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

The multifaceted role of a PA

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By Joanne Manville

IMG_1007

Joanne Manville is a Virtual Assistant who started her own business ‘Joanne Manville Virtual Assistance’ after ten years as a successful Executive Assistant to Chief Executives and Managing Directors in both the public and private sectors. 

Whilst in some organisations the role of a PA has changed little from the traditional role of secretary, in many the PA now undertakes a wide variety of responsibilities and roles.

The core roles and responsibilities of PAs still tend to be centred around arranging and facilitating meetings, diary management, emails and booking travel, but it doesn’t stop there.  Many of the things that we do as PAs are outside of our basic job description and often come under the elusive heading of ‘any other tasks appropriate to the role’.

The title ‘Executive Assistant’ is becoming more widely used to describe a PA who is not only the PA to an Executive, but also undertakes more strategic functions in the business – requiring a different skill-set altogether.

Some examples of these are:

  • Representing managers at meetings, or attend meetings in their own right, demonstrating confidence and decision making skills and a strategic understanding of the business;
  • Supporting more than one manager at once – requiring the skills of tact and diplomacy and excellent prioritisation skills;
  • Line management of apprentices, administrators and receptionists and sometimes even other PAs – requiring management skills, the ability to lead a team and to deal with conflict;
  • Training and development – requiring confidence as well as presentation and public speaking skills;
  • Recruitment – requiring objectivity, excellent questioning and knowledge of equality and diversity;
  • Drafting or writing papers to be received by management or Boards of Directors, requiring skills in writing, research, analysis and presentation of data;
  • Managing the social media accounts for the business, requiring knowledge of compliance, regulation, strategic awareness and the brand which the company wishes to project.

Should we be annoyed at having to take on these additional responsibilities, or seek them out to enhance our skills and ensure we are being the best we can be?  Of course, it’s a personal choice and taking on additional roles and responsibilities should not be done lightly or without discussion of additional responsibility allowances.  It may mean working longer hours or making difficult choices around our priorities.

In my career, I undertook all of these roles, sometimes at the same time.  I felt it was key to being the best PA I could be.  Managing others gave me valuable insights into the pressures on my colleagues and on their managers.  Training and Recruitment enabled me to choose and develop the team around me and make improvements to the way in which we worked together and supported one another.  I also felt the additional challenge was important for my own self development and career – although in the end not even that was enough and eventually I decided to use all the skills I had learned to help me build my own business as a Virtual Assistant!

What roles do you undertake outside of the traditional PA role?  Are there things that you would like to get more involved in? Feel free to leave your comments below

PA Goal Setting for 2016

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By Lauren Heath

Lauren Heath Headshot

Lauren is an Office Manager and PA to Partners. After starting out in the hospitality industry, Lauren has since gained a decade of business and administrative experience, having managed offices and supported senior staff in SME’s in a variety of sectors including construction, events, education and more recently in oil and gas engineering.

Since March it has been my goal to return to a fully fledged PA and Office Manager role. It has been tough going, with the competition beating me to it a few times. I did think – “why not stay in my job? I am good at what I do even if I don’t feel pushed to my full potential”. “No!” I thought – I know what I am very good at and I know what I want to be now that I am grown up! (I only just feel this in my early 30’s).

I finally got the new job, hurrah! I am now in a company that appreciates the need and benefit of CPD and networking, and now I feel more freedom and room to grow than ever before. Ironically, having achieved my goal for 2015 in the nick of time, I found an event on Eventbrite that was local to me for Setting Goals for 2016 – brilliant!

The facilitator was Mumazing Success,  a network group for Entrepreneur and career-minded mums to meet and find a work/life balance. It was really good to meet other working mums and business women and hear about their ups and downs as well as achievements for 2015; it puts your own life into perspective. Being a mum and working full time can bring on many feelings of guilt that most people don’t talk about or who are shy to say they enjoy working. I am proud to say I am very ambitious in my work, want to be the best I can be, and I ensure all the family time with my son and husband is quality time.

So looking back on 2015 we discussed our lessons, challenges, what we were grateful for and our proudest moments. It is good to reflect on your year and feel that you have achieved something – new clients, new job, even taking up a hobby that brings you happiness and de-stresses you. Don’t feel guilty; if you are the best you can be, then you will be the best to those around you.

So…the year ahead; what are your goals?

  • Choose goals that you have an emotional connection to – something that you want and feel is right
  • Have self-belief – you can do it!
  • Ignore negativity – it will only stop you from achieving. Surround yourself with good influences or attend other network meetings with like-minded people
  • Reward yourself – instil a good feeling on achieving your goals or the tasks leading up to a goal. Positive reinforcement goes a long way
  • Take action – break these goals down into an action plan, bite size chunks, so they don’t seem unachievable and avoid feeling overwhelmed,
  • Visualise your goals – maybe put up a picture at home or in your office of what you want to have, achieve or improve

At the end of the session, we did a mood board, which at first I found myself flicking through magazines not finding anything that seemed ‘me’. Then words started jumping out and then a few pictures as well. At the end I found I had put my goals into pictures and words in a visual display. Every now and then I can remind myself of what I want to achieve and even add a new cutting if something else pops up or my goal changes slightly.

Apparently 20% of people set goals and only 3% write them down and go on to review and achieve them. So go on, be part of the 3%, set a couple of goals for the year, write them down, ‘visualise them…let’s see what 2016 will bring and where you can find yourself in 12 months time. Life is a journey after all.

So what goals have you set for 2016? Feel free to leave your comments below.