When we think of career skills, we often think of the qualifications and the specific job skills we’ve learned that make up the core of the work we do. Or we might think of the soft skills that make us a great member of any team, such as time management or good communication skills. But if there’s one set of skills that need to be focused on, it’s the skills that get you the job in the first place. Here, we’re going to look at just why one skill, in particular, has become much more important as of late: the skill of self-promotion.
How we build a career is changing
The standard model of a career is changing. Nowadays, fewer people in the workforce expect to work forty years in the one company and retire at the end with a fat company pension. In the past, having switched jobs or employers too many times was seen purely as a negative. That might be slowly changing, however. People are switching jobs more often, not because they haven’t found their “fit”, but rather because we’re living in an economy that’s much more skills-focused. People are working on their personal expertise, building themselves as an employee one employer at a time. In order to make that kind of fast-lane career work, you have to be able to sell yourself and your growing set of skills to employers time and time again.
It’s all in the brand
Nowadays, networking plays even more of a role in finding a job than ever before, too. As they say, it’s who you know and not what you know. Networking can put you in touch with employers from all across the industry. Not only can it uncover other job opportunities you might not have been aware of, but it can also be the perfect way to get more insight and advice on the industry you want to work in. Networking can become much more effective if you spend time building up a personal brand, as well. Whether it’s setting up a LinkedIn profile or starting to a run a blog, you can create your own resource that potential employers can cross-reference to see if the details match the pitch you provided.
Bringing your own hype
Of course, learning self-promotion is no more important anywhere else than in the hiring process. An interview isn’t just a tool to find out more information about you. It’s a trial to test your communication skills as well. Beyond practising and preparing points to use as replies to common questions, if you focus on your body language, how your project confidence, and your annunciation, it can make you appear significantly more professional. Thus, increasing your chances of a successful result to the recruitment process.
Charming clients, colleagues, and customers
It’s not all about selling yourself to employers, either. Teaching yourself the gift of the gab and how to be more charismatic can improve your relationships all across the board. Regardless of what position you’re in, if you meet with any clients or customers, then sales training could be valuable. It might be exactly the right tool to show you how to best represent the brand and to make sure that you’re able to lead clients closer to another sale or simply staying with the services provided by the business for longer. The same skills in communication, decisiveness, and empathy are just as important when it comes to acting as a team leader, too. Communication and charisma are two hallmarks of a leader in business, not just a salesperson.
Making your own way up the ladder
The confidence to practice the skills mentioned above isn’t always easy to find. However, the “fake it until you make it” rule very much applies here. Even if you don’t believe your own hype, it’s best to act as you do and as if you believe in every drop of your value as a potential hire or an employee. Nowadays, negotiation is becoming much more common across workplaces of all kinds. Being able to negotiate a better salary or benefits package, or making sure that you’re considered as a candidate for future promotions, can help you rise much faster up the ranks. Making sure you can back it up matters too, but without being willing to show off a little, you can be passed over time and time again even by those who don’t work as diligently or are as talented as you.
Of course, self-promotion only goes so far. You have to be able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. But nowadays, if you can’t talk the talk, you can end up drastically limiting your career options.
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