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By Khalilah Starks

Today, it was announced that Citigroup is cutting 11,000 jobs.  That’s 11,000 people who will be looking for employment.  When the news hit, I started to think about something that I’m extremely passionate about – Marketing Company U!  Wanna know who Company U is?  It’s YOU!!!  YOU are your most valuable product.  So, you should promote the very best of YOU consistently.  Promoting the very best you is all about proactively marketing your skills and talents during the good times and the not so good times in your career.  Losing your job forces you to promote your skills to the world.  But, a wise person markets their skills during the good times as well.

Think about it like this.  Companies never stop marketing their products.  They close deals and continue to prospect for more clients.  They constantly figure out new ways to promote their products.  They continue to market their company to prospective employees, even when there are no available job openings.  From a company standpoint, it’s all about staying in business, growth and being proactive.

But, what do we do?  We market ourselves during the job search process.  And, once we get the job, our focus tends to shift internally and being the best employee that we can be.  We stop sharing and promoting our expertise to the world.  We become quiet, until it’s time to find the next job.

Well, I say that it’s time to grab that bullhorn and start sharing your expertise with the world.  Being quiet isn’t a sound strategy if you want to be at the top of your career game.  If you think about it, your goals shouldn’t be any different from a company’s goals.  Yes, companies constantly market and look for new clients to stay in business.  However, you need to stay in business too!  You never know when that company may decide to eliminate your job or simply decide that you’re no longer valued.  Constantly promoting your value will help you land on your feet quicker if this happens.

Now, I’m not saying that you should always be looking for the next best thing.  Marketing the very best you isn’t always about looking for a job.  It’s positioning yourself for the next best thing when you need it.  If you’re with a great company or have a great boss that is committed to your development, it makes sense to stay.  But, you should always be proactive and marketing your skills so that you can land another great opportunity if things do change.

Here are some things that you can do to start marketing Product U:

1. Get Active on LinkedIn

Notice that I said get active – adding connections to your LinkedIn account isn’t enough.  You’ve got to build some great relationships and increase your presence.

2. Speak on Professional Panels

This is a great opportunity to display your expertise to a wider audience.  And, you never know who you may connect with on the panel.  I’ve made some great professional connections by participating on panels.

3. Create a Professional Website or Blog

Let your work speak for itself.  There’s nothing like having your work on display for people to readily access at any time.  It can instantly build your credibility.

4. Create a Professional Twitter Account

Share great articles, tweet your perspectives and retweet interesting tweets of those that you follow.  This will give you an opportunity to connect with other professionals in your industry while sharing your expertise and accomplishments.

5. Attend Networking Events

People often attend networking sessions when they need to find a job or build their business.  However, you should attend networking events during the good times in your career to establish connections and promote your expertise to people in your industry.  It’ll pay off later.

6. Write a Book

Writing a book about some aspect of your career can instantly propel you to expert status.  Professionals who write books are instantly viewed as authorities on their subject matter.

7. Join Professional Organizations

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, joining professional organizations are an absolute must.  This gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and accomplishments with local professionals in your industry.

The more you empower yourself, the better you’ll be equipped to rebound quickly from the unexpected loss of a job.  So, I challenge you to think about what you will do to market and demonstrate your skills and accomplishments, even if you love your job and wouldn’t consider leaving.  It’s all about strategically setting yourself up for future success.


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