On many occasions of any career, there are times where it’s vital to represent yourself fully. To make the best publicity you can for ‘yours sincerely’. And there are easy tactics you can use
Whether you are applying for a promotion in your existing organization; looking for a new job altogether; or simply experiencing a performance review, there are steps you can take that will enhance your outcome.
Most, if not all, individuals find it hard to tweak their achievements to make the best of them. Whether this comes from naivety, modesty or simply a misjudgement of what they can pluck from their experiences, it’s hard to say.
The truth is that long hours wringing hands and fretting need not be suffered. Because in the main, all you need when being assessed is already within you. All you need to create a really effective candidate – or A+ result in your performance.
There are six key steps to making the most of your assets:
Be aware. When you are in the thick of experiences and learning, always, but always, be prepared to make a note – however small – of something that you did. You don’t have to write a whole portfolio of it, that can come later (just kidding!). Just notice when things happen.
By being aware of what you might need to take careful note of before you start looking for it. Here you’re simply looking for the categories upon which you will ultimately be tested and then you can start to create a list of your personal activities (the ‘What I did’ of your evidence).
As you create this list of your activities, you categorize them as you go and, as the evidence piles up, create a note of the gaps too. Then you can pro-actively ‘create’ the activities you need to make your offer almost irresistible. You will become rounded and thorough and then have the luxury of deciding not just that you have enough, but you have a choice of evidence you can talk about when you are being assessed.
It’s vital to understand that the evidence you create does not need to move mountains. A clear action you personally took, where you can demonstrate just four simple elements – What you did; Why you did it; What the outcome was and What you learned is perfect – and keep it short and succinct. It gives them clear facts and a space to ask you more too – A perfect candidate!
Left it too late? No problem! All you need is a kindly colleague to ask you the questions and push you for answers. It’s amazing at what we leave out or underestimate in ourselves. With focus, it’s possible to create quite comprehensive evidence if you are coached to create it in a couple of hours with a ‘coach’ friend drawing from you the actual – even where you think there are few.
Actual lying can never be condoned – least of all because you’ll get found out and, if you were successful and got something without really deserving it, likely as not it wouldn’t suit you anyway. You can – and must – embellish, by really stretching out all you do in a category and make it really sing for you. Every scrap of paper evidence; every single impressive fact and figure pile up to become much more interesting to assessors.
Always but always focus on what you did. Yes, you personally. Using ‘we’ and ‘they’ won’t cut it. Be brave and strong and shout about you out loud. Use the ‘I’ word and really show what you are made of.
We all do pretty good work. We all deserve that you be recognised and in the main, we don’t shout about ourselves enough. And when you don’t, who will?
Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach and Trainer. For more useful stuff check out CoachTrainLearn.com.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.