Every woman seeks advice on fashion, love interests, hair colors, sex tips, recipes and home decor. But there is rarely ever talk about the workplace. Maybe it is because top jobs for women are sacred and highly sought out for, or maybe it is because women are too afraid to discuss their jobs for fear of failure or fear that someone better (or younger) will take their place. Regardless, Author Nicole Williams, tackles this stereotype head-on in her book Girl On Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success. I received this book as a gift several years ago, but recently picked it up again to help prepare for portfolio reviews. I came across a specific chapter that I felt pertained to public relations and how to make yourself stand out.
The chapter is called “Play Hard to Get” and delves into the idea that you should not only constantly fight for your job, but also fight for yourself and your hard-working efforts to be noticed. Williams lays down a list of four simple rules to help tackle this ongoing battle.
1. Be sure to deliver: Believe me, getting someone to fill the chair isn’t tough. There are literally thousands of people out there biding their time — coming into the office on Monday and counting down the hours until friday. Bosses and boyfriends alike are sometimes simply looking to fill the position — turning a blind eye to the fact that there’s really nothing of substance to be delivered.
2. Let your work speak for itself: You’re not going to be able to deliver if all you’re doing is talking. I’ve had this one-way conversation personally and professionally and I’m not sure there’s anything worse than some idiot telling you how valuable, smart, or indispensable he is. If you’re that great, word will be on the street and/or I’ll come to that conclusion myself. The more time and energy you put into bragging about yourself, the less demand there will be for your talent.
3. Be a “special”-ist: There are plenty of pretty, nice, smart girls out there. What makes you so special? I have a simple rule. Don’t even think about competing with the masses — you’ll get lost in the crowd. I truly believe that if you want to set yourself apart, you need to figure out what you enjoy, which 99 percent of the time is what you’re actually good at, and then practice, practice, practice. Dedicate to being the very best at your core talent.
4. Keep it fresh: Once you identify your special talent, you need to learn how to mix it up. The key to working the supply curve is to deliver your core talent tied up in a sparkly new package. Regardless of industry, there’s always innovation and you need to be ahead of the curve, changing your story, your appearance, your delivery so it feels unique. Make a new change, learn a new trick, or reevaluate.