April 9, 2013
PR tricks for getting noticed at work -- the right way
I have a friend who's terrific at being his own public relations agent. Whether he's celebrating his latest promotion or cooking dinner for friends, he has a knack for showcasing what he's good at without sounding self-centered. What's his secret?
Shameless self-promotion is about knowing what you want and then being your own best advocate. For many people, self-promotion falls outside their comfort zone. But there are ways to boost your career and visibility without coming across as conceited.
Try these tips to act as your own PR agent:
Volunteer for new assignments, projects or responsibilities. When Autumn Bayles was two years into her job as chief information officer at Tasty Baking Company, a supply-chain executive quit. Bayles volunteered to take on the supply-chain responsibilities.
The company executives divided up the former executive's duties, giving her a portion. She jumped right in and gave it everything she had. So they gave her more and more responsibilities, until finally they gave her the entire job. To get noticed, volunteer.
Participate in company or industry competitions. Earlier in my career I signed up for an internal training program on process improvement. After earning my certification, I entered my project into the company's annual quality improvement competition -- and ended up winning at the local, national and then world finals event in Cancun, Mexico.
When I was called onto the stage, I was the only female leader of a winning project that year. The award visibility got me noticed by the right people and paved the way for me to obtain my next job. Seek internal opportunities to showcase your talent.
Provide free training sessions at work. Do you have unique expertise? Share your knowledge by offering to provide free training to others in your company, such as at brown-bag lunch sessions. Topics could include everything from project management to hiring tips to dealing with difficult people. Look for unique ways to raise your visibility within the company.
Be assertive, but not pushy. Immediately update your resume and electronic profiles, such as LinkedIn, with quantifiable results (e.g., "achieved 122% of quota") and awards received. Don't be shy about sharing your success with family, friends and co-workers.
However, be sure to do so in a professional manner, says Magalene Powell-Meeks, deputy CIO at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Some people, "anxious to get credit for their work, tilt too far in the wrong direction. They can become so aggressive that people tune them out."
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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