This piece was originally published in early 2019. Welcome to the 2021 edit.
Check out your favourite superhero franchise or copy of Harry Potter and invisibility seems to come in very handy when you’re helping save the world; foiling super-villains.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, your professional life often dictates that invisibility isn’t an option and you have to put yourself in the spotlight. Every day you don your Cloak of Visibility.
Putting on Your Cloak
Being visible to others in a professional sense generally goes with the territory. Being known for your expertise, having a certain position within a hierarchy, being in business, all mean that others look to you and at you.
For some people putting on this Cloak of Visibility is as easy as breathing. For others it’s a necessary evil; something they do in order to achieve personal or professional goals.
Professional progression may include training and experiences which enable you to wear your Cloak with increasingly greater ease. For others drive and ambition may be all that’s needed to wear the Cloak with pride regardless of experience.
As time goes by, your Cloak can become your friend. The visibility it affords you can feel like a measure of respect, status and, in some cases, the power you command.
You know who you are when you’re wearing it and so does everyone else. It may even give you a certain degree of comfort or at least a consistent frame of reference.
But what happens when your Cloak doesn’t fit anymore?
Maybe a shift in career aspiration, taking a promotion, changed personal circumstances, starting a business, organisational unrest. Maybe you’re suddenly doing something you’ve always dreamed. Maybe you’ve stepped or been pushed outside your comfort zone.
Whatever the combination, your new situation still needs you to be in the spotlight but wearing your Cloak of Visibility feels very different. Your Cloak might feel heavier and more ill-fitting.
But is it the Cloak?
In reality, it’s your context, commitment and confidence that have probably changed.
You are still you. Professional, experienced and needed by others. So wear your Cloak of Visibility with pride even in times of change.
Because when you’re in the spotlight you have the power to help people and positively influence their lives. Now that is a superpower worth having!