In last week’s column, I gave you six suggestions about how to begin the process of promoting yourself within your organization. Following are some additional ideas.
1. Before specializing, learn as much as you can about all aspects of the organization. Do not become so specialized that you develop tunnel vision and lose your contacts in other departments. Make it a point occasionally to be involved in committees where you will get organization‑wide recognition.
2. Increase your visibility by publishing articles. Write something for your organization’s newsletter or your trade association’s magazine. Most newsletter editors are anxious to get material for their publications, and some will even put a picture and bio with the article.
3. Stand up and speak out whenever appropriate and possible. If your skills are less than polished, enroll in a presentation skills seminar or become involved with a self‑help group like Toastmasters. Many a promotion has come because of the positive impression someone has made by being eloquent behind a lectern.
4. Take full advantage of free sources of publicity. Most newspapers and industry publications have a “Moving up” or “Movers & Shakers” column in which they detail the promotions, successes, and other achievements of their readership. Send them information about yourself. Don’t worry if it is worth publishing. Let them decide that. Ten days after people read about you, they will have forgotten how earthshaking your news was, but they will remember you were there with the other achievers. While I was writing these columns, a friend visited my office and made the comment that it seemed like I was telling people to toot their own horns. He was right. I do believe that we must, within reason, promote ourselves if we hope to get the full measure of credit due us. Today, if I ask you to name an animal that lays eggs, I believe most of you would reply, “A chicken.” However, the Russian sturgeon lays 10,000 eggs at a time, and the chicken just one. The difference is that the sturgeon does its work and goes on. The chicken lays its egg, and then cackles for the entire barnyard to appreciate her effort. There is a fine line between bragging and making a statement of fact concerning your accomplishments. Dizzy Dean once said, “You ain’t bragging if you really did it.” Maybe that’s the line we should remember.
Don’t wait to be discovered or allow yourself to be taken for granted. Take the first step toward getting promoted by promoting yourself.