Crescens George - Chartered FCIPD
Competition is fierce and new opportunities present themselves unexpectedly. Hence the pressing need to plan a career is becoming ever more essential. There are some very simple and specific things you can do to build your profile and prepare the ground for your next career step.
Your profile is more than just your reputation; it is a reflection of the value you add to your organisation through your skills, strengths, expertise but more importantly your behaviour and attitude. The trick is to find ways to increase your credibility and build your profile before the job you are interested in even becomes available, thereby greatly increasing your chances of success when it comes to that very important job interview.
Here are four things you can focus on to “Raise your Profile”
1. Create a Brand called “YOU”, identify three core values that are inherent in you and which complement the organizations values. Seek out opportunities to proactively promote these values firstly in your actions and then in every opportunity to promote it. Remember, the brand “You” is also assertive, however ensure you communicate in a professional manner, keeping your emotions in check during challenging conversations.
Repetition is the best way to get your message noticed, remembered and then to be associated with. So use your values and your organisation’s values to create the brand called you!
2. Champion Professionalism: Everything you do should be underpinned by professionalism. From the simple things like being on time for meetings to creating an environment of mutual respect all matters. However one very critical aspect of professionalism is one’s ability to maintain “Confidentiality” of business matters, because as you move up the rank you gain access to privileged information. So don’t be that loud mouthed person. To have a positive profile it is essential to earn and keep the trust of those you work with. Be honest with others, keep your promises and be tactful and discreet.
Dress for the job you want - Your appearance can project an image of self-confidence. Start dressing and behaving as if you were in the role you aspire to - this will make you more credible when you are successful in securing the role.
3. Taking Ownership and Responsibility: Demonstrating that you can handle responsibility well will increase trust in you. When you are given a new responsibility, make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you, if you haven’t fully understood what is expected of you, please don’t assume; seek clarification in order to deliver correctly. Spend some time planning your approach and then to deliver to the desired objective and not to what pleases you. Acknowledge your talents and accept your limitations. Credible and confident people are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, and are comfortable with other people knowing what these are. Admitting your weaknesses shows humility and inspires trust and respect from others.
4. Think the Bigger Picture: It is quite natural that many of us focus on our day to day job activities within our direct work area. If you want to grow, start thinking outside of your direct work area. Make decisions based on the impact to the wider business. Get involved and find out more about other areas and the business you work in - make sure you clearly understand the role you play in what the organisation is trying to achieve. Another dimension to this, you need to learn to self-manage your development. So, think big and don’t wait for others to develop you! - own your development, making the most of the opportunities around you. Always have a live roadmap planning your development journey.
What are the biggest Threats?
It is very natural that certain situations of daily work life will tempt you to a momentary lapse of the grand plans for “raising your profile” – Beware of making a show of yourself at office parties or venting your frustrations inappropriately in the office. When building your profile and earning the respect of your colleagues it is very easy to undo all your hard work in a momentary lapse. So remain positive even during the most adverse and challenging times.
If there really are issues that you feel particularly negative about, think about what action you can take to change them. If others around you spend a lot of time complaining don’t get drawn into the negative spin of the situation, encourage them to take positive practical steps to address and deal with their issues. If you are positive, those around you are more likely to be positive as well. Complaining to others about negative aspects of your work or getting drawn into office gossip can damage your profile and credibility.
What are the biggest Opportunities?
Networking is a really powerful channel to meet, connect and engage with new people. You cannot underestimate the power of building relationships with people around you. Take the time to speak to colleagues. This can be as simple as saying “good morning” first thing and asking how people are doing from time to time. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to people from other areas in order to build a network of contacts within your business. The more people who know your name and sees you as a credible person the stronger you profile becomes.