How To Market Yourself

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HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF

We’ve all been there: “How do I get that promotion?” and “How do I make myself stand out from the crowd?” These time-honoured questions are key to your career progression, yet most of us don’t know how to maximise our potential and make ourselves visible in all the right ways. That’s where understanding how to market yourself really comes into play, especially in this digital and throwaway culture, you have to really know how to make the best of all your attributes and capabilities in order to be seen for all the right reasons.

You possess a wealth of functional and social abilities, and tuning into what these are will help you to really understand and play to your strengths, so that you can get that job you’ve always wanted, work for a dream company, and climb the ladder to reach your fullest potential. Sound good? Read on..

Social abilities are your social and communication skills, understanding, listening, empathy and so on.

Functional abilities are the skills you’ve acquired through the workplace and education.

Combining the two effectively make you incredibly attractive to your current, and prospective, employers. You will naturally have all of these, yet you may also be stronger in: communication, teamwork, self-confidence, organisation.

Professional Image

Your professional image is absolutely vital if you want to market yourself successfully in the workplace. And we know you know the drill, always be well presented, always be on time, make a good impression etc. but we can’t emphasise enough how important these pointers are. Did you know that humans judge one another on appearance in under 7 seconds? That just proves how much your personal appearance and attitude count in any given work situation. Give yourself the best start by doing all you can to be the best possible version of yourself. The following pointers are great in guiding you in what’re the most effective ways to stand out:

  • Be well informed in all aspects of your job, and your boss’s!
  • Be prepared
  • Build your reputation
  • Be well presented, well groomed and well dressed
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Be friendly and open to others
  • Be confident
  • Be consistent

Visibility

Have you ever wondered why you get passed off when it comes to a promotion or being recognised for your work? The opportunities always go to the same person? Being visible is an absolute must if you want to progress and market yourself. Being vocal about your capabilities and achievements is super important, as no one else is going to shout about you, other than you! Believing in yourself and your work is all part of your personal branding, and employers want to see a vocal and confident employee who loves what they do and who doesn’t mind telling the world!

  • Get involved with company events, activities and training
  • Always look to build your network, both in, and out of, the workplace
  • Keep up a dialogue with your manager on how you can develop and grow
  • Do your bit for charity on behalf of your work
  • Always keep hold of positive feedback in case you need it for the future
  • Stay positive when it comes to leaving your job – you never know when you might need them again, and vice versa!

You have the skills and personality, it’s up to you to really harness your qualities and be confident in all you can achieve going forward. We believe in you, so go get ’em!

How to build your personal brand in 6 steps

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Personal branding has become more important than ever when trying to stand out in the workplace and on social media. We’ve narrowed down our research into 6 easy steps to remember when trying to build your own brand and identify who you are, and what you have to offer.

The benefits you’ll gain from defining your personal brand are huge, just look at the list below:

  • it will increase your confidence and self-awareness, not to mention your credibility
  • your visibility will increase and make you stand out to employers and colleagues
  • your reputation will be enhanced
  • your goals will be clarified more clearly helping you to grow
  • your career prospects will flourish

By analysing the data and breaking it down, we want to make it possible for everyone out there to recognise how beneficial and worthwhile it is to develop your presence online, and we really hope you gain a lot from it.

So first thing’s first, here are the steps from 1 to 6:

  1. Understand yourself

This couldn’t be more important and it’s made possible by asking yourself some simple questions:

  • how would others describe you?
  • what are your strengths?
  • what are your skills and abilities?
  • what are your passions?
  • what’s your leadership style / work style / thinking style (refer back to our blog on the emotional intelligence leadership styles for help with this one)
  • what accomplishment are you most proud of?

2. Find your niche 

What do you want from work and life? And what’s unique about you?

  • How do you want people to identify you?
  • What do you want to be recognised for?
  • Have you added value? In what way?
  • What can you do that no one else can? (aside from run multiple diaries and the world at the same time! 😉

3. Improve your prospects

By promoting yourself and your achievements on your CV and social media you’re giving yourself the best possible chance to engage with employers during the hiring process. This could be anything from qualifications, training, and memberships, to voluntary work: and the great news is, it all counts!

4. Who’s your audience?

  • future employers
  • work colleagues
  • social media specialists
  • online communities

5. Build your presence online

Step 1. Google yourself to see what comes up when you type your name, this will give you a great start and allow you to see where your name sits in the online sphere

Step 2. Update your social media presence and pay particular attention to Linked In and Instagram. Both offer varying opportunities to develop your brand, with one focusing on your professional abilities, and the other showing your emotional intelligence and personality; both factors make you a fully rounded and saleable person

Step 3. Communicate with other people in your industry, and get involved in online communities and forums. This can then translate into real life when you attend events with others in your online sphere, and that’s where the networking really comes into play!

6. Walk your Talk

Always reflect your brand by the way you present yourself at any event or in the workplace. Keep developing your skills in communication, emotional intelligence and always stay true to who you are. And remember to enjoy the learning, it’s fun after all!  🙂

Emotional Intelligence: the six leadership styles

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Did you know that there are six leadership styles which exist in the workplace? These leadership styles come under the emotional intelligence umbrella and help you to understand yourself, your colleagues, and your managers:

  1. Authoritative: self-confidence, empathy, catalysing change
  2. Affiliative: empathy, building relationships, communication
  3. Democratic: collaboration, team leadership, communication
  4. Pace-setting: conscientious, drive to achieve, initiative
  5. Coercive: drive to achieve, initiative, self-control
  6. Coaching: empathy, developing others, self-awareness

Can you recognise your boss in the above styles? Can you recognise yourself? Your role at work will always include leadership and it’s really great to be able to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and understand how you might adapt your approach according to various different situations.

It’s important to note that not all of the leadership styles are positive – in particular, the coercive style and the pace-setting style, have the opposite effect. The most strongly positive is the authoritative style, due to leaders encouraging their team to move towards their shared vision.

Understanding the styles help you to develop and grow as a leader, a colleague, and in your relationship with your boss. Can you recognise yourself and your boss the styles below?

1. The Coercive Leader

Branded the least effective of the styles, coercive leaders are demanding, inflexible and alienating. Not one to aspire to, recognising this style in your boss or colleague may help you to manage your relationship with, and actions towards them.

2. The Authoritative Leader

Flexible, open leaders, with an ability to encourage and motivate their team. Successful leaders, they will champion their team with courage and belief in their skills, to drive them to the same vision they have, all the while making each individual feel appreciated and given a level of autonomy.

3. The Affiliative Leader

Leaders who look after their team and put them before the work that must be done. Empathetic, trustworthy, and allow the individual freedom to experiment. A great all-round approach and really brings a team together.

4. The Democratic Leader

Understanding of their team’s ideas and input in order to help make their decisions, therefore creating a feeling of teamwork and morale.

5. The Pace-Setting Leader

The leader who sets a pace and expects all employees to follow and match up to. This can be a demanding and demeaning style of leadership if not all team members are of the same skill. One of the less effective ways to motivate individuals who need support and guidance.

6. The Coaching Leader

The least used of the all styles, but perhaps the most effective as this style has a huge impact on an individual’s motivation and self belief, and makes them feel listened to and respected. It works best when the team want to be coached and welcome support from their leader.

We really hope you have found reading about these styles of leadership useful, and hope you recognise yourselves in some of them. All attributes and styles can be learned, as with all emotional intelligence, and we would love to see you at one of our coaching days coming up in April where you can learn about emotional intelligence and more.

If you’re interested in learning more, our Executive PA Manager Masterclass explores Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. We are running a session on 19th April. If you’d like to book, simply email Amanda at enquiries@globalpa-association.com or visit our website for more information on the programme: Global PA Association PA Manager Masterclass

Career Progression for PAs & EAs

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By Vivian Mensah

Vivien  has 18 years’ experience in the admin profession.  She began her career as a receptionist at Astra Zeneca PLC, a FTSE 100 Biopharmaceuticals company where she proceeded to hold Senior PA and Project Co-ordinater roles and is currently EA to the EVP there.  She is committed and passionate about her role as an EA who champions and advocates the value and impact the PA role brings to the organisation, team and individuals and was responsible for introducing lunch and learn sessions for the PAs at AstraZeneca. 

Career progression – Where do I start?

How many of us in the admin community have had some form of performance management engagement this year, last year or never – before you answer bear in mind that this can be classified as any of the following: Performance planning, Performance coaching or Performance problems.

We should all have a performance plan – whether or not it states “I want to remain in this position/post for the rest of my career” or “I want to become the CEO in 5 years” – that can be referred too, rewritten, amended, adjusted and referred to.

Many of us want to have longevity in the admin profession, we want to progress as far as our skills, capabilities, personality and leadership traits will take us. We have ambition and we have aspirations.

So, does the below sound familiar?

Admin: ‘I would like to speak to you about my career progression’.

Manager: ‘Career progression? But you are an admin’.

Career progression for admin professionals is available, achievable and deserved but it is up to you to remain focused, work hard and try to excel in everything that you. Always try your hardest and strive for success. If this is not recognised in your current role, it could happen in your next – be open minded and look to create those opportunities.  You may need to move teams/departments/organisations to realise your full potential.  You need to prioritise what is important to you, is it the career satisfaction?  Enjoyment?  Challenge? If you simply sit and wait for someone to take notice and offer you something better/a step up or put you forward for that EA/project management position that you have always then you may be waiting a long time.

There are many paths that we can take to avoid that but like most things sometimes it may take time, could get bumpy along the way and not always straight forward.

It’s not always easy to bring up the subject of career progression topic but a great opportunity to seize for that is your mid-year or year-end appraisal. I worry about two things here: that some of you may not even have appraisals or having to wait half or a full year to talk about investing in yourself which in turn will be beneficial to the organisation in so many ways – a motivated, highly-engaged employee who is likely to stay committed within the organisation.

For your first of meetings I would suggest the following:

Preparation, preparation, preparation. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of preparing for your meetings. Sometimes you only get one chance, so make it count!


Goals and Objectives:

Write down your goals and objectives as these are fundamental to accomplishing what you need to. Goals are long term aims that you want to accomplish and objectives are measurable, concrete and tangible.

Knowledge is Power:

You must become an expert in your field, e.g.progressing from a PA to an EA
Find out all is there is to know about an EA – how does the role differ to the role of a PA
What aspects of the role interests you? What are some of the challenges you expect to face in the role?

Ask if you can shadow an EA for a couple of hours or a day?

Ask an existing EA in your organisation or network to mentor you.

THE MEETING
Schedule sufficient meeting time and advise your manager in advance of the topics and content you would like to discuss this with her/him.

Planning:
Planning is essential to improve the odds of a successful outcome so go prepared – research relevant course/mentorship schemes/internships/in-house training etc.

Dialogue:
Ensure that you have an open, honest and realistic discussion about your career progression because this might be your only shot in a long time to discuss training courses/mentorship etc.

Follow ups:
So you have had the discussion and you have the green light (yippee) to enrol on some courses/mentorship schemes.  This is really great news! It demonstrates that your manager believes in you and is investing time and money in you – Yes! You! Repay the compliment by scheduling regular update meetings to keep your manager up to date with your progress, experiences and whether it meets the objectives.