As much as you may like your coworkers, advancing your career usually depends on your ability to earn recognition outside the office. Your next job offer or major client is likely to come from someone who doesn’t work by your side each day.
Regardless of your position, you can gain people’s attention. Try these techniques for promoting your career while helping others online and off. That way they’ll remember you when they’re ready to make new hires or looking for a consultant.
Building Recognition Offline
1. Be prepared.
Business leads can turn up anywhere. Carry business cards with you in case you run into someone interesting while you’re having your dog groomed or washing your car.
2. Attend networking events.
Check the community calendar in your local newspaper. Register for a workshop on social media or drop in on a book signing by a leader in your field.
3. Participate in your professional association.
Become active in the local chapter of your professional association. Attend the monthly lunches and show up early for networking. Volunteer to serve on the welcoming committee or help with planning the annual fundraising dinner.
4. Speak in public.
Brush up on your public speaking skills. You may be able to arrange high-paying appearances, or arrange a slot on the schedule at the next career day at your daughter’s middle school.
5. Volunteer in your community.
Select a charity you care about and propose a volunteer project that will involve working with others. You could research historical information or strategize a marketing campaign.
6. Mentor others.
Reach out to students and young professionals. You can learn a lot by teaching others.
Building Recognition Online
1. Start a blog.
Contribute to your company blog or start your own. Stay on topic and provide fresh content so readers will have a reason to keep coming back. Interview leaders in your field or comment on a popular news story. Review a new software package or report on a major conference.
2. Seek testimonials.
Collecting positive feedback from others strengthens your credibility. Ask for recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn. Gather quotes
3. Update your LinkedIn Profile.
Your LinkedIn profile may be more important than your resume these days. Keep your summary current and compelling. Recruiters may be shopping for passive candidates or potential clients may be looking for someone with your qualifications.
4. Join forums.
Take part in discussion groups related to your field. Be positive and focus on people who you may want to follow up with.
5. Post comments.
Let colleagues know when you’re impressed with their articles or find them thought provoking. Provide useful information and links to other reputable sources. When appropriate, include your website or other contact information so others can get in touch with you.
6. Publish articles.
Contact sites that advertise for outside authors. Check their policies on making payments or providing bylines. If possible, include your photo, social media links, and other contact information to drive traffic to your website / blog.
7. Become a media source.
Journalists need experts in all kinds of fields to verify facts and give them quotes. Develop a relationship with reporters who specialize in your field or work at local newspapers. Email them with a brief bio and story ideas. Reply promptly if they request details for a piece they’re working on.
Uncover exciting opportunities by making your strengths and accomplishments widely known. Sharing your expertise with others online and face-to-face is a great way to extend your network and become more marketable.