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Don’t wait for other people to do this for you.
Don’t rely on your boss, your colleagues or your amazing work to promote your skills. They all can do, and probably will do, but first off you have to do it yourself.
Don’t let your achievements and contributions just be taken for granted, let others know why your work is special.
Be subtle about it though; list it amongst other peoples achievements when discussing recent performances. Link it in with other ideas discussed during meetings, speak with the assumption that they already know how great that thing you did was, just as their idea will be : “Good idea, just like with [insert your project name here], this could be really successful…”
If you are subtle about it you can plant your awesomeness into people’s heads.
Don’t be afraid to do this, shrinking violets tend to go unnoticed.
Above all though, make sure you can damn-well back it up!
2. If you want it – take it
Similar to point one, the majority of people wait for something to happen to them. Don’t be one of these people, if there isn’t a good promotion going but you have an idea for better work that can be done within the company, just do it. Create that new job role by succeeding with your idea and projects. Once you’ve done this great new task that nobody else had thought of, revert to point one.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be working in an über-restrictive environment though, arrange a formal meeting with your boss to suggest the idea without disclosing exactly how to execute it.
Done properly, you will have created a new position within the company with results that make it an indispensable role. It’s important to remember, this new job role can only be created and taken by you if your idea is genuinely successful!
If there is a promotion going though, don’t wait for it to be offered to you – take it.
3. Become (and stay) the authority on your topic
Never think you know everything about how to do your job. If you do, one day somebody will have an idea for how to make it better and do point two (If you want it – take it) to you and take your job.
Always research your area of work and all related fields. Most importantly, employ a technique similar to point one to tell people what you know. Pretty soon people will be looking to you for the answers.
4. Build your personal brand
Taking point one to a new level, distributing it online. In the digital world, what is written about you online is worth more than any reference or CV ever could be.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile reads like the story of the next Steve Jobs. Include your achievements, don’t worry about being to direct with it, people want a clear rundown of successes when researching someone online, not a fake modest rambling.
Oh, and don’t be clichéd – if you claim to “think outside of the box” you probably don’t.
Get yourself showing on blogs. Bloggers are always looking for fresh, original content. An interview or statement from somebody within the digital industry will always be welcome. Don’t worry if they’re not interested, just ask the next blogger.
5. Feed your boss
This can be taken in two ways. Firstly, it can’t hurt to supply your boss with a good pie.
Secondly, use one on one chats and passing moments to subtly drop ideas into their head. You may end up sacrificing the credit for a good idea in the eyes of everyone else but (even if they don’t realize it) your boss will always connect that successful idea with you.
Don’t feed all of your ideas to them though!
6. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing
Don’t assume that everyone else is better at something or know how it all works any more than you do.
Forget what they may or may not know or what they might think of your suggestions. Chances are they’re thinking the same about you so use that to take control of the conversation or situation by showing them that you know what you’re talking about.
To them, you’ll become the pro who “raises the bar”.
7. Get your first supporter
I was once told a well-known story about somebody who stood up and danced in a crowded room. Nobody followed suit at first. It was only when one person copied them that everyone began dancing.
That first follower is almost essential to getting ahead. You can shout that you are a leader as much as you want, it’s only when somebody follows you that everyone else takes note.
Work closely with a colleague to convert them as your first supporter. Once you have that, all the points above will start to be echoed.
8. Just do it
Don’t over-plan, over-think or over-talk.
Whatever it takes to get started, just do it. Once you’ve done that you have no choice but to work out the details and won’t be put off by your own fears.
9. Always go one further
Set targets and make plans with one major thing in mind: make sure you can go one further. If you say 8, produce 9.