In my last blog article, I outlined what I felt were the “5 core competencies” of self-promotion and made the case as to why I feel these skill sets are no longer optional for career-minded professionals today to learn — or better yet, master.
Time and time again, in fact, as I work with people looking for new assignments, I explain that it’s not likely their talents and qualifications that are holding them back — but the fact that they’re only doing about 10% of what they COULD be doing to make themselves known to the right people and the right organizations. Simply put, the days of simply sending resumes out to want ads — and expecting to get a job — are rapidly disappearing.
Many of my clients, of course, respond to this notion by explaining that they’re terrible at selling themselves, are uncomfortable tooting their own horn, and can’t imagine any way they could get better at these things given that they’re highly introverted – and just not as prone to “schmoozing” and “bragging” as most folks.
If this sounds like your situation at all, I’ve got good news. Those of us (including myself) who are on the introverted side CAN learn to promote ourselves just as effectively as extroverts. We just have to go about it a bit differently, that’s all. And while I’ve discussed this issue off and on in my blog over the years, I’ll give you an even better resource. Try picking up a copy of the book Self-Promotion for Introverts by author Nancy Ancowitz, who has devoted 254 pages to helping introverts understand how best to map their “quiet strengths” into a series of activities that will boost their recognition and maximize their career prospects.
For example, the book has a whole chapter discussing how introverts can offset certain disadvantages they face in the interview process by capitalizing on their authenticity and by drawing on their highly focused, analytical tendencies to outprepare their competition. It also talks at length about the networking process, offering tips on how introverts can build stronger relationships, leverage social media, and rely more on 1:1 networking methods to compensate for the awkwardness they often feel in larger, more casual networking situations.
Heck, there’s even a chapter that goes into great depth around how the author (an introvert herself, as you might have guessed!) has learned to overcome her fear and hesitation around public speaking. So for those of you who are frequently called upon to deliver presentations, whether on the job or outside of the job, these tips alone might make the book a worthwhile investment.
So again, if you’re like many of us of the introverted persuasion, and the whole notion of self-promotion kind of makes your skin crawl, it’s time to take action — and find some workarounds to this issue, so that your career prospects don’t suffer as a consequence. Self-Promotion for Introverts is a great primer for this journey and I’d encourage you to track down a copy via Amazon, the library, or another source.
While we’re at it, I have to also give a shout-out to Beth Buelow of The Introverted Entrepreneur blog, who recommended this book to me in the first place. Thanks Beth!