won’t get offered more opportunities.
Myth #5 — If they don’t choose you for an opportunity, it means you’re a failure.
Myth #6 — My boss will always put my name up for consideration, so I don’t have to.
Myth #7 — My boss is always in the room when opportunities that might be good for me are discussed.
Myth #8 -If I raised my hand before, the “room” would remember I’m interested in an opportunity.
Myth #9 — I need to have all the information about an opportunity before I put myself out there.
Myth #10 — If they choose you, you’ve won.
I’m curious, did any of these resonate with you? Did any of them give you pause on decisions you’ve made in your past? I know they did for me.
The one thing I repeatedly hear from people is the desire for transparency in decision making. “Why did person X get the opportunity?” “What is it I need to do, so you choose me next time?”
I know these questions don’t have simple answers. But a conversation with your manager about the beliefs that rang true to you might open up the conversation. Better yet, it might open up a discussion about the myths that are true for them too.