5 ways to promote yourself in 2016

In a competitive jobs market, promoting yourself and getting your name out there have become an important part of branding yourself, making contacts and meeting people who can push your career in the right direction.

But in a world where #braggingrights and #blessed have become common practice, how do you talk about your achievements without coming across as pompous?

Improving yourself in 20161. Know the difference between self-promotion and bragging

Self-promoting yourself is about telling relevant people i.e. recruiters, your colleagues, industry contacts, etc., about your skills and how they add value to your career goals. On the other hand, bragging is telling anyone and everyone who cares to listen about your value with the sole purpose of making yourself superior.

2. Know how to strike a balance between bragging and telling the facts

You can tell a recruiter you’re interviewing with about growing the client base of your previous employer. That’s simply stating a fact. You can also speak about the hard work that went into finding creative strategies to get the new clients onboard, and how that took you many hours of research and fine-tuning the marketing concept. That’s still not bragging.

But when you start saying things like, “I’m a marketing guru who can easily reach targets without flinching”, now that’s bragging.

Here’s why:

When talking about yourself there is a major difference between mentioning something inherent, like being smart or having good looks, and something you did, such as being innovative.

3. Don’t avoid talking about your achievements

Exposing yourself to people’s judgements is hard, we understand. But avoiding talking about your accomplishments at all costs can cost you more than you may realise. Self-promotion has become even more important in an economy where job stability is not guaranteed. Those who get promoted or get an increase in their salaries are usually the ones who aren’t afraid to speak up.

If nothing else, remember that self-promotion can literally mean the difference between an empty pocket and getting more money in the bank.

4. Be honest and genuine

When trying to build a network of people who can support your ideas and help you find career opportunities, it can be easy to give yourself more credit than is due. If you’re serious about getting people to buy into what you have to offer, don’t make the mistake of pretending to be someone or something you’re not. Pay close attention to the message you want to send out, and be ready to answer for it.

For instance, if you call yourself a “Business development guru” or a “Social media expert”, make sure you can walk the talk when you need to.

5. Avoid feeling guilty

Think of it like this: You’re bringing home the bacon. Therefore, by being good at what you do, doing it well and telling those who need to know about it, you’re pushing your career forward.

Self-promotion is something that you need to practice every single day. In fact you need practice it to the point where you don’t even feel like you’re doing it anymore. Once you’re comfortable with talking about your achievements, your career will prove it.

5 signs you’ll be a successful entrepreneur (and 10 quotes to match)

POB2Y8A2NUAre you meant to be your own boss? Are you meant to run a bunch of employees, lead them, strategise, and make important decisions? Before you say yes, do a little introspection and find out if you’re meant to be an entrepreneur.

  1. You know you work very hard

“Hard work does not necessarily guarantee success, but no success is possible without hard work.” – Dr T.P. Chia

If you prefer to skate by doing only the bare minimum like, then you should already throw in the towel immediately. Starting a business is easy. Growing a successful business takes a lot of work, dedication and perseverance.

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” – Harry Golden

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Facebook announces partnership with Airtel to offer free internet in Africa

Free basicsIt’s been a few months since Facebook launched its Free Basics service to over 30 countries, including South Africa. Now, the social media giant has announced a partnership with Airtel Africa to spread  its services to a further 17 African countries.

Internet.org first rolled out its services in Zambia. As of Tuesday, 17 November, Mark Zuckerburg confirmed that half of the 30 countries with Free Basics are in Africa.

Free Basics is part of Facebook’s Internet.org programme which provides free internet access to users who cannot afford internet services. In South Africa, Free Basics, in association with Cell C, brings internet services closer to those without. There are plans to increase consumer reach through other service providers in the country.

This means that users in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Uganda, can now also enjoy free internet, provided users access websites associated with the app.

By simply downloading Internet.org’s Free Basics App on an Android device or visiting FreeBasics.com, users can access Facebook and the following websites, free of charge:

Education: BeSmart, LoverWords, FunDza, Schilars4Dev, Wattpad, WorldReader, D-Siders

Finance and Jobs: Careers24, DAI, SmartBusiness, MoneyMatters

Health: Health24, BabyCentre and MAMA, HIV360 and Unicef Facts for Life

Information: Bing, Cell C, WikiHow and Wikipedia

Marketplaces: Gumtree and OLX

News: News24, BBC News and SuperSport

Women: Intel She Will Connect, Girl Effect, iLearn

To find out how the app works, visit Careers24.