I’m often amazed when a client expresses hesitation about the value of what he/she has to offer employers–especially when the individual has had good career success at that point. I’ve seen this in cases where the client is aiming to move up in his/her career, which is admittedly somewhat of a challenge at times, but it also comes up when a client thinks many people could do what he/she has done–that it’s not really special.
Here are a couple of “don’ts” and one “do” for you to think about.
DON’T Underrate Yourself!
I’m not advocating that you imitate the late, great Muhammad Ali and shout, “I am the greatest!” to everyone you meet–or submit your professional resume to. Even if you really are the greatest at what you do, trumpeting that fact to the world is unlikely to make a favorable impression! It will probably make you sound as if you’re really full of yourself, which is not going to strengthen your career success.
However, there’s nothing wrong–and a lot right–about exhibiting self-confidence that’s solidly grounded in reality. Try asking yourself this: Is it unquestionably true that “anyone can do this”? Do you know that for a fact or are you just leaping to a conclusion?
Take a good, hard look at what you can contribute to your next employer. If other people appear to do what you do or something similar, does the evidence suggest they do it in the same way? Maybe you have put your own spin on things over the years and come up with a better–and possibly at least partly unique–way to do whatever it is.
DON’T Let Competitors Outshine You
Without overdoing it, how can you convince employers that you can outperform your competition?
Start by identifying your capabilities that you have good reason to believe your target employers will care about.
You might be aware that Missouri is known as the “Show Me” state. What this basically means is that Missourians aren’t gullible; they won’t believe something without solid evidence. Most employers also fit into that category. You can’t just tell them you offer a great solution to their needs. And you must convince them quickly. As one of my mentors says, “Make me care–and do it fast!”
What it boils down to is that you need to provide corroborating proof for any claim of value you make–in your professional resume, LinkedIn profile, job interviews, and more.
It starts with self-confidence, of course, but carries more weight with potential employers when you can back up your career achievement claims with evidence.
DO Believe in Yourself–and Show It
As I said, you need to have confidence in yourself and your capabilities if you expect to convince a prospective employer you have what it takes to succeed in the role you’re pursuing. Among other things, that means you don’t let false modesty hold you back from finding ways to demonstrate your capabilities and the value they enable you to bring to your work.
Of course, it might help if you have influential contacts who are willing to go to bat for you; however, career success ultimately starts with YOU.