Why is it that some people seem to get ahead faster than others? How do individuals develop that positive reputation that makes them the ‘go-to’ people in projects, and gives them the edge in promotion opportunities? The first answer, of course, is that they’re good at what they do. They are competent and reliable, and more often than not come through when people need them. But the thing is, a lot of people fit this profile – so why do only a few get the high profile? It’s all in how they’ve marketed themselves.
How do you do this? To begin, I should make clear the distinction between “marketing yourself,” and being self-aggrandizing, or self-promoting. They are not the same. Where the latter terms describe boastfulness or selfish actions, marketing yourself refers to packaging and displaying your skills in such a manner as to set yourself apart from others. Here are three basic steps to effectively marketing yourself within your organization.
1. Know what you’re good at. In marketing terms, it’s referred to as a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What is the one thing that you bring to the table that makes you valuable to people in your company? Is it your skill, your knowledge, your experience, your network? Pick only one. You can’t be all things to all people, but you can be one thing to the people who count.
2. Have an idea where you want to go, and when you would like to get there. (for more refer to Chapter seven – Your Career Plan ).
3. Look for opportunities whenever possible to showcase your USP to the people in your company who are in some way relevant to your career path. Volunteer, join committees, and get involved in projects that highlight your strengths.
Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of talking about yourself. Telling other people how wonderful you are will only send up red flags about your character. While you don’t want to hide your light under a bushel, you want the quality of your actions do the talking for you. If you’re good, consistent, and visible, the right people in the right places will begin to take notice.