Imagine the perfect boss. He or she is probably supportive of your professional and personal life. He or she is probably an expert at what they do. He or she is probably not overly-confident nor indecisive. He or she probably isn’t afraid to admit mistakes or ask for help. He or she is probably always looking for ways to improve through feedback or through continued education.
How are we doing? Painting the perfect picture? We hope so! This edition of Thrive in Five is about promoting yourself. Essentially, we’re defining what makes the perfect boss, so you can then become the perfect candidate for moving up the ladder, or moving in the direction you desire (because not all growth is vertical).
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Be Your Best Advocate
There are lots of articles about different ways to promote yourself. Some tips include:
- speak publicly
- create a business case
- write impact statements
- make sure you get credit where credit is due
However, to us, these tips and articles were missing the “human-centered” element and felt a little self-centered. “What do you mean? You’re supposed to be self-centered when promoting yourself!” Well… at Evans, we don’t think so, so we came up with our own top tips to promoting yourself “The Evans Way.” We approach the situation in a little different light, because we feel to become a leader, you have to be the type of person you want to follow.
Here’s what we came up with:
- Use your talents and skills selflessly. As some of us at Evans say, “Work yourself out of a job.” Do what you do well with the final goal being to help others, not yourself. It will come back around… we promise.
- Develop those with an interest in doing what you do. Be a mentor to someone who is eager to learn. By investing in the future of our workforce, you’re investing in yourself.
- Openly share your knowledge by teaching. The best way to gain credibility in what you do is to teach others! Write blogs, teach a class, be a keynote speaker. Share what you know with the intent to teach, and others will come to see you as a leader in your field.
- Be confident but stay humble. There’s a balance to being confident in your skills and being a know-it-all. Accept that while you might know a lot, you never know everything. And it’s 100% OK to admit when you don’t know!
- Take ownership but give credit where credit is due. If you did a great job, don’t by any means downplay your hard work. However, definitely give props to those who supported the success. Notice that we didn’t say “your success” – hardly anyone accomplishes anything single-handedly.
- Grow continually. Ask questions. Attend seminars. Read books. Do research. Never stop seeking to gain more knowledge. The more you know (and share!), the more others will see leadership in you.
- Ask for feedback more than you give it. We almost put this as part of the previous bullet, but we thought it deserved its own spotlight. Asking for feedback is one of the most important things you can do to become a leader. Being imperfect is to be human, but admitting imperfection and seeking improvement suggestions from others is part of being a great leader.
Apply the Five!
Do our self-promotion tips resonate with you? Do you want to know how you’re doing? Well… we’ve created a simple self-assessment to tell you! Answer as honestly as possible, and try not to pick the answer you think is “correct” to get the best results. After you finish, view your score, and come back here to figure out how you did!
- 0-15 points: Maybe you’re great at putting a good word in for yourself, or doing what’s expected of you, but try to put a little more emphasis on how you can promote yourself by helping others. We bet you’ll notice a difference in how others support you if you take the initiative to support them first!
- 15-25 points: You’re off to a great start! It looks like you have a good foundation in considering others when you act. To continue to build on this, pick one or two of the questions you did not receive points for, and focus on improving in these areas.
- 25-35 points: You’re killing it at promoting yourself “The Evans Way”! Keep up the great work!
Do you want to see how you answered compared to others? Click the “View Previous Results” link on the screen displayed right after you submit your answers.
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Emily Rego!
“Promoting yourself” seems to me like an elusive concept that every professional is inundated with since one’s very first adult job interview. Yet as often as I have heard the phrase, I’ve historically been uncomfortable putting these words into practice. Not to say I’m a stranger to hard work and think I’m not worthy of promotion, because even though I give 1000% at everything I agree to take on (even if, like in basketball, I would never be particularly good at it), I am the first to hide from the spotlight, feeling that I totally don’t deserve it.
To explain, there is no way I would be able to shine in sports if my teammates weren’t amazing as well. There’s no way I would be recognized for performing well at work if my co-workers and clients weren’t there to show up to fill in my gaps and teach me along the way. There’s no way that the one time I had an intern I could have taught her so well if she wasn’t willing to learn.
However, discovering the Evans’ way of promoting oneself has given me a new perspective on this phrase’s meaning and how I have unconsciously taken steps to promote myself and others around me all along. I hope to grow more as a professional in 2019, be more intentional in my actions, and keep promoting not only myself but all of my Evans peers in this new year!
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)