How to Sell The Brand That is You---Without Turning People Off
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Oftentimes, as a young professional, you may want to tread the line between self-promoting and blind boasting very lightly. But what happens when you simply want to ensure your presence is felt and that you want to get credit for the great things you do at work?

In competitive workplaces, experts say its not a good idea to just be the worker bee no one knows is always busy buzzing. Some CEOs don’t even notice these personalities, with their heads buried in the sand while others are great at selling to the boss their star, revenue-building qualities. Other leaders may also see the negative side of that, judging them as lacking social and leadership skills that could take the company to the next level.

How do you self promote at work without making enemies? Erin Palmer, a career expert, offers the following advice, via BrazenCareerist:

Put value on what you offer. “Becoming successful is much harder if you don’t know what you’re worth. Not knowing the value of your skills could cause you to inadvertently hold yourself back. You don’t want to be an A-player wasting away in a position that’s going nowhere,” Palmer writes.

She also suggests adding to that value skills you are still in the process of honing, such a certifications or workshops you’re currently participating in.

And it’s not about being boastful or arrogant. “It’s about being prepared when an opportunity presents itself,” she writes. “Should a coveted position become available, you want your accomplishments to already be on the radar so you’ll be the first person considered for the job.”

Take advance of your career network: Palmer suggests young professionals know how the key influencers are in their careers and learn their needs and values, and more importantly, how to meet those needs.

“Strengthening your relationships will encourage your network to share your achievements in a more organic way.”

She also suggests offering something of value and returning the favor. “Helping them or teaching them something can have a long-lasting impact as they share your advice or teachings with others in their network,” she adds.

Fake it ’til you make it —confidence, that is. Taking on your career being secure in your talents and what you offer is vital. “It’s hard to get executive buy-in or new career opportunities if you’re outwardly insecure. People are less likely to want to invest in your career development if you seem unsure of yourself.”

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.