Professional awesomeness. You’ve got it. The world needs to know about it.
I’ve mentioned in the past that you need a plan if you want real career traction. Some of my rants have focused on the reality that you have to be willing to tell the world about everything you’ve accomplished. If you don’t do it, no one else will.
Now here’s the tricky part – you have to share your awesomeness without looking like a jerk, or someone without any redeeming social skills. How do you do that? By setting the broadcast of your awesomeness in a cloak of humility.
Awesomeness in a cloak of humility. You think I’m joking with you. I can assure you I’m not joking with you. There’s a path you can travel where people will get to view your accomplishments and won’t think of you as a Dale Carnegie/Eddie Haskel blowhard/suck-up.
Put your helmet on–the first two methods/tools are the toughest one to get your head around.
Here are the Five Most Important Things To Do To Show The World You’re Freaking Awesome at What You Do:
1. You must actively mock yourself in every public profile you set up so the world knows you’re not a stiff/dork/moron. Seriously, drop the formality and take it the other way. If you look at my LinkedIn profile, I’m citing the crossover dribble as a skill and using “BOOM!” to reflect the totality of my first paragraph. What’s that mean? I have no idea, but I do know that people routinely tell me my profile is refreshing and different, which automatically gives me more license to talk about what I do, as long as it’s not inconsistent with that context. You don’t have to be me, but be you. Write like you talk and stop being corporate.
2. You have to be willing to provide portfolio items as templates to help others in need–for free. I’ve talked a lot in the past about portfolio development. Here’s the dirty little secret–no one is going to give you max credit for the work you’ve done and are highlighting unless you’re willing to be a resource for others. You’re giving me screenshots and refusing to give me enough detail to put your work into context? You’re a poser, simply there for yourself. You publicly state you’ll share what you did to help get others started? You’re now a thought leader, and helping people inside and outside your company in this way has the obvious effect of making you more attractive as an individual talent in the marketplace.
3. You have to make your LinkedIn profile not suck. I’ll do a complete post on this later, but for now, you can download a white paper from my company by clicking here. Download it and do what it says–it’s my gift to you. Make. It. Be. Less. Lame.
4. You need to get in the habit of following news/blogs/developments in your industry/profession and sharing what you find valuable. You see where this is going? If you want a great career, you’ve got to give gifts, because the average people aren’t giving gifts. They’re hoarding. When you hoard information, I have no idea whether you’re great or lame. Since the risk is high that you suck, I’m just not going to take the chance of hiring you. With aggregation tools and social media, it’s never been easier to broadcast what you find interesting in your industry/profession.
5. BRAINSTORM and PLOT. Use items #1-#4 to brainstorm about what’s next. You set it up so you can broadcast your awesomeness in a cloak of humility–excellent. The great thing in doing that is you’re now helping people and sharing news related to what you do, which if you have any curiosity at all, should lead to you figuring out the next big win at work.
Don’t ever apologize for being awesome.
But never broadcast your awesomeness like you think you’re the S###. Use your portfolio strategy in a way that generates authentic conversations with people inside and outside of your company and one thing is for sure…you’re on your way to a great career.
Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.