Your ability to successfully negotiate for yourself internally often relies on your reputation within your organization; this applies to salary raises, promotions, or significant changes like cross-country moves. Cultivating a positive personal brand, combined with your overall performance, can position you more favorably in discussions about your career growth.
Over the past five years, I have experienced quite a few big changes: from pursuing a new career in sales to rising through the ranks from an entry-level associate to leadership. Here are a few of the actions that I believe can make a big difference when learning how to negotiate for yourself and achieve your goals.
Cultivating a personal brand
We all have a personal brand – whether we want one or not. Your personal brand is how others see you and can go a long way in aiding your career growth. That may sound intimidating, but the good news is that we also have some control over it!
Being self-aware is the first step to owning and building on your personal brand. Ask yourself, “What do I want my personal brand to be?” Once you’ve identified your answer, act on it!
As your network grows, so does your visibility. Having increased visibility both internally and externally to your organization will help with your career growth. Visibility can have a ripple effect. In fact, you might not even realize that others are watching you or taking note! It may start small, with colleagues in your same department cheering on your performance wins. Or maybe you team up with someone from another department to tackle a project together. That can grow into upper management labeling you as a valuable team player as they learn of your contributions.
You can gain visibility through your performance and collaboration, but you can also do so by making an effort to connect with leadership directly. Add a coffee chat to your manager’s calendar outside of your regular check-ins. If your company has an open-door policy, you could even invite your manager’s manager to connect. Your leadership team will better understand where the company is going. Having some insight into this will help you to better plan your internal growth goals. Most importantly, if all of the stakeholders around you know what you’re going after, they can better help you get there.
Building valuable relationships at work
The quickest way to build your support system and meet your career goals is through your network. The larger your network is, the more likely you are to find mentors and connect with someone who can help you take the next step. Building valuable relationships within your organization is a great place to start and further your internal development.
Does your company use Slack or Teams? Join some of the available channels! This is a great way to get exposure to colleagues in other departments that you may not get to interact with. See how you can get involved if your company has internal or external ERGs.
Make it a goal to have a friend in every department. These cross-departmental relationships can benefit you in the long run. One great way to gain additional experience is to ask someone in another department if you can learn about their role. It’s a great opportunity to add to your knowledge of the company while establishing a new connection.
Negotiating is more than a conversation
Successfully negotiating for yourself can help you reach your goals. However, negotiations do not start and end in one conversation. Your overall performance is important, but remember to take the time to cultivate a positive personal brand and build connections. Increased visibility will lead to a larger network, valuable connections to mentors and leaders, and ultimately help to propel your career track.
For more insights on Negotiating For Yourself, stream our recent panel event here.