Having someone to vouch for you when you’re going up for a new advancement or promotion is extremely helpful in overall career success. We all know this, and we spend a lot of time talking about how we can get a mentor, a sponsor, and an advocate that helps promote you when you need it most. But sometimes we don’t have this person. Maybe it’s because you’re brand new at a company, or because your team is too small to have a variety of advocates. So what’s a girl to do?
Here’s Sophie advice: be your own advocate. There’s no one better to do the job, honestly, and you have the power to advocate on your own behalf as much as you want. Sophie knows when she’s done a good job, and she likes to make sure people know about it. If she’s been polite all day and then notices that I’ve got a roast chicken breast for lunch, she sits very straight and very proper right by my side. She stares at me in her cutest face and I ponder whether or not she should get some chicken based on her behavior that day. It sounds funny, but if she’s been mischievous during the day, she’s much less likely to ask for a treat.
If you feel you’ve been doing a great job in something, make it known! Do’t go around waving a flag and patting yourself on the back, but find a way to update your team with your success so that the update creates value for others. For example, if you’ve helped launch a campaign that made a difference in revenue, take the numbers and chart them. Explain how you achieved your success so that others can learn from it and repeat on their own. Being your own advocate isn’t about bragging, it’s about finding ways to promote your impact by creating value for your boss and your team. Sit politely, stand straight up, and gently point out when you’ve done something cool – it makes a difference!