11-Feb-2010 - In our desire to live fulfilling and meaningful lives, the search for opportunity can be quite a challenge. Promoting yourself is essential for career growth. In my interaction with students and professionals, as well as in my own work experiences I have noted several factors we should consider in order to effectively communicate our value. Here are some thoughts on selling ourselves.
1. No point Spending without marketing
I come in peace, but does it make sense to spend so much on training and certification and yet be unable to market yourself? Selling yourself is essential to seize the opportunities we desire. Without opportunity what is it all about? Training and certification may confer advantage but these career tools do not guarantee anything. Opportunity comes from your ability to convince others that you can add value and deliver results. Let the invisible become visible.
2. Is focusing on the Technical alone right?
Many of us focus on our Oracle and Microsoft skills and neglect selling what we have. Opportunity is more than your tech expertise. Your tech skills and training decisions are important, but if you can't MARKET YOURSELF, getting opportunity will be an uphill task. Do prospective clients and employers know the unique value proposition your offer? How effective is your marketing communication?
3. Selling yourself is not just about you.
The opportunities out there are bigger than you. You have career goals and plans. But your personal ambition is secondary if your desire must become a reality. Matching the needs and wants of the client or employer should be the primary concern. Any opportunity is a problem waiting to be solved or a solution searching for a provider. Market yourself by highlighting your benefits and showing how you will solve the problem or provide solutions. You achieve your goals by meeting the needs and wants of the opportunity source. If Company A needs a Web developer it won’t employ your services out of sympathy because you have been out of work or simply because you are a Web developer. The job is not about you.
4. Grow up and Own the Opportunity
But you can own the opportunity not just by showing up for the interview but by convincing the client or employer that you are best person to provide the e-solution required by the company. The world does not revolve around your needs. To sell yourself effectively you need to GROW UP. It is beyond you or what you want. Connect with others and be genuinely interested in what they do and in helping others achieve. And please this isn't about pretending or acting. There is integrity in simply being yourself. Be an authentic. Your desire to contribute must be obvious and real.
5. The combination approach works best
There is no one way to sell yourself. Marketing yourself entails combining strategies -developing and demonstrating your soft skills in a variety of ways.
And it's not about selling yourself for cash or into slavery - it's selling yourself for career growth. With the competition out there, if you don't stand out from the pack, how are you going to get noticed? Sell your value by highlighting and using people skills and hands-on experience you have gained from training, full and part-time positions, temporary jobs, etc.
No special time or place
Most importantly, there is no special place or time to get yourself out there. Never make the mistake of thinking selling is about formulas and systems. Sell yourself all the time. Not only at interviews or in application letters and proposals. We are always selling ourselves - the way we act, respond, the way we serve. Let your behaviour market you.
Don’t undersell yourself by underestimating unplanned, chance encounters. Be enthusiastic about what you have. Just make sure you are always sensible as you sell yourself on the street, in the class, bus, shop and restaurant, on the job, at play, online, with acquaintances, etc. What are you doing right now? SELL YOURSELF!
How are you selling yourself? Which
strategies work for you? Share your ideas, thoughts and experiences.
How are you selling yourself? Which strategies work for you? Share your ideas, thoughts and experiences.
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