Are you about to start a new career? Or have you been spinning your wheels and getting nowhere in your current job and wondering what to do about it?
If either of these is true, we here at Meditec have an idea that you may not have considered before.
A few months ago, Forbes published an article called Career Lessons From The Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women Rankings. One of those lessons was “You have to put yourself out there.” That’s what we want to discuss today—the importance of self-promotion. The authors describe self-promotion as drawing attention to yourself and your accomplishments in an appropriate way, in a way that will open doors as you go down your professional path.
First things first. What, exactly, is self-promotion? Simply put, it means keeping your accomplishments in the minds of other people. Whether they were looking for a new career or a new relationship, anyone who has made a resume (or a personals ad, for that matter) has done it. But self-promotion in a professional setting is also important in your day-to-day life. In other words, it’s important even after the beginning of a new stage in your life. It’s something that you develop every day.
Do you think you’re too busy to promote yourself? Do you think the people in your life are too busy to pay attention to your one-woman (or one-man) marketing campaign? Think again. Sure, everyone these days is busy, but that’s precisely why self-promotion is important. The people you need to network with are the people in a position to help you climb the ladder of success, and they’re all extremely busy. They can’t go out of their way to notice the awesome things you do every day; you’ll have to find ways to gently point out these awesome things for them.
Look at it this way: Your professional reputation isn’t an accident. It’s an image that you have to cultivate. You can help (or hinder) your professional life by actively selecting the accomplishments, relationships and associations that you want people to see. So showcase the skills that make you shine. Take credit for your victories (large and small).
This kind of “reputation management” doesn’t take the place of doing a good job. But it’s a crucial “next step” for you to take after a job well done.
If you’re like most people, you don’t want to brag. You don’t want to annoy your coworkers, your boss, and everyone else in your life by taking all the credit when something goes right (and deflecting all the blame when something goes wrong). But that’s not what self-promotion is about. Guiltless self-promotion means you understand yourself and what makes you unique and important to your employer and to your community. You have to be friendly, you have to continue to recognize that you’re part of a team, and—most important—you have to be honest and authentic.
Here are four self-promotion tips that can help you get noticed, make more money and ultimately find more satisfaction from your work life.
1. Know what you’re promoting. Assess yourself and your value to your coworkers, to your company and to your industry. List your strengths and your accomplishments. Go ahead and actually write them down. Doing so will help you identify what areas need work, and it will also give you the confidence you’ll need for effective self-promotion.
2. Come up with your “elevator pitch.” This is a one-sentence statement of your values, or the things you have to offer others that make you important. Use the language of your industry to say what you bring to the table and describe what makes you an indispensable asset (both to your current employer and to potential future employers).
3. Walk the walk. You’ve identified your strengths and come up with a concise way to articulate them. Now you have to demonstrate your value to others with your daily actions. These could include:
- Volunteering for important assignments, especially if they give you the chance to prove yourself as a team member and as a leader.
- Getting involved with community initiatives, especially ones that give you networking opportunities.
- Asserting yourself in business meetings by voicing your opinions and convincing others.
4. Make sure your self-promotion is consistent. Don’t be annoying, but be reliably persistent. An ongoing campaign keeps you in the minds of people who can help you at work and in your daily life.
Being successful in your career requires confidence and action. Go ahead, toot your own horn—you’re the best person to do it.