Selling yourself, helps you to build your profile and image, so that others can believe in your skills and capabilities. Many people might hesitate at the thought of projecting themselves but it is in our own best interest to do so, in many cases. Remember, that the skill of self promotion is vital in many scenarios, such as, job interviews, performance reviews, presentations etc. So, being able to do so in a skillful manner may lead to your personal success.
Many people feel that hard work alone is the key contributing factor to career success. This applies specially to women. True that the impact of hard work on career success cannot be discounted, but by itself it is not enough. We often underestimate the value of being visible and well connected in the organization but we should understand its value.
The reality is, that in most companies, we are probably not going to get ahead just by doing a good job. In order to get promoted, you first have to promote yourself. You can do so by talking about your accomplishments. By getting out and connecting to colleagues and peers within your organization and industry, and also by building a supportive network around you.
So, use self-promotion techniques to promote yourself and make sure your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed by -:
- SHARING YOUR RESULTS : When you complete a job or project successfully, do not wait to be recognized. Instead inform your manager, outlining the results obtained in a positive manner and your role in accomplishing it. Many employees fear that it may seem that they are bragging and conceited, but remember that self promotion is about the impact of your work and you should not hide the results of your hard work. When you are successful, it adds to the success of your manager and also the company. When you share your results, it not only makes you look good but also your manager. So, go for it.
- BUILDING A NETWORK : It is a time tested method for using networking platforms to help, support and advance ones career by joining clubs, industry or alumni groups etc. Sometimes you may not find a relevant established group to join. So, instead you may form a group with other like-minded people which may be more relevant and help to contribute to the success of all group members. A small group or a large one may help to foster sharing of information and resources as well as supporting each other to succeed. Group members can meet, share ideas, support each other, promote themselves and also the other group members. They can also help others with arising job opportunities in their own organizations and also long term career value for all.
- GETTING NOTICED : Be aware of the communication tools used in the company, be it an internal newsletter, townhall meetings or company reports where employee news and project information is shared. Learn how you can use these tools to your advantage, by sharing the news via these tools as appropriate. Be active in speaking up when the opportunity arises and writing news articles which can attract the attention of the internal readers. Seek guidance and approval from your manager to publicize your accomplishments. You will gain support as any successes published will also reflect positively on him/her. You should not wait for someone to announce your successes but be proactive in broadcasting your accomplishments yourself.
- PERCEIVED AS AN EXPERT : The ability to be visible outside your company is also key to building your image in the profession or industry you are working in. You can make a beginning by building an awareness regarding yourself via social media. Maintain your professional profile on LinkedIn, also put in interesting material and comment on articles etc which are of interest. You can join groups on LinkedIn which will help you to network with peers as well. Facebook and Twitter can also be used appropriately to project yourself and your activities. Apart from the virtual world, you can also publisize your activities on other forums. Make presentations at industry related groups or conferences. Write reviews or articles in industry publications or websites where contributors are welcomed.
There is no substitute for hard work and efforts for gaining greater success, but it is not enough. When we strive for better opportunities, we need to make our contributions and results visible to others. So the new rules of the game are – to project your image where others can see it.
Therefore – “Promote yourself until it pays off. They’ll either get mad and delete you, or inspired and support you”