For any ambitious Alpha Woman who is looking to advance her career, it is vital to be deliberate when building your internal brand. By building and amplifying your internal brand, you can show your value, improve your visibility and gain traction in your career.
The most obvious first step is to do your job well and continually strive to be the best at what you do. But building a successful internal brand goes beyond putting in the hard work and effort.
Here are some tips to amplify your personal brand and get that next promotion:
Keep your promises– this can seem straightforward but it can be tough when deadlines loom and work piles up so when possible, try to put buffers on your timelines. For example, if you think you can achieve something by Wednesday then set the deadline Thursday but deliver it on Wednesday. By doing this you will exceed expectations. Equally as important is to be honest if you can’t keep your promise or meet a deadline. By keeping your promises you will build trust and credibility.
Get involved and be engaged– Be vocal – a lot of research indicates that those who speak up in groups tend to emerge and be viewed as leaders. Ask meaningful questions and contribute your views or perspective in meetings. Continue to show your engagement by taking the time to be there and help others solve problems when they need guidance or support.
Track your success and share your results –I’ve been fortunate to meet and interview numerous people over the years and one unfortunate observation is that women at times can be too modest or hesitant to shout about their individual accomplishments. Women tend to talk in “we” and “team”, which is great for collaboration, but there are also times when it’s important to take personal credit for your success.
In Joann Lubin’s recent book about high achieving women Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World,she mentions “Don’t be afraid of making people aware of the things you are doing. If you help the company be more successful, make sure people know who you are and what you do. This is different from bragging. No one will follow you if they don’t think you’re a winner.” This is your time to shine and shout out about the great things you’ve accomplished.
Raise your hand and take some risks – To grow your career you need to challenge yourself. An executive at GE once shared with me that a key milestone in her career was taking on a project that was a mess, and that others were hesitant to take on. She took the risk to lead the project, persevered and succeeded. She told me not only did it give her the visibility to be promoted and catapult her career, but taking this risk also gave her the confidence that she can achieve more than she thought was possible.
Ask for interesting and high profile projects that take you out of your comfort zone. Apply for that promotion or new role that develops your skills. A well known Hewlett Packard internal report found that men apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. Apply and take that risk — you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve!
Find a Sponsor– your sponsor is one of your most important assets to build your internal brand. A senior leader or Exec who is your cheerleader can speak to your reputation and essentially promote you. This can be harder to achieve but by building a strong internal brand, you will naturally find yourself a sponsor.
Remember – To build your career, it’s not just about working hard, getting the job done and delivering the best but it’s also about building your brand, gaining sponsors and getting the recognition that every Alpha Woman deserves!