Put yourself in the limelight!

Don’t suppose that your boss will already recognize from your work what a "diamond" you are. In particular, if you have frequently changed your environment and move outside the classical career ladder, you must boost your qualities in another way. Your motto should be: “Do good and talk about it!” Your strategy here is to become valuable in terms of being a source of expertise and information. That’s how you get closer to your goal of boosting your own market value.

Exercise: Take stock of your career

Review your professional career once again. Draw your professional career path on a piece of paper, either as a curvy, straight or sloped line. Highlight the point where you are today. Highlight highs, lows and turning points and briefly describe what led to these events, what your strengths were that you used on these occasions and what you learned. Then draw your line in the future. Ask yourself how you plan on developing. What can you do to make this happen? Integrate these ideas into your strategy and in your daily actions.

Influential factor: Communicate successes

You shouldn’t hide your light under a bushel. Think about when you could tell your colleagues, future decision-makers and opinion leaders about your successes? Don’t envision yourself as a “high-flyer”. Instead make sure to objectively find out what your success depends on in as few retraceable steps as possible, what good this is to your team, the department and the company, and how you achieved your success. Make sure not to falsely take all the credit. Make sure to praise the support and the performance of others, but also not to be too modest of yourself!

Influential factor: Distinguish yourself as an expert

Another key point is that you are seen by others as a source of expertise and as a person of trust who can be assigned important tasks and who people like to ask for advice. You can achieve this by connecting certain themes with your perception of yourself. Come up with a few thoughts of your own. The following lists can help you here:

  • When do you feel happy in your career and at work? What activities do you carry out? What events lead to this?
  • What can you do really well? What can you do better and what do you know more about than others in your surroundings?
  • Where do additional tasks and issues exist in your organization or in your industry? What can you contribute to finding a solution?
  • What possibilities exist for you here (in particular, which ones you have not yet used) to make your mark without your regular job suffering as a result?
  • How can you present your ideas and success stories to a larger audience (e.g. via trade magazines, newsletters, company events, conferences)?
  • If you weigh costs and benefits, which seems the most promising? Where are future trends heading?

Influential factor: Positioning yourself in meetings

Meetings are also a chance for you to position yourself in the right light. Use this opportunity to present yourself by sharing your knowledge, appropriate ideas, well-founded concepts, constructive suggestions for improvement to the respective listeners. Make sure to pay attention to the following basic principles:

  • If you introduce yourself to the attendees, make sure to sit up or stand up straight. Then make eye contact – first with the most important people in the room and then with the rest. Clearly state your name and your role. This helps you to appear confident and it demonstrates that you have something conceptually important to contribute.
  • Prepare and don’t make any “ill-conceived” suggestions, unless you are brainstorming.
  • Try to contribute a minimum number of remarks. If you do not implement this with determination, you shall remain unnoticed. Base the number and type of remarks contributed on each meeting. In other words, on the occasion and group size: In small groups, personal topics come across as friendly, in large groups however they are out of place. Not making enough remarks in smaller groups gives off the impression of being shy. Making “vague statements” or repeating what’s already been said will make you look like a chatterbox in a group of “high potentials”.
  • Stand up in larger groups if you’d like to make a longer contribution so that everyone takes note of you.
  • Don’t turn into a “naysayer” by frequently pointing out problems. Should you have concerns, make constructive feedback which can then be discussed.
  • Avoid “diluting your speech”, or in other words, use powerful, interesting language with short sentences and catchy keywords:

-> Draw attention: interesting, revolutionary, innovative, sensational, great, etc.

-> Emphasize expertise: expert knowledge, well-founded, careful, goal-oriented, etc.

-> Highlight important issues: significant, relevant, critical, essential, absolute, etc. 

-> Emphasize the validity: Use as little trendy expert terminology as possible. This will show that you know your stuff without people classifying you as “cocky”. Avoid “technical jargon” and foreign words if you want to make sure that everybody understands you.

  • Don’t let others interrupt you constantly. If necessary, get out the elbows: “Please let me finish talking.”, “I’m not done yet.” or “Just one second, I’d like to say something.”
  • Don’t justify your opinion.

I hope that these methods help your environment to soon realize what a “diamond” you are. Should you wish to make progress faster, I suggest that you consider personal coaching. Do not hesitate to contact me.