If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, boosting your personal brand and getting yourself noticed for all the right reasons can be the key to securing that promotion.
Making yourself heard, becoming an encyclopaedic source of industry news, investing in your future with continued education, and dressing for the job you want are all excellent places to start enhancing your personal brand and advancing your career.
- Speak up. Bring the right energy to the boardroom and play an active role in meetings. This can be tricky if you’re an introvert, but stretching your comfort zone and contributing ideas can go a long way to getting noticed. Asking for clarification or more information where needed won’t be seen as a sign of weakness – in fact, it will demonstrate you take your work seriously, and want to be fully informed.
Display confidence, and join in when other colleagues are spitballing ideas. Offering alternative solutions and new concepts will illustrate your ability to think outside of the box, and your initiative.
- Stay informed. An unquenchable thirst for industry knowledge and news can really enhance your personal brand. Bookmark or subscribe to some of the leading sources online, because what you learn is sure to come in handy when you’re brainstorming with the team on a new project.
If there’s an item you think will be of particular interest to your team members, send them a link. Sharing what you learn will show you’re a team player, and if your manager happens to be impressed with your updates, you’ll be more likely to come to mind when a new opportunity becomes available.
- Seek professional development. If there’s a seminar or short course relevant to your role – or the role you want – present a case to your boss outlining how it could be beneficial for you, and the company, if you were to attend. Continuing to develop and grow your skillset can put you on the fast track for that promotion, or help you expand your current role to include more of the work you love.
Of course, professional development doesn’t have to be restricted to working hours. There are plenty of online and flexi-time courses available, so if there’s something that really interests you, and could help with your career progression, invest in it yourself. Discuss what you’re doing with your manager, so they’re aware you’re taking the initiative to up-skill.
- Dress for success. The old adage – dress for the job you want, not the job you have – really does have its merits. Yes, your work should speak for itself, but creating the right impression via your fashion and style choices is important.
The fine line between dressing too casually or too professionally can be tricky to negotiate, particularly if you work in a non-corporate or creative environment. Take note of how the boss and other managers dress, and follow their lead. Whether you work in a shirts and suits environment, or a workplace that encourages jeans and sneakers, good grooming, tailoring, colour coordination, and an overall tidy appearance will translate well for your personal brand.
Simple ways to stand out:
Discuss what you're doing with your manager, so they're aware you're taking the initiative to up-skill.
- Document your success in your current role
- Request a meeting with the boss to discuss your work performance, and areas for improvement
- Maintain a good attitude, even in high-stress situations
- Put your hand up for new challenges
- Showcase your interpersonal and people management skills
- Put in some informal face time at Friday night work drinks (but take your leave after one or two)
- Always complete projects to deadline, even if it means staying late on occasion
Finally, be charming, be likeable, and be genuine. People, including your boss, can spot authenticity a mile away. Always be yourself – even when it’s the best version of yourself – while boosting your personal brand to secure that next step in your career.