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5 steps to self-promote

Written by: Karen Young, Director of Hays Accountancy & Finance
Published on: 29 Apr 2019

2 women at desk

In order to move forward within your career, it is necessary to be your own ‘biggest fan’ and communicate to others about your skills and successes, otherwise you may find yourself stuck in a career rut. 

Everyone has the right to communicate their career ambitions, and so if you’re not granted it, ask for it! This means insisting that your manager arranges routine performance reviews with you, as well as other methods outlined below. 

Making sure other people know what your career goals are will help make sure you’re considered seriously for future opportunities, and will give you greater control of your future career path. 

Here are six ways to help raise your profile in the workplace and aid your career progression: 

1. Exceed expectations 

Performing well and exceeding your targets will show your employer a measure of your future potential. This is without doubt the most fundamental way to elevate your profile in the workplace. The best way to convince your manager that you’re ready to take a step up to the next level is to start performing at that level in your job now. 

2. Communicate your successes 

Don’t be afraid to make others aware of your successes. If you are working hard and performing well don’t be too embarrassed to share your success with your boss and colleagues. 

This doesn’t mean printing off your sales figures and sticking them up on the wall; there are more subtle ways to go about it. Try looping your boss in an email from a satisfied client or sharing insights you’ve learned from a successful project with your colleagues. Be sure to reciprocate and shout about the success of peers and colleagues too, as it helps show you thrive in a high performance collaborative culture and aspire to develop best practice. 

3. Find ways to grow and develop 

Nothing impresses more and shows you are keen to progress like investing in the continued development of your own skills. Your manager might only have a limited, or non-existent, budget for your learning and development, but that’s OK as there are plenty of free ways you can further yourself. 

Getting yourself along to industry events or searching out free online courses are great ways to start. You could also request to shadow a colleague in another department, for example. 

4. Get a career mentor 

To get noticed you need to be pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Find yourself a mentor; someone whose career path you admire and who can give you regular guidance on what skills you need to progress. 

The benefits of a mentor are two-fold. Not only can they offer you guidance and support, they can also be a positive advocate for you to other people in the organisation, or potential employers in their network in the future. It’s also worth stating that mentors aren’t only for interns starting out in their careers; we can all benefit from them, no matter what stage of our careers we’re at. 

5. Have a positive outlook 

Nothing will affect your reputation like a good attitude on top of your learned aptitude. Get yourself into a positive frame of mind. When you see a problem or challenge, take a solution to your boss, not just the problem. Be enthusiastic to learn and take on new responsibilities, whether this is through shadowing a colleague, becoming a designated IT expert or volunteering to learn new skills and take on projects that go above and beyond your job description. 

When your boss gives you feedback, take it on board and act on it in a constructive and tangible way. This will demonstrate that you are serious about your development and respect their views. 

Above all, it’s about taking ownership of your career, being proactive and taking the initiative without being afraid or embarrassed to communicate your successes and raise your profile in the workplace. If you don’t take control and take steps to self-promote and push ahead in your career, then who will? 

If you are looking for support with your employment needs please contact your local office

About this author 

Karen is a Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance. She provides strategic leadership to a team of 400 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across 100 UK offices. With 20 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for businesses across a range of industry sectors, and is a trusted industry voice on career planning and market insights.