Tag Archives: opportunity

Building and Promoting You!

Building and Promoting You!A friend of mine asked me how he could promote his reputation as a professional. He said, “I am good and I want others to know it too.” He wants more business.

He said that had done a great job of promoting myself during my career as a public-relations expert and wanted to know how I did it.

I explained that first you have to be good, and always do a great job for your customers or clients. Always. This is a career-long commitment to excellence.

Then you have to let others know how good you are and in a way that is not offensive, while meeting the ethics and standards of your profession and yourself. You do this by building your network and by keeping them informed of what you do and how well you do it. This can be done by direct or indirect contact. Use of social media directly communicates, and being involved in your profession and community indirectly communicates.

With social media, you can let others know of your successes, without mentioning specifics, like the time I helped a company repair its damaged image through positive messaging. And you can write about your successes in blogs and/or e-newsletters as well. You can also speak out on subjects that show your professionalism and commitment.

Next, by being involved in professional and community organizations, you are building your network and showing this network how damned good you are. You are showing your peers that you say what you mean and do what you say, thereby building not only your network but your reputation. But you can’t just be a member, you have to be involved and have to “make a difference” to the organization. And you are helping your profession and community. How perfect is that?

Once you are financially successful you can consider other ways of reaching out such as paid advertising but, even this must be supported by first, always doing the best possible job.

Detroit: A great place to build a career and a business

Detroit Skyline

With all negative news Detroit has received (and really, since 1967!) it is a wonder how any of us could have built a career or a business here in the Motor City. But we did.  

Yes, Detroit has been a victim of the “kick-a-city-when-it’s-down” syndrome, and it may feel like bad things happen all the time here. But bad things happen to cities, communities and citizens everywhere. And they all generally survive, as I firmly believe will Detroit.

I began my working career around the time Detroit’s issue gained widespread attention in the late 1960s. Based on all the negative news the city and region received then and continue to now, to be a success, perhaps I should have moved to another city. Continue reading

When working hard and being ‘liked’ isn’t enough

I was laid off four times in my career. It was the threat of a fifth firing that made me take ownership of my career once and for all. Which, in turn, led me to start a business.

Many of you can relate to the pain and promise that comes with leaving a job. In my book “The Power of Ownership,” I recount how each time I was let go from a job, I went on to work for someone bigger and better. Someone new to pay me and take care of me.  I thought that if I had a job, did okay, and was liked, that “they” would keep giving me more responsibility and money, enough to retire.

So, that’s how it was for years. With every new job, I worked harder to exceed expectations of my clients and those around me. I kept challenging myself to be better, to be the best, at what I did. My responsibilities grew and I busted my butt to always do better than was expected.

Still, I worked for someone else. They made the decisions about my future, not me. In 1996, I was  the executive vice president at Shandwick-Detroit, formerly Casey Communications. You’d think as some high-ranking VP, my seniority would protect me, like tenure does for a professor. It didn’t. It never does. Like every place before, I was this hard working dude, very successful at my job and I knew I was invaluable to the company. Sure enough, I was not in my employer’s future plans. I decided not to be let go. Not this time, and certainly not a fifth time.

Careful, considerate planning and some well-placed phone calls came into play, as I recount in chapter eleven of the book. I resigned from Shandwick-Detroit, hung out my own shingle, and called it John Bailey & Associates Public Relations. Now my ownership was complete. I owned my career and a business.  Within two years, my new company was larger than the one that was not going to promote me. (Shandwick-Detroit was shut down in 2000. It wasn’t so much vindication as it was validation that I absolutely made the right decision.)

You can see the details of this career-path in my book, The Power of Ownership: How to Build a Career and a Business (paperback or Kindle). You can learn the things I learned that will help you avoid other people making decisions about your future. Even if people like you and you work hard, you may face being let go or other job circumstances out of your control. Don’t let that happen. Take control of the situation, and ownership of your career and yourself.