More and more, a successful career is about the brand YOU. In a world where lay offs are common, and where employees are expected to change careers regularly, it’s important that you consider yourself as a brand. If you plan to start your own business, then your brand becomes even more important. Thinking of yourself as a brand requires that you take a step back and think about how you are marketing yourself.
If you want to show others that you deserve the promotion, worth the raise, or ready for the new job, you need to boost your marketability. Here are 6 ways you can improve your marketability:
There’s an old saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” While it’s true that it helps to have somewhat broad abilities, if you really want to market yourself, you need to specialize. What can you build your expertise in? What knowledge or skill do you have that is specific?
When you specialize in a particular area, you have the chance to brand yourself as the person to go to. This can be a way to build your reputation beyond just your current pay grade and company. Make it a point to specialize in something that your employer needs. Choose your skill carefully. It doesn’t do you much good to be the expert at something no one cares about.
What connections do you bring to the table? Not only can networking help you forge valuable relationships, but your networking ability can also improve your marketability. Companies like to know that you can bring something extra to the table. A PR professional with network contacts in the media is sought after, since he or she can provide a that added value to the company. Get to know others in your field, and your connections could open doors.
Have a Good Attitude
People like to work with those who uplift them. You can improve your brand as a motivator if you develop a good attitude. This doesn’t mean that you exude false enthusiasm. A generally positive outlook on life, and a can-do attitude can go a long way. Develop the skills necessary to help inspire others, and you will be considered a valuable asset. Your good attitude can make a huge difference in the workplace, and make you one of the last people considered when it comes to layoffs. For a business own, the positive attitude shows through and enhances client interactions. Positivity can go a long way toward helping you land new clients and keep old customers.
Develop Soft Skills
Hard skills, like technical abilities, are important in many jobs. However, if you want to take your marketability up a notch, you also need to develop soft skills. Some of these soft skills include:
- Active listening
- Good written and oral communication
- Solid presentation abilities
Be a Self-Starter
I learned how to use and program a specific niche software that many people were lost with, and found that I could get jobs quite easily after that.
Letting others in makes them appreciate your value. I always talk about what I do for the company to other employees, in simple words. They understand that it is not that complicated, yet that they couldn’t do it and appreciate the honesty. I don’t like people who go around like only them could do their jobs and it is too complicated to even consider explaining to you what it is about.
Those kind of people bug me to. Realistically, we are all replaceable.
Great idea on learning a niche software program. It obviously helps you stand out and builds dependency which is great for job security. I have done the same thing with my blog and webdesign. I now have these skills that I can use at work which definitely works in my favour.
Good post. I agree that networking and being a self starter are a must when it comes to marketing yourself. Networking is a two way street and it’s important for people to view it that way. You may not get something out of doing a nice thing for that person you’ve met, but it often can benefit you in the long run.
I would agree. You don’t always get immediate benefits from helping others and networking but later on you do. I know for myself I have used my network to get jobs and have great references. My effort has definitely paid off.
One way to combine two items on the list — networking and problem solving — is to participate in trade organizations and events. Conferences, newsletters, conventions, etc. are great opportunities to meet peers in other organizations…
That is a great idea. I just joined a board of directors this year which is allowing me to meet numerous new people. It is also allowing me to expand my skill set which is great for future opportunities.
Great post. I can identify with “Specialise” as I was spreading myself thin trying to do different tasks but now just stick to accounts and the writing side of my business. I still spread myself thin but at least I am enjoying it. Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com
You definitely have a point. Sometimes instead of doing it all we should just focus on what we are good at. This really helps us shine. I find passing things on to experts of the subject really helps with team development and getting a reputation for working well with others which always works in our favour.
Soft skills and a positive, can-do attitude can really help your brand. I think most people want to work with others who can listen, communicate and turn around quality work with a smile.
That is so true. The sad thing is listening and smiling seem to be commodities these days. Not everyone knows how to work with other people. If you can though, you definitely can build a good reputation for future opportunities.
A lot of people overlook the soft skills that make them more enjoyable to be around. It really does a make difference, though. People like to be around others that make them feel good. If you are a morale booster, you will always be valued.
Small towns are great for that, as long as you stay on people’s good side. Try using LinkedIn. I have found it great for getting one’s name out there in specific industries.
One thing that kinda falls under specializing and being a problem solver is looking for/identifying new potential sources for revenue. Most companies are hyper-focused on growth, so being the first/early to identify new potential products and services/clients can really get you circled on the employee roster. New can also mean finding a new method of delivering current products and services that thrill customers while lowering (or at least not raising) costs.
I like the idea of looking for growth. You can help a company as you look in new directions. It also works in your business, if you have one. Look outside the box for revenue sources.
Being the problem solver is what has always kept me employed. When I worked at Motorola I always took the initiative to find out why things were not working the way they should and then come up with a solution that fixed the problem. That often involved learning new skills, which helped me get my next job!
I find expanding my skill set has helped me too. The more different things you can do the more opportunities you can pursue.
Agreed. Each time I moved up learning new skills was a major factor. I went from learning html to web programming to seo to online reputation management. Each time it came with a bump up in my job. 🙂