Acting from our strength is empowering. Doing so makes us more confident in our abilities, more likely to step up to the plate, and more apt to stick to our convictions despite what others think. Heed these tips to access your strengths and market them effectively.
Part I: Know yourself.
In order to sell yourself, you must know what you have to offer. Use these strategies to get in touch with your strengths.
Write it out. List the areas in which you excel, and recall the jobs and internships you’ve held in the past. Which did you enjoy the most? More likely than not, these are the ones that played to your strengths. Note your accomplishments in each position you’ve held, and add any related traits or qualities to your list.
Talk it out. Women tend to be overly modest, so getting objective opinions is important. Ask your colleagues and friends what they perceive to be your strengths. Add their answers to your list. Make sure to survey people from both professional and personal circles — each group is bound to notice different qualities.
Keep your eye out. Pay attention to the way you act at work. When do you find yourself getting particularly involved in a project? When do things seem to click for you? Think about why. What qualities do you have that put you at the top of your game? Add these to your ever-expanding list.
Part II: Sell yourself.
Promote yourself in your chosen field, both at work and beyond. The following suggestions can help you strengthen your image.
At the office. Speak up in meetings. Take on extra projects that are aligned with your strengths. Seek out someone to mentor, and schedule regular meetings with him or her. Engaging in any or all of these behaviors will help you get noticed for the right reasons.
With your network. Attend events related to your industry. As you meet new people, slip into the conversation something you’ve accomplished that makes you feel proud. Be (professionally) active on social media — you probably have a Facebook profile, but create a separate page where you can post commentary about what’s going on in your industry as well as ways that you are delivering value. Tweet interesting facts and tidbits. Make sure your LinkedIn page is up-to-date, and set up a discussion group for your company if there isn’t one already.
With strangers. Start a blog to demonstrate your expertise. You don’t have to post every day, but see if you can commit to writing a short, 100-word entry about something work-related three times a week. Keep the overall vibe positive, and don’t write anything that’s likely to offend or incriminate your coworkers. Share your blog on your LinkedIn profile, and be sure to let your colleagues know about it as well. Put yourself out there in person as well! Volunteer for a group whose mission excites you and gives you an opportunity to use your skills.
With yourself. Make two copies of your strengths list. Put one where you’ll see it as soon as you wake up in the morning, and keep one in your purse to pull out whenever you need a confidence boost.
If you need a quick confidence boost, here are a few ways to give your inner strength an instant upper.
- Call, email, or meet up with a supportive friend.
- Read something funny or inspiring that will put things in perspective.
- Take a brisk walk to clear your mind and reduce your stress.
- Think back to a previous time when you felt challenged, but took the right action anyway.
- Review your list of strengths!