The best way to distinguish yourself from the crowd professionally is to become known for doing something particularly well. And once you have found that thing, use every opportunity to hone your skill and then show it off to the best of your ability. If you are a natural leader, put your hand up to run company-wide initiatives; if you enjoy showing others how to perform certain tasks, think about mentoring junior members of the team. Perhaps you’re known for un-picking problems and resolving tricky situations – if that’s the case, do a lunchtime session for employees on your top tips.
“If you want help defining your skill, ask friendly clients and colleagues what they enjoy particularly about working with you and what they see as your greatest strengths,” suggest Emily. “There’s bound to be a common thread running through their responses which you can build from.”
Know Your Audience
Find out who you need to influence in the company, then seek them out and make sure they know who you are. To be clear: this isn’t about brown-nosing or sycophancy. It’s simply to make sure that you are on the radar of those with a final say in the business – something that could prove crucial when it comes to promotion time.
“Everyone likes somebody who makes them look good,” says Emily. “Your boss is a human being and making his or her job easier will win you brownie points – and most importantly, up your visibility.”
She adds: “Personally, I really respect team members who proactively build a relationship with me or offer me help or give an opinion. By getting to know my wider team in my old role as Head of Brand at a global PR firm, I discovered more about what made colleagues tick and in return, could offer up different opportunities, be that a secondment to other locations or exciting, off-beat projects.”
Be Visible & Then Some
Social media has given everyone a voice, so use it to your advantage and boost your profile. Identify which social platforms are best suited to your industry and make good use of them.
“LinkedIn is a great tool to show thought leadership,” Emily suggests. “You could also look into some of the content marketing tools such as Passle, which cleverly allows you to create original insights from existing articles in minutes, and Right Relevance, which aggregates influencer content by topic, helping you to find thought leadership at the touch of a button. Using these tools to share insights and offer your original perspective on topics is impressive. Make sure to follow the boss and senior leaders on their social channels where appropriate, so that they can make note of your profile.”
Find Your Fans
Amplify your brand with everyone. The pivotal people within a company aren’t necessarily the most senior staff, but those who are respected or that the boss trusts. Don’t just stick to your immediate team and peers; get to know everyone, from the office support staff to the board members, and treat everyone with respect.
Be polite to everyone. Emily adds: “In my previous role, after every interview for a new team member, I would always ask our receptionist for his opinion. If someone was snooty or dismissive of him, we wouldn’t invite them back in.”
Likewise, give praise where it is due. Sharing positive feedback on your colleagues to their managers will show you to be an empathetic, supportive team member and someone who’s great to work with. It’s much better to commend than compete, so advocate wherever possible. Remember: kindness costs nothing.
Embed Yourself In The Culture
“We spend so much time with our colleagues, it’s important to inject some fun into the workplace,” says Emily. “How can you stand out by literally bringing your personality to life in the office? For example, SESAME’s Head of Communications is a music buff. She energised us by starting a themed playlist every Friday that all team members can add to. There are lots of ways to add to the culture of your office, and by leading the way on these, you are proving your dedication to and investment in making your office the best to work at in so many different ways.”
Understand Your Value
If you are doing a good job, then you deserve to be rewarded. Asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-wracking task but try not to let your emotions get the better of you. Remaining professional and factual is the way forward, as is making sure you have a job overview when you start your role. Be clear on what is expected of you and what you must deliver to receive that rise, making sure you have the evidence to back it up.
To begin your search for a new role in PR & marketing communications, or receive advice on how to position yourself to get ahead in your career, please visit HelloSesame.co.uk