Raising my profile
The following pages have been put together to help you promote yourself on your career path. This should help your confidence and raise your profile.
Self promotion may be an alien concept for many of us but if you are looking for career progression you do need to:
- distinguish yourself from others
- stand out above the rest
- promote yourself as an entrepreneur/innovator
- demonstrate that you have something more to give
- get noticed!
In order to do this you might want to consider your “presence” – how you are seen, heard and known.
Increase your visibility
Not all career development opportunities are easy to spot or create. So, in order to make sure you are considered for any that arise, you will need to increase your visibility within the organisation through self-promotion. Self-promotion is about making others aware of your abilities and ambitions.
In order to build this awareness, you will need to market yourself and demonstrate your talents wherever possible. Exploit the opportunities that come your way, and try to create your own. Think especially about promoting your ambition and potential in order to find opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge.
Networking is a method of self-promotion and can be done both internally within an organisation, and externally. It involves building a directory of contacts with whom you can build productive, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Your contacts are people you can call upon for advice, information, help or support.
Active networking involves targeting certain individuals or environments to fill gaps. For example, if you want to know more about marketing, you’ll need to find people who work in that field by either asking your existing contacts or attending events where marketing people are likely to be. You can learn a great deal by talking to people who work in roles you are interested in. Find out where the organisations are locally and ask to speak to someone who could give you more information.
Some networking top tips:
- Make the most of any networking opportunities in order to find new contacts to add to your network. For example, join a professional association, keep in touch with former colleagues, participate in web forums or networking groups and attend events.
- Talk to your contacts about yourself, your career and your skills in a way that is clear and memorable.
- Find out as much as you can about your contacts so that you can do your best to help them in return.
- Work at maintaining the relationship. Get to know your contacts on a personal basis and keep in touch regularly. Don’t just contact them when you need their help.
Consider how you network and raise your profile – there’s a whole range of opportunities that you may be missing:
- Personally - face to face meetings
- E-mail / e-mail groups
- Interactive technology
- Social networking (electronically)
- Social networking (personally)
- Written correspondence
- Discussion groups
- Professional organisations
- Responding to consultations
Networking is one of the most important activities in which you can engage. However few of us have been taught how to network. Fortunately you can get more proficient at networking with practice but remember it takes little time or effort to get it right and may feel a little uncomfortable at first.
With all the demands on your time, professionally and personally, it is sometimes tempting to forget networking as an activity designed to meet new people. However, by not continually widening your circles of colleagues/experts you may be severely curtailing your chances for advancement, success and recognition.
Networking is about creating and developing relationships. It is about sharing things about yourself and discovering things about others.
As part of your career plan, give priority to networking. Be seen and heard - and not necessarily just amongst people who already know what you do and how well. There is much benefit to be found from peers but you also need to get in front of influential others who could be seriously interested in what you do.
One of the best ways to keep self-satisfaction in life is to constantly have new challenges. A sure way to do so is to have people open doors for you and provide you with opportunities.
Maximize every "per chance" meeting
You never know when you might meet someone who can help you.
Place yourself at the right place at the right time
Have you ever been to an event and been disappointed with the networking results? Are you still a bit shy and find it difficult to approach people? Turn the tables around. Consider volunteering to help out or present at the next event so that you have a clear role, something to do and a reason to talk to people.
Whether you are looking for opportunities or wanting to promote what you do, giving out business cards is crucial to marketing your skills. Whenever you give a business card, ask for a business card. When given a business card, don't just take it and place it in your pocket. Write comments on the card such as date and points of interest. Hoarding your business cards only makes your purse/wallet feel full, not your professional life!
And finally remember – You need to be interested in people in order to make yourself important to them.
- Raising your profile handout
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