13 Tips for Being Your Own Best Advocate in the Workplace
- Adopt a self-employed attitude-and honor
your own innate wisdom.
- Get oriented to your company's basic
office procedures, financial reporting systems, staff and
customers, and information resources, including "human encyclopedias."
- Make work- and career-related decisions
with an eye to your own mission and goals. Choices either
support your mission and goals, or they don't.
- Network both inside and outside your
organization-first and foremost for mutual benefit. It is
a continuous process. You must show up AND interact.
- Become an excellent communicator by
understanding differences in communication styles and developing
your listening skills.
- Refuse to become obsolete: regularly
upgrade your skills and competencies. Share any information
you gain with your colleagues.
- Make performance reviews more gratifying
and less mysterious: keep a kudos file and create a portfolio.
Portfolios are useful not only for documenting your career
but for demonstrating your value in times of budget cuts
- Toot your own horn-in fact, promote your
potential as well as your accomplishments.
How? Develop leadership qualities. Bring your boss solutions,
not problems. Volunteer on projects that "aren't in your
job description." Find ways to distribute your work in ways
that brings kudos to you and to others . Do what
comes "naturally": work on projects that let you shine.
- Show how your unique skills and accomplishments
qualify you for a promotion. Then ask for one. If you don't
ask, you don't get.
- Increase your political capital by learning
to pick your battles, acting strategically on behalf of
the organization's mission and goals, understanding your
own motivations and values, and incorporating the arts of
lobbying, compromise, and graceful defeat into your skills
- Rely on yourself rather than on your
supervisor to define your career path, and realize that
change brings gain as well as loss.
- Enhance your career by creating a formal
relationship with a professional mentor or business coach.
- Embrace your own greatness. Instead
of thinking "I can't," ask "What's next?" and "What if?"
©2003 Joanne Lozar Glenn,