***This Article was first written on jobberman.com and then edited to be posted here.
Be a solution not a problem
In your organization, ask yourself the honest truth… Are you a solution or a problem? How willing are you apply yourself to solving challenges even if there isn’t a reward for it? Or when no one is willing to take the challenge? I once had a very intelligent colleague who besides his brilliance had a very negative outlook of life. He had let the system beat him so much he always found himself playing the devil’s advocate in every challenging situation; all he saw was the challenge and not the solution. He would beautifully capture the problems but never came up with any suggestions as to how to get out of those situations.
Don’t just also bring suggestions, apply yourself to the suggestions. Be a solution!
If no one else is taking the bulge, jump in and save the day, though the effort may not be appreciated now, great leaders take notice!
Be open to change:
It’s the only constant thing and trust me it’s painful. Our brains are conditioned to get lazy and not want to accept new things. It is said that status quo bias affects the way we make decisions. Be receptive to change in your organization; be aware and get more information about the change that is being proposed. A few research has observed that
75% of the time, apathy to change in company software is as a result of the lack of information about the upcoming change.
So, if your organization isn’t managing the change properly why don’t you get curious, acquire more knowledge and become the change ambassador in your sphere of influence. Don’t be the party pooper supervisor, manager or staff who messes things up because of your fear of the unknown!
Party Pooper or change agent? Such traits don’t go unnoticed!
Speak up; step up!
For heaven sakes, don’t be that one individual with a mute mouth at the meeting always looking lost and eager to end the meeting! Yes, I am aware that some meetings are a drag! You wonder why you are there in the first place. But if as a mid-level employee, you get the chance to attend a meeting where your bosses would be seating in, please speak up. Make a contribution. Get the agenda before you attend; get your thoughts organized and coordinated; these help you speak with confidence and cohesion. Listen at the meeting and don’t be that one that repeats what someone else has said because you were busy waiting your turn to speak.
Bringing up good contributions at meetings and brainstorming sessions is one very great way to self-market organically within an organization.
Be a system expert:
Yes, I understand that you are not an IT person but I would explain what being a system expert means. OK so I know that you have done your bit in investing in yourself over time and you are great at what you do!
How do you make yourself invaluable within your organization and industry as a whole?
You would rise organically to the top as you not only become one who knows the system but has documented the process of getting the job done and can teach other people how to get the job done! You automatically become the expert and the go to person thus, increasing your sphere of influence. Never pass up an opportunity to teach people how you do what you do! In fact, volunteer to teach the new hires. As weird as that might seem, it’s a great tool to get up quickly.
Dress up to step up: power of perception!
I personally feel that measuring people based on appearance is judgmental and unfair but the truth is this is how we as human are wired.
As leaders, managers or mid-level employees who want to be taken seriously, it’s important to take conscious effort on the way we show up! I know you have content, I know you are witty, smart and intelligent but if you don’t show up the right way, you might GIVE UP your chance to bring something to the table!
Make an effort in your appearance today!
Know thy self
Self-awareness is the one of the greatest key to self-mastery! You cannot fight a battle if you do not know yourself and your strengths. I also know that to succeed in life, I need to work on my not so “natural strengths”- aka my weaknesses. It’s said that to succeed in career and life at all, you need to work on strengths but never ignore your weakness too. Acknowledge them and find strategies around them. So, when next you are asked in an interview
“what is your weakness?”
Although an uncomfortable question, don’t say:
“I don’t have any weakness”
Instead say something like:
“my perfectionisms before now hampers my meeting deadlines but I have become aware of it and pulled that energy into my attention to details and getting the job done well and on time.”
Consequently, if you haven’t taken the time to discover and know yourself, you wouldn’t be able to creativity answer such questions.
Note here that the interviewer is looking to know how much of yourself you are aware of, what you are doing about self-development and that you are not deluded!
There are a couple of proven test to help you figure these things out. DISC and MGBTI tests would help you provided you are willing to be honest with yourself when filling the questionnaire – remember there are no right or wrong personality types and there is nothing that cannot be learnt.
Funny how this might seem obvious but I need to end with this tip. Be ready. If you have started to invest in yourself as a brand, putting action behind all the advice you have read and more, next thing to do is to put your mind in the ready state. Be prepared, stay focused. Your time to shine might just be around the corner and you might have your head buried deep in work!
Read up internal appointments and adverts, look up job ads outside of your current work place, prep your resume -work on it as often as fortnightly. Get active on your linked profile.
Get ready get ready get ready!
I hope these self-marketing tips help you creatively place yourself out there as a brand ready to take on the world. Don’t be winking in the dark. Take your spot, you owe it to yourself, your purpose in life and the people you are called to serve!