1: Promote Yourself

Image“”Promoting yourself” does not mean self-serving grandstanding or hiring a PR firm.  It means preparing yourself mentally to move into your new role by letting go of the past and embracing the imperatives of the new situation to give yourself a running start”. 

So you were a 4.0 student and president of your student organization…

So you received an award for exceptional sales performance in your prior role that resulted in an all expense paid trip to Puerto Vallarta on the company’s dime…

So you served as VP of Finance at your past firm…

So what? 

Just because you achieved success in a prior role does not your guarantee success in a new role.  Transitions require a change in perspective.  While it’s important to celebrate your successes, when entering a new role, emotions and egos must be checked at the door.  You must strive to identify that which you do not know.  Lean into vulnerability, then learn to control it. The sooner you can mentally prepare for the culture shock of a career transition, the sooner you can begin to identify the resources you need to promote yourself. 

How do you do this?

Well for one, consciously think of letting go of the old job and embracing the new one.  Like a power lifter preparing to max out on the bench press, you need to visualize the goal in your minds eye before lifting the weight.  This is an active process that requires mental energy as well as time to reflect.  Prepare. Take a deep breath. Identify, then focus on the goal before you act.

In the beginning, the specifics of your role may appear unclear.  Instead of spinning your tires, take advantage of the quiet time before the storm and educate yourself about the organization. 

Start planning what you hope to accomplish by specific milestones.  Create SMART goals for yourself.  Own your career development.

Assess your vulnerabilities. Then, compensate for them through self-discipline, team building as well as seeking advise and counsel.  Work hard to account for gaps in your skill set.  Identify team members that may serve as valuable resources.  And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Decide to learn.  You got to where you are now because you have proven yourself in the past.  Now, it’s time to make the most of the present.  Mentally prepare yourself for your new role by gathering as much information as you can, asking insightful questions to help you better grasp the scope of the role and acknowledging that your past successes alone may not guarantee your future success.  It’s time to start promoting yourself.

-N

 

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