Whether you like it (or not) self-promotion is a vital part of managing your own career. If you have been in your current position for a while, you could be left wondering what is the next new thing for you.
There are a lot of resources and information on managing your career and making sure you are geared up to promote yourself to the external market – updating your Resume, using LinkedIn, networking. But what if you want to stay where you are and raise your profile within the company? One of the best places to look for a new job could be where you are working now. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Good companies want to keep good employees. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
It’s all too easy to assume that a career change will just come along. But you have to do more than just hope if you want to take it to the next level. Follow these two strategies to promote yourself to your existing employer.
Let your Manager know
In your workplace, you are the one with the best understanding of all the great things that you do day to day and all the skills and experiences that you have picked up along the way. But unfortunately, your manager may not. You could be working on a new project, collaborating with a department you normally wouldn’t and finishing your tasks well before it is due, allowing ample time for testing. But your organisation could be completely unaware of all your contributions to the company. The modern workplace is fast-paced, and by the time you have finished one thing you are moving on to the next. Praise can be easily overlooked in these sorts of environments, as everything is constantly moving forward.
Your manager cannot have eyes everywhere, they may not know that you are interested in a career change of new opportunities. Employees are held back every year because their direct managers do not know what they have to offer. Being in a position to know about any opportunities that could come your way is an outcome of directly letting your manager and other managers know.
It can feel like the squeakiest wheel will always get the oil, as the loudest employees often get the most recognition. If this is not your style, don’t feel the pressure to behave this way to get yourself noticed. You can remind your manager of the value you bring to the table in other ways. Either scheduling a time to have a chat and express your interests, or providing them with a Resume tailored to your skills, experiences, and strengths when internal opportunities arise.
Keep on keeping on
Raising your own profile within the company to get promoted, move laterally or simply stay top of mind should an opportunity arise, is all about building the essential foundations and initiating a relationship with managers that is transparent. When a moment arises hopefully you have done all you can to be the first employee considered for an opportunity within your company.
Don’t feel disheartened if you approach management and leave feeling that you are not the full product at this point in time. It seems simple, but actually expressing your desire for a particular role or promotion will put the wheels in motion. Management may not have even known that you were after this sort of role, especially if it is outside of your current department. Often management will help you get closer to the position that you are after. Ask what traits and credentials management would be looking for in this role. This question will point you in the direction of your key areas for improvement. It is important to build these relationships with your manager as they are the one who will facilitate your career shift. Until then, remain professional, motivated and ready to give it a go.
Let’s face it, a promotion or career shift isn’t going to just drop out of the sky, you need to work proactively towards it. You can promote yourself without being the egotistical tall poppy (we all know one). Instead, focus on being the bright poppy and not the tallest. There are very little resources and tools that will help you promote yourself within your existing company.
For this reason, we have created a version of Resugraphic that is specifically to promote yourself to existing employers. This infographic is not a resume that explicitly says you want a new job, but instead showcases all the things you have done and your variety of skills. Managers don’t always get to see the full picture, tell your career story through visuals.