Careers, Personal Branding, career advice, career management, leadership, personal brand management

Take Charge and Promote Yourself

Mary Rosenbaum | September 3rd, 2013

The workforce today is one of the most educated, tech savvy, super connected, and highly competitive group ever seen.

No longer can a professional keep his/her head down and do his job in the hopes that he will be recognized and amply rewarded by management. Although it has been some time since successful professionals “let” their careers just happen to them, taking charge of your career is no longer an option, it’s the required norm.

Dan Schawbel, a recognized expert on Millenials and personal branding, has written a new book called Promote Yourself, The New Rules of Career Success. The book is a primer on how to develop professional credibility and properly showcase your expertise so you can move your career onto a faster track.

Although written with Millenials (those born between 1982-1993) in mind, this book provides practical and actionable career building advice that can benefit both recent graduates as well as working professionals. Through in-depth interviews with a thousand managers across a broad spectrum of industries Dan provides keen insight into what employers look for when making hiring and promotion decisions.

The book takes you through the process of first – understanding what skills you need to get hired and to get ahead and second – how to promote yourself in a way that helps you gain visibility both inside and outside your company.

“Be more than your job description.” Dan Schawbel

Hard skills, the technical side of the work you do, require constant updating. Continuing education, seeking out new and innovative ways to do what you do and reaching across specialties to increase your knowledge base are today’s requirements for becoming the employee companies want to hire. To help start you off, Dan provides some helpful tips along with some great links to off and online educational programs.

Be memorable.

Dan’s emphasis on soft skills is worth mentioning here. Soft skills are what enable you to move ahead. And in branding terms – they are what make you memorable, likeable, and trustworthy.

Your soft skills are what differentiate you from everyone else who does the same work you do. Soft skills are your “interpersonal skills, skills that enable you to form relationships with co-workers, fit into the corporate culture, and communicate successfully.”

Knowing which soft skills are important and in demand and how to improve them are key to a successful career. The ones you’ll find most often at the top of the list include:

- the ability to work in/with a team

- strong communication skills- written and verbal

- having a positive attitude

- the ability to prioritize work

- being able to build relationships with co-workers, clients, managers

- being adaptable to change

Promote yourself.

For most people, promoting yourself is one of the most difficult things to do. Yet gaining visibility inside and outside your company is also one of the most important aspects of successfully managing your career. Here’s where Dan’s book lives up to its’ title.

Dan provides a road map to a variety of ways in which you can promote yourself and build your brand identity without sounding as if you’re bragging. Through your social media, networking, volunteering, writing, blogging, and speaking, your brand gains exposure beyond your immediate sphere.

Some important takeaways for effective self promotion are:

- know your value and how to articulate it

- always be authentic

- be generous and think of ways to help others

- maintain the relationships you build

- share the credit

If you want to take charge of your career, then Self Promote is a book worth picking up.

Need help with identifying your skills or gaining the visibility and credibility you need to successfully manage your career or get the job you really want, let’s talk.