Sell yourself! We hear it often in the career development world. You have to articulate and demonstrate why you are the best person for the job or that new opportunity.
What sets you apart from all of the other people in your field out there? Only you can answer that question. Beyond that, you have to convince others that they should pick you for the interview, job or the promotion.
Self-promotion is an important part of your career and personal strategic plan. If it isn't, it should be. You’ll have to take your cues from your environment to know the right time to shine your light.
Being a silent influencer may work for some, but not in all cases. Ascribing to the wait, work hard and it will come philosophy can be stifling to your career. You could be setting yourself up to be overlooked no matter how hard you work. If you see something you want, you have to go after it or the chance may pass you by.
Here are a few tips to consider as you promote yourself.
1. Know Yourself. Have a clear sense of yourself and feel good about who you are.
You must be able to articulate your experiences, skills, strengths, and opportunities for growth. Beyond that share your vision for yourself. What’s your passion? What makes you light up inside?
2. Be Prepared. Preparation is a big part of self-promotion. You must be prepared for opportunities that come your way. Pursue certifications, training, and education that will help you to be more marketable in your field. Make every effort to learn new strategies and to stay abreast of best practices.
3. Build Relationships. Relationships are important in any work environment whether you are an entrepreneur or you work in an organization. Reach out to someone who can serve as a mentor or sponsor for you. Collaborate with colleagues and be a team player. Be aware that you won’t vibe with everyone and there will be some who are not fans of yours. There are countless reasons why that might be but don’t get caught up in that. Continue to serve with good intentions and be yourself.
4. Be Visible. It is important to be visible. If you are an entrepreneur, no one will know unless you tell them. Go the extra mile at work and perform with excellence. In addition, don’t be afraid to contribute verbally in meetings. Remember that sharing and networking are how relationships are formed.
5. Be Helpful. Sharing information for the good of your clients and for the population you serve is important. Withholding information is not going to get you noticed. Collaboration and teamwork are the cornerstones of any work environment. When you help others accomplish their goals, you will achieve yours.
6. Be Patient. Clarify your intentions and your goals. What is your goal for self-promotion? Is it to get that promotion or to market yourself to the community? Either way, promote with style, integrity, and purpose. It’s important to know your why before you jump into your next venture.
Ultimately, you must be confident in what you have to offer and the value you bring. Be prepared to describe it and share it in a thoughtful way. Make the connections as to how you influenced a particular outcome or project. No bells or whistles needed, but be ready to toot your own horn so to speak.
Self-promotion is uncomfortable for some people because it may feel like bragging. It's more about sharing your value and your unique contributions. What skills and talents do you bring to a job, or opportunity? Self-awareness is key. You must know your strengths and be able to articulate them clearly to others.
Above all else, be yourself. You are not expected to be anyone else.