How to Promote Yourself at Work

The economy has created a new environment for all workers, regardless of position, age, or job function. Today, you have to be accountable for yourself, not rely on others and stay relevant to the ever-changing marketplace. If you don’t, you won’t be employable because it’s easier today than ever before, to replace you with someone else who is willing to go the extra mile.

The workplace simply doesn’t tolerate slackers anymore and rewards those who are willing to pour their heart into work, while supporting their team.

How to promote yourself at work

With a new economy, comes new rules.

One rule is that your behavior online can impact how you are perceived at the office so be smart about what you post.

Another rule is that the skills you have now might not be as valuable in the future so seek the path of continuous learning.

A third rule is that your manager’s career comes first, and although that might shock you at first, think about how much power they have over your work experience. They are the ultimate gatekeeper to your advancement.

If you want to get ahead at work, here is some of my best advice that you should follow.

4 Ways to Promote Yourself at Work

1. Become a team player

Instead of taking all the credit, share it.

The more successful your team becomes, the more visibility you will get and the stronger your network. If you are overly selfish about your career and aren’t willing to support your team, they won’t want to work with you and you will eventually get shuffled out of your job.

To be a team player, you need to figure out how to best leverage your strengths in order to help them, while realizing what theirs are so you can tap into them. Then, you need to work on projects together where you can all have equal input and respect each other.

Related Article: Brutal Basics of Time Management

2. Develop your soft skills

You should focus on your soft skills over your hard skills if you want to grow in your career.

Hiring managers are always complaining that employees aren’t good communicators and don’t know how to handle certain situations. I did a new study, in partnership with American Express, and we found that 61% of managers believe that soft skills are most important when deciding whom to promote.

The best way to develop these skills is by putting yourself into as many social situations as possible and asking for feedback from the people that you work with, especially your manager.

Related Article: How to Communicate More Effectively

3. Do more than what’s expected of you

Be more than your job description and expand your role whenever you can. If all you do is what you did yesterday, it’s impossible to get ahead at work. I challenge you to find improvement areas in your organization or opportunities your company isn’t taking advantage of, and try and convince your manager to let you take on those projects.

In addition, you have to start using all of your strengths, even the ones you aren’t fully employing in your position, to your advantage. Take on projects where you can meet new people, develop as a professional, and be challenged.

Related Article: 4 Ways to Work Well With Your Boss

4. Expand your network and breadth of knowledge

Don’t limit yourself to your current workgroup. You need to connect with people in other departments and outside of work too.

By doing this, you are doing two very important things. First, you are protecting yourself because you could get laid off tomorrow and without a strong network, it will take you months to find a job instead of weeks. Second, you can learn a lot from the people you meet and it will shape your experiences, world view and make you a better worker.


Dan Schawbel - HeadshotDan Schawbel is a Gen Y career and workplace expert, the Founder of Millennial Branding, and the author of the new book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press).

Photo by Victor1558

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