Promoting yourself: the rules of success

Promoting yourself: the rules of success - Morpheus Consulting

A diligent and hard-working project manager at a global bank was known for meeting deadlines. A functional expert and a team player, she never hesitated to work beyond the designated hours. Self-evasive and reticent, she strongly believed that her work would speak louder than words to get her the recognition she deserved. Much to her dismay, however, she was passed over for a promotion that year.

Inherent excellence is not always enough to fetch recognition.

In his book Power: Why Some Have It And Some Don’t, Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behaviour at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, says it’s not enough to presume that success is based on the quality of your work and job performance alone. Potential sponsors need to know about your skills, competencies, accomplishments and experiences to be encouraged to make a positive difference to your career. You can share information on this so that you get career-enhancing opportunities “If you blend into the woodwork, no one will care about you, even if you are doing a great job. Being memorable equals getting picked,” says Pfeffer.

How to do it

Self-promotion is a delicate art because if you overdo it, you come across as a braggart, and if you underplay, you don’t get the accolades. “It needs to be subtle, responsible and balanced,” cautions Saket Kanoria, managing director, TCPL Packaging Ltd. “Self-promotion that takes the toxic shape of running down other people’s work, claiming credit which rightfully belongs elsewhere, and taking advantage of proximity to one’s manager, may fetch short-term gains, but will undoubtedly prove counter-productive in the long run,” adds Sunder Ram Korivi, dean, School for Securities Education, National Institute of Securities Markets, Navi Mumbai. There should be a line between gaining a following and becoming sickeningly self-promotional, especially if you don’t wan’t to be penalized for the latter.

Here are a few strategies to generate more visibility:

Prepare your story

A senior stakeholder you meet in the elevator enquires, “What’s up?”, and you respond with, “All well. Thanks!” Instead, you could have seized this opportunity to promote yourself by highlighting an accomplishment or two. For instance, “We successfully closed a record number of 248 transactions this month—25% above average.” Or, “I finished cross-training on process ABC. I am now conversant with a range of processes in the system.” The trick lies in being prepared with your story, and arming yourself with data points that you can reel off at the drop of a hat.

Redefine self-promotion

Since promoting one’s accomplishments goes against the value of modesty ingrained in us, let’s first rethink the definition of self-promotion. “Just as the objective of marketing a product is to generate awareness about its key benefits to help customers make sound decisions, think of self-promotion as a responsible communication of your talents and accomplishment to those who can leverage and benefit from this information, thus making it a win-win proposition,” says Darshana Ogale, chief operating officer, S P Jain School of Global Management.

In his 2014 book Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success, author Dan Schawbel highlights the disconnect between what managers look for when deciding on promotions (a positive attitude and the ability to prioritize) and what employees think managers want (communication skills and leadership ability). So, it is important to showcase a range of abilities instead of coming across as one-dimensional.

Clothe it in anecdotes

Share your success in the form of a story. Instead of saying that you did an awesome job negotiating a successful deal with a tough customer, share your strategy and challenges in cracking the deal, enabling your team to learn from your experience. Engage with humility, focus on facts, and ensure that those stories are relevant, says Dorie Clark, in a Harvard Business Review article, How To Promote Yourself Without Looking Like A Jerk.

“Align your story with the context and the audience. Share it with a genuine belief that it is relevant to the audience, rather than with a mindset of promoting yourself. Authenticity matters,” says Atul Srivastava, chief executive officer, Effective People, a Mumbai-based human resources consulting and training company.

impactful introduction

When called upon to introduce yourself at an external conference, an internal training programme or to a visiting global practice head, go beyond the vanilla introduction encompassing your role, designation and experience. Make your introduction audience-centric and impactful by incorporating elements that differentiate and lend a recall value. For instance, something like, “I am an avid trekker, I did the Everest base camp trek last year,” is likely to stick in the minds of the audience. “A compelling introduction at an event, almost always an outcome of serious introspection and practice, certainly helps you make an impact. In fact, sometimes just asking a question at a conference or a seminar gets you noticed, and works towards your promotion,” says Srivastava.

Engage beyond your core work

As the organization expands, it is not easy to get noticed outside your immediate circle. “Participating in forums outside my core work, like knowledge-sharing forums, organizational committees, corporate social responsibility initiatives, diversity, etc. has gone a long way in helping me garner visibility and connect with people beyond my operational network,” says Ogale.

Communicate with your manager

“Proactively meeting your manager not only to seek feedback, but also to apprise him of your accomplishments, challenges and aspirations is important. While a manager is likely to be aware of your big-ticket items, your differentiator may lie in some of your smaller achievements,” says Korivi. So tracking your accomplishments and feeding your manager with regular updates would be mutually beneficial—it would not only help you promote yourself, but also offer your manager data points to identify areas where you could contribute. Managing others’ perceptions about your accomplishments separates workplace winners from those who don’t move up the ladder, says Pfeffer.

Engage on social media

Soumitra Dutta, professor at the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (Insead), a graduate business school, and writer of the Harvard Business Review article Managing Yourself: What’s Your Personal Social Media Strategy?, strongly advocates embracing the social media as a platform for promoting yourself, building your personal brand and engaging with stakeholders by communicating who you are. “Active participation on social media is a powerful tool—the difference between leading effectively and ineffectively, and between advancing and faltering in the pursuit of your goals,” says Prof. Dutta.

Start with posting an impactful profile, portraying your expertise by engaging in discussion forums, posting articles and commenting on posts, thus creating visibility for yourself. “I have found that leveraging the organization’s intranet is a great way of getting your story before your audience,” says Ogale.

Reverse promotion

When you promote others, guided by the principle of reciprocity, they promote you in return. This reverse promotion, besides enhancing your visibility and highlighting your achievements, also helps you build relationships and earn goodwill. So, be open to connecting with people, learning about, and promoting, their talents and achievements.

Source: http://bit.ly/2ArpFJH

Ten Things A Recruiter Look For In A Job Candidate

I’ve been into HR industry for more than 15 years. Since then I’ve hired thousands of people.

Here’s what I look for in a job candidate.

1.  Look for someone who is awake and aware of their surroundings. This sounds like a trivial item, but it is fundamental. Many people view a job search as a clerical task, like filing their tax return. They put no thought into it. The show up at a job interview unprepared, never having spent a minute thinking about the role or how they would approach it.

2. Look for a candidate who owns their story. Many people don’t. When they talk about their career, they say “I got hired at Company A, and that was okay for a while but then they laid me off. My sister knew about a job in Kansas so I went out there, but then that company shut down.” Their whole career history is about things that happened to them. There is no agency or ownership of any of the moves they’ve made. I want to hire someone who makes their own decisions!

3. Look for someone who has their own opinions. I hope the candidate doesn’t stare at my face as they speak, hoping that their words meet with my approval. Who cares what I think? I am just another person on the planet, one of seven billion.

4. Want to hire someone who can see the intersection between the work they’ve already done and the work I am hiring someone to do. It doesn’t have to be linear, left-brain relevance. They could have worked in a different function or industry. Those things don’t matter nearly as much as a person’s ability to put themselves in the hiring manager’s shoes and say “I hear what you are saying. It sounds like your problem is X  — here’s how I’ve solved that problem in the past.”

5. Look for someone with a sense of humor. We spend too much time at work to be serious all the time. If work is stiff and formal, it’s no fun. Time-and-motion-type “efficiency” is overrated. Real efficiency comes from tapping the human power we all bring to work — if our leaders allow us to use it!

6. Hire folks who are confident in their own abilities. I don’t want to hire someone who is afraid to speak with their own voice. How could a fearful person help me solve my biggest problems? I don’t want to hire the most docile or submissive candidate. Some managers do, of course — but how long could you stand working for someone like that?

7. Look for a candidate who values their life outside of work.

8. Want to hire someone who knows what they want from their next job and their career. I am excited when a candidate says “I want to work in the corporate world for a few years, and then start my own business.” We all need an entrepreneurial outlook and mindset these days, whether we work for ourselves or someone else. People with an entrepreneurial mindset look out at the horizon to spot problems before they can cause trouble. I don’t want to hire someone who only focuses on the work on their desk.

9. Hire people who expect more out of their work than just a paycheck. I want to work around people with ideas, sparky people who try new things just to see what will happen. I want to get their texts at six in the morning that say “I just had the craziest thought, stepping out of the shower! What if we tried…”

10. Finally, I look for a candidate who takes responsibility for their decisions. Sadly, many candidates don’t. They show up as victims, rather than the most important and powerful person in their own life.

We all run into roadblocks and hardships. It’s part of life. How we deal with them is everything. I want to hire someone who has faced adversity and who overcame it. They have muscles!

You deserve a manager who wants to hire someone as smart, capable and awesome as you are.

If you have to dumb down your resume or play a part on a job interview to get hired, you know one thing — that manager doesn’t deserve your talents!

You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a manager who gets you and thus deserves you.

If you aren’t willing to kiss frogs and slam doors on the wrong opportunities in order to bring the right ones in, we can all sympathize with you — but you will not grow the muscles you need until you face that challenge and surmount it.

Job Hunting While You’re Employed? Don’t Make These Six Mistakes

When you’re in a stealth job search, you have to be extra careful to keep your job search under wraps.

Here are six mistakes never, ever to make as a stealth job-seeker.

Six Mistakes Stealth Job Seekers Can’t Afford To Make

1. Don’t update your LinkedIn profile all at once if your co-workers are first-degree connections of yours. Do it in several small steps so that the changes to your profile are never glaring from one day to the next. Never, ever use a LinkedIn headline that makes it clear you’re job-hunting. (Currently unemployed job-seekers can do that, but not you!) Make sure your LinkedIn settings specify that updates to your profile will not generate a message to your connections.

2. Don’t go to job fairs where your own company has a booth — or any job fair where you might be spotted by somebody who knows your boss (or your boss’s boss, etc.) Job fairs are not a great job search channel for stealth job-seekers because their success rate for any individual job-seeker is so low and the risk of broadcasting your job-hunting status is so high.

3. Don’t send out a blast email announcement to tell your friends and contacts you’re job-hunting. If you do, somebody on your distribution list is bound to forward your blast email announcement to everybody they know — and the world is small enough that you could have problems as a result. Tell your friends about your job hunt one-on-one or over the phone, and emphasize the confidential nature of your search.

4. Don’t respond to “blind” job ads that don’t specify the employer organization’s name. It could be your own company!

5. Don’t go to networking events and tell the people you meet that you’re job-hunting. Network as a consultant, instead. Tell the people you meet that you’re working full-time and available to consult part-time. Get some consulting business cards and give them out.  Morpheus Consulting part-time is a great way to get a new job because hiring managers can meet with consultants any time they want (they only need a higher-up’s approval to actually hire a consultant, and sometimes not even then) whereas most hiring managers won’t meet with a job-seeker unless they have a job opening.

6. Do not forget to tell every recruiter, interviewer and HR person you deal with during your job search that you are flying under the radar. Tell them multiple times.

Your goal is to let your boss know you’re job-hunting only at the precise moment when you give notice.

Source: http://bit.ly/2xxUwTD

How Top Corporates Retain their Employees..!!



The likes of Vodafone are also considering letting their employees take a sabbatical to start up


There was a time when working in a top corporate meant the regular 9-5 job and stringent cultural rules, while restricting an employee’s creative freedom. This had even led to many corporate employees leaving their cushioned jobs to embrace the entrepreneurial world. But corporate today are waking up to the problem and addressing them by innovating and introducing new cultural changes. 

1) ‘Break to open your startup? We’ll consider that’ :

Talking about the consumerisation of rewards and how a corporate needs to monetize benefits for their employees, Sanchayan Paul, Head, Rewards and Organisation Effectiveness, Vodafone India said, “We listened to what our employees really wanted. 70 per cent of our new hire are millennials and 25 per cent of our employee base are women. Also, given the widespread of offices, our hiring too comes from Tier II and Tier III cities. We are not selling jobs anymore, we are selling careers.”

Understanding that many people leave jobs because of lack of flexible work timings or lack of leave options, Sanchayan said, “We have come up with different structures of working – one is where an employee can take a long break or a sabbatical without pay, another is where they choose flexible days in a week to work (instead of 5 days in a week they work for four days) and are paid accordingly and the third one is where they choose a flexible work timing and are paid according to their work hours.”

But the most interesting query is about employees wanting to be entrepreneurs. “We have had employees who want to open their startup but they want to come back if the venture fails. We are considering that option. In fact, we are working towards launching innovation labs and are hoping that these employees can work there,” he said.

2) Transparency at work:

Suchitra Rajendra, CHRO and VP, PepsiCo India stressed upon the need to be transparent with your employees to keep them happy. “Keep it consistent and clear. When you are offering them rewards, don’t change the reward. Don’t change the goalpost once the race has started. You need to keep communicating with your employees so that they know what they are getting. You need to tell them it’s not just the amount of money that hits your bank account but also the entire benefits that count. You need to build trust. Even at PepsiCo, we have our CEO sending out mailers every Monday morning, explaining the learnings of the week and where our goals stand.”

3) Cultural change is important:

Nowadays, corporates are looking at working with startups or acquiring them. Corporates are driving innovation and have younger age employees driving these teams. Talking about how for different groups, you have different cultures and benefits, Aditya Kohli, Senior VP, HR, Bharti Airtel, said, “While there is a group that consists of the top employees and they have a certain style of working, we also have groups that are driving innovation and are working with new age technologies like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. For this group, it’s the skill that masters and it becomes a criteria for their rewards. There’s also the need to have a non heirarchial approach.”

Talking about cultural change, he said, “We even had a team that worked for long hours in the office and wanted bean bags instead of the regular chairs so they are more comfortable. We went ahead with their demand, if that’s what they want to drive excellence. When we acquired a company, we let them function on their own for 6 months instead of forcing them to imbibe our corporate culture.”