How to Promote Yourself on the Job

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Goofy Guy Learns to Compete

The wise man did not provide Gillis with wisdom enough to advance women further along their career path or enable them to smash through the glass ceiling, but he did advise Gillis sufficiently to feel comfortable saying that women especially need to embrace this personal promotion message.

In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, eliminating gender pay discrimination. Since that time, women's pay has only risen (approximately) 1.5¢ per hour compared to men. Gillis sees this not as a societal increase but rather a result of more women completing college than men and entering the workforce.

Gillis believes that one of the factors missing from the employed woman's on-the-job tool kit is the mindset and knowledge about how to inform their employer of the value that they bring to the job. Of course, this is necessary for all players in the workforce, but 'guys' learned this stuff in high school. Gillis believes there is some truth to the idea that the genesis for men competing is women/dating/the doofus trying to get the cute girl to go out with him — er —them!

Over the years, Rick Gillis, author of PROMOTE! It's Who Knows What You Know that Makes a Career, has counseled job seekers and studied the phenomenon called employment. Seeking advanced knowledge, he scaled a great office building. (OK, he used the elevator!) At the peak, he met a wise, old, retired human resources professional who shared a sage piece of career wisdom with him. The HR professional said that, unknown to most mortals, before you turn 30, the corporation you work for has already determined if you are to be groomed for management or if your career will be, effectively, stalled. And more, these employees will never know that this has occurred because they will continue to receive attaboy's and an occasional raise but never again will they be significantly promoted.

Gillis says he has learned that the wise, old HR professional spoke the truth — as he understood it. What he did not know, and what Gillis has discovered doing battle with the demons of advancement, is that there is a universal solution to this dilemma and mere mortals can learn and become proficient at professional personal promotion on the job.

In this slideshow, Gillis shares his advice on how to overcome this obstacle by promoting yourself on the job.


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