5 tips for promoting yourself to career success
Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success, and international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future. He shared his top tips for finding the right career opportunity with us:
1. Brand yourself
When Schawbel was in college, he learned to market and brand himself by creating personalized business cards and a CD portfolio, the 2006 version of an online portfolio, in order to differentiate himself from other candidates. He showed his value by not only presenting his work, but also by showing that he thinks in a unique and strategic manner. Be the CEO of your own personal brand and develop it as you would a company.
2. Experiment to identify your passion
Schawbel is a strong proponent of trying positions you are interested in to determine if they are the right fit. This will allow you to identify your passions as well as your dislikes. His first internship in high school taught him very quickly what he did not want to spend his life doing—cold calling in a cubicle.
“Have as many experiences as possible so that you can narrow down your options,” said Schawbel.
3. Leverage your own credibility
Throughout a particularly grueling interview process, Schawbel found that what caught his interviewer’s eye was the fact that he had worked at Reebok. That brand recognition and his professional association boosted his credibility and reputation. He continued to leverage his credibility as he built his readership and audience in order to become published on more and more prestigious publications.
“Start small, grow, leverage what you’ve done to show credibility and as case studies so you can get that next opportunity and keep building,” he said. “So many people want to skip steps, but it’s so much better when you write for small publications or have smaller internships because you can test things out and learn from your mistakes so that when you get to that next level, you’re not making the same mistakes and you’ll be more effective.”
4. Create your own position and skills
It is also important to develop skills that will support you in your future career because employers look for specialists, not generalists, when they hire. However, the skills of today might not be as valuable five years from now. It is therefore necessary to position yourself to best be able to take advantage of identifying what future skills you need to become an expert in. Before social media had fully developed as a professional occupation, Schawbel made the effort to develop his expertise in the field outside of his professional career and was ultimately able to then leverage this expertise to progress in his professional career.
“If you don’t take risks in your career, that’s risky. Someone else will, and they will get those opportunities,” said Schawbel.
When trying to advance your career, it is essential that you take a proactive role in navigating and self-promoting. Find ways to measure your success through analytics or other hard data and use this information to show your value added to the company. “The most creative people who work at a company invent their own type of positions,” he said.
5. The rule of one
As a result of the mass amounts of information available to us through search engines, we’ve moved from an information economy to a social climate. Your friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances will be the sources of the most important information and connect you to the right resources for your career. All it takes is one person who can truly impact your life and career for the better. Millennials leave their jobs on average within two years of employment whereas older generations on average remain with the same company for seven to nine years. Your job is temporary, however it is important to think inside the box and leverage your current opportunity.
By: Alexandra Moncure
Alexandra Moncure worked in the editorial department at DailyCandy prior to joining Levo League, where this article first appeared.