After all of my years of career coaching, it is easy to say job search is not rocket science. With no disrespect to the job search gurus all over the Internet, let’s face it; job search does evolve with the times. The power of the social media now gives recruiters and headhunters great tools to find the right talent. But too little is said about retaining work once you get it; keeping the job and making it stick. A long-time friend and colleague has tackled that subject head on. I want to share this information with you now.
Google “self–‐promotion” and up come the haters. In a flash, explains careers expert Rick Gillis, you’ll see countless negative articles and posts. From “Why Self–‐Promotion Is a Terrible Idea” to “The Braggart’s Dilemma” to “Please Shut Up,” there’s no shortage of spewing.
According to Gillis, here’s the problem: In today’s intensely competitive, hyper-social work world, self–‐promotion is no longer just a professional responsibility. It’s a career survival skill.
“Employers must know your real value,” says Gillis, author of the new book
Promote! It’s Who Knows What You Know That Makes a Career (CreateSpace 2015).
Otherwise you’ll frequently find yourself on the losing end professionally. “You won’t get the job, the raise, the promotion, the respect and the recognition you deserve.”
Your career success depends on your ability to promote yourself correctly, teaches Gillis. To reach your true potential, you have to “express to impress” to those who matter most: higher–‐ups and hiring managers.
Yet many people have a blatant inability to suitably self‐promote, declares Gillis, an employment and job search coach based in Houston. They can’t express their value in a way that wows without also bragging or being obnoxious.
“I’ve come to consider this skill gap a deadly deficiency. Left unaddressed, it kills careers.”
Gillis’ book offers an abundance of advice and anecdotes on how to self-promote the right way. Six top tips:
1. Don’t assume that your boss knows exactly what you do.
In the real world, you’re at the mercy of your manager. Why, then, do you assume he knows exactly what you do? Whether you work six feet or 6,000 miles away from your boss, it’s unlikely he has more than a general idea about what you do beyond the minimum the expects.
2. Embrace the difference between articulating your value and bragging.
As a kid, you were likely taught that modesty is the best policy. “Don’t brag,” said grown-ups repeatedly. Better to let others discover our greatness on their own. The problem is, in all probability, they won’. Besides, when done properly, self–‐promotion is not bragging. It is informing.
3. Adopt an accomplishment mindset and narrative.
An accomplishment is the successful completion of a project or task that you’re proud of, which prompts you to hold your head up high around the workplace. To prove you’re indispensability to an employer, you need an inventory of your on– the-job accomplishments—the things that express your commercial value to the business.
4. Quantify your worth.
You were hired because someone believed that you’d produce more value for the company than you’d cost. In other words, she trusted that you’d either make or save the company money. You needn’t be a bonafide revenue generator or accomplish earth-shattering feats like inventing the iPhone to quantify your worth.
5. Source and shape your success stories.
Unless you are just starting out or have a superhuman memory, you’ll need to do some heavy lifting to track down your past work accomplishments. To begin, look at old resumes, business planners, performance reviews, and journals. Then you’ll need to reach out to family, friends, managers, co-workers, customers, teachers, and others. Email won’t work here. To bypass generic responses, you must do this by phone. Period.
6. Master the three‐part accomplishment statement.
Every one of your accomplishments must be crafted into a single three–‐part statement with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. You’ll convey what you did, what that resulted in, and the value or net result. The trick is to keep it simple yet still tell a compelling story. For example: “Created a digital filing system that resulted in 300 man hours saved per week, enabling the company to save $6 million annually.”
Tomorrow is too late, advises Gillis. Get self–‐promotion right today. In informing decision makers of your value, you will reach your true potential, and realize the success you so greatly deserve.
About the Author
RICK GILLIS is a nationally recognized careers expert and employment coach specializing in trends and technologies in the modern job search. A onetime workplace radio and TV host, he is a sought–‐after keynote speaker, popular media source, and the author of five books. His new book is Promote! It’s Who Knows What You Know That Makes a Career (CreateSpace 2015). He lives in Houston.
About the book
CreateSpace ISBN 978–‐1–‐50763–‐235–‐2 Paperback Original 110 pages 2015 $9.99 USD