As I have often said in past columns and speaking engagements, telling people “what you do and how well you do it” is of the utmost importance in any career today. Even so, we can all have difficulty in finding ways to share this message with those around us. You might wonder what you can and should be saying about your work and career. In an effort to move you forward in promoting your own work, here are a few example methods for sharing your work and gaining larger benefits from your skills and knowledge.
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First, while you may not realize it, each of us has our own personal philosophy about our work and career. We have lessons we have learned, skills we have developed and stories to tell. You don’t have to be some famous business writer with a best selling book to start sharing your philosophy, though. Even those writers had to start somewhere. They had to learn a lot about business in order to get where they are today, developing their philosophy as they went. You should be be doing that, too.
Start collecting the stories of your life and work that illustrate your beliefs and philosophy about work, business, personal interactions, teamwork, whatever most draws your attention. Make a point of writing notes when you come across a particularly useful, intelligent or life changing thought. If you don’t capture them as they happen, they will quickly disappear. Then, more importantly, start sharing these thoughts with your family, friends and coworkers. What is their response to your ideas? Was it useful to them, too? What changes or new thoughts come to mind when you discuss your ideas with them? How can you grow a small idea into something larger?
These small actions are the beginnings of your overall life philosophy. I know, philosophy might feel like a overly dramatic word for your ideas, but trust me, it isn’t. Your ideas have power far beyond what you might believe at first. They can change both you and the world around you. Don’t dismiss them out of hand. Think of your ideas as a philosophy and you will start to feel just how important they are. You will also begin to internalize your own philosophy, reinforce what it means to you and use it grow in your own life and career. In this way, you become a living example of your philosophy and your life becomes a story that you can share with others in hopes of improving their lives, too.
Next, start sharing your philosophy with a larger audience. You don’t have to stand on a street corner proclaiming your philosophy, but you certainly want to be sharing it with your co-workers, managers, online via a blog, discussion group or video series. Find concrete examples of how you can apply your philosophy to the issues of your family, your office, your business sector or the world at large. Not only will this help others who are struggling with the same issues as you, ift will force you to think more deeply about your philosophy and how it might grow and change to better meet your needs and the needs of those around you. Each expansion or refinement to your philosophy brings more and more benefit as you develop more ways of having a positive impact on their world around you.
For the next week or so, I want you to focus on your philosophy? What rules have you developed in your work over the years? What methods? What skills? What do you believe deeply about your work, your profession, your society, your world? What stories shaped those beliefs? What were the direct learning experiences that brought about your philosophy? What can others learn from your experience? How can you best share it with those who might need it most?
Now, in preparation for sharing your philosophy with others, why don’t you share it with me. Tell me some of your great career and life stories that shaped your philosophy. Share your ideas for creating a better life and career for yourself and what others can learn from it. I believe we all have something important that we have learned, developed or created. We are all an expert in something. If you have one more idea or one more experience than someone else, they want and need your expertise. Actively reach out and share your expertise with those who want and need it most. Not only will you help them. You’ll also be helping to to build the career you deserve.