When you are going back to work after a career break or redundancy or when you are applying for promotion or making a sideways move, you have to ‘big yourself up’. You owe it to yourself and your career to do this. I know it’s hard. I find it hard too.
It took months of nagging from my own coach to tell people that I am a former Global Head of IT Service in one of the world’s biggest law firms. (They used to be No 11 but they’ve slipped down the charts in recent years with so many mergers creating law firm giants).
1. Quantify your achievements
On your CV and on LinkedIn, quantify your achievements e.g. size of budget you were responsible for, number of people in your team, or savings negotiated. Share the specifics e.g. rather than ‘managed hardware budget’ instead consider ‘managed £3m hardware budget for 1500 employees in Tax practice’.
You might feel shy about doing this but to be the very best version of you, to get a job that you love, that gives you the work-life balance you want, you have to sell yourself in a bigger way.
2. Ask for recommendations
A more subtle approach on LinkedIn is to ask for recommendations. For example, ask coworkers, former colleagues, 3rd party suppliers, your boss, or team members to write a recommendation.
Make it as easy as possible for the person and ask them to comment on something specific e.g. a specific project or a particular skillset. Think about your biggest or proudest achievements.
3. Talk it through
Sometimes we find it difficult to ‘big ourselves up’ because the success, the achievements, the promotions … they just happened. It’s your lived experience so it might not feel like a big deal. You did it because it was your job. Talk through your career experience with somebody objective, for example a friend, work colleague or a coach, to find out what impresses them.
4. Record your achievements
Get into the habit of recording your achievements. What have you done this week? this month? this year? Make a list of everything you have achieved in the last 12 months. Add to the list on a regular basis and read through it regularly to remind yourself of your skills and strengths.
5. Save the praise
Create a separate folder in your email and every time you receive an email praising or complimenting you at work for something you have done, file it in that folder. Browse through the folder from time to time to remind yourself of your achievements.
What about you?
Now that I have shared 5 easy things you can do to big yourself up and boost your career, what’s the one thing you can share with me today to ‘big yourself up’? Let’s do this together. I’ll start and tell you I’m about to launch a brand new City Conversations dinner networking club for women in the City.
What about you?
Leave a comment below.