Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millenial Branding, has written a terrific new book, called Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success. It’s geared for young workers who have entered the workforce and are looking for the inside scoop on how best to navigate the corporate landscape. But everyone can benefit from this book, irrespective of tenure, age, rank, or position.
While his first book, Me 2.0, was about how to get a job through social media, Promote Yourself is about what happens after you have a job.
Dan’s case for a new approach is this: if you want to succeed, you’ll need to master the new career rules, which are:
1. You job description is just the beginning. If you want to succeed in today’s workplace and make a name for yourself, you’ll have to do a lot more than what you got hired to do.
2. Your job is temporary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American will have about nine jobs between the ages of 18 and 32.
3. You’re going to need a lot of skills you probably don’t have right now. The Department of Education estimates that 60% of all new jobs in the twenty-first century will require skills that only 20% of current employees have.
4. Your reputation is the single greatest asset you have. Titles might be good for your ego but in the grand scheme of things, what really matters is what you’re known for, the projects you’re part of, how much people trust you, whom you know, who knows about you, and the aura you give off to people around you.
5. Your personal life is now public. The fifteen seconds it takes you to tweet about how much you hate your boss or to post a pic of you passed out with a drink in your hand could ruin your career forever. Even the littlest things–how you behave, dress, your online presence, body language, and whom you associate with can help build your brand or tear it to the ground.
6. Positive influence of new media. Your on-line presence can help you build your reputation, and expanding your social network will eventually help you in your career by putting you in touch with people who know what you can do and are in a position to help you get ahead.
7. You’ll need to work with people from different generations. There are now four distinct generations in the workforce: Gen-Z, Gen-Y, Gen-X, and Baby Boomers — each raised in a different period of time, with a different view of the workplace, and a different way of communicating.
8. Your boss’ career comes first. If you support your manager’s career, makes his life easier, and earn his trust, he’ll take you with him as he climbs the corporate ladder—even if that means going to another company.
9. The one with the most connections wins. If you don’t get—and stay—connected, you’ll quickly become irrelevant to the marketplace.
10. The rule of one. People may be saying No all around you. But as long as one person says yes, you’re on your way.
11. You are the future. By 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be Gen Y.
12. Entrepreneurship is for everyone, not just business owners. If you want to get ahead, start looking at your company’s management as a venture capital firm. Be persistent, sell your ideas to them, and come up with innovative solutions no one else has thought of.
13. Hours are out, accomplishments are in. If you want to keep your job and move up, stop thinking that you have to put in a ridiculous numbers of hours per week. Instead, realize your value, deliver on it, measure your successes, and then promote yourself.
14. Your career is in your hands, not your employer’s. At the end of the day, don’t rely on anything or anyone; be accountable for your own career and take charge of your own life.
In the first third of the book, Dan covers the skills you need to succeed, based on his firm’s study of 1000 managers and 1000 young workers. He discusses hard (technical) skills, soft (interpersonal) skills, and social media skills, how to go about obtaining them, and how to use them to advance.
From there, he moves on to tell you how to get yourself known for those skills, how to build a following, make yourself more visible and boost your influence within your organization—all without being too self-promotional. Next, he steps back to more fully unwrap the results of his study, which reveals what managers are looking for when retaining and promoting young talent. What’s interesting are the fairly significant differences between what managers say they want, and what young workers think managers want. It’s in those gaps that real opportunity for promotion exists.
The final third of the book is devoted to exploiting those gaps by making change: building connections, making career shifts, and how, when, and whether to move up, on, forward, or sideways.
What I really like about Promote Yourself is that instead of telling you to quit your job and start your own company or break corporate rules, Dan instructs you on how to stay within the corporate policies, while reaching your true potential at work.
If you’re wondering what skills you need to advance in your career, how to manage relationships between people from different generations, or how to create a personal brand that showcases your uniqueness, Promote Yourself is the book you want as your guide.