Career success: moving beyond good work
Are you waiting to get recognition based on doing good work? I’ve mentioned before that many business professionals believe that keeping your head down, working hard and working well will result in business success and recognition, but it’s not true.
Technical skill will get you only so far. You can best the best accountant or electrician in the world, but if nobody knows about your skills, you won’t progress. Visibility is as important as ability.
Obviously, you need technical ability to do your job well, but you also need to effectively position your skills and projects in a way that demonstrates the value you add. It’s a multi-pronged approach:
- Identify your audience. Know whose attention you want toattract. Is it the head of your department? Perhaps it’s a prospective client. Or maybe it’s someone who’s hiring at a company where you want to work. Whatever the case, you need to tailor your efforts to your target market.
- Determine your key messaging. What is the underlying point you want to make? Narrow this down to a simple, clear message. For example, if you are looking to attract a new client, your messaging needs to highlight the benefits you can offer that add value, how you can solve the client’s problem and what makes you unique among your competitors.
- Decide on a plan of action. Knowing what makes you the best choice for a project or position is only helpful if you translate that knowledge into action. How are you going to convey your message? Will it be through powerful testimonials that demonstrate how you have made an impact in previous projects? Maybe you need to develop a personal branded bio for a prospective employer that goes beyond the regular CV.
- Deliver your message, consistently. Every interaction with your target market needs to drive home your message. Demonstrate your strengths and talents. For example, if you want to show your head of department that you have initiative and drive, draw up a pitch for a new idea that will make his / her work easier and deliver it. Follow up. Get others involved. Go the extra mile and act out of your strengths and talents. Be visible.
- Keep doing good work. While good work will only get you so far, marketing yourself without doing good work will backfire. Remember, good work is expected. It’s the minimum. Make sure you get the basics right and then build on them.