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  • Is self-promotion good or bad?
  • How do you think employers perceive self-promoters?

I heard a story about job hopping on WSJ Radio last week. My have things changed! My parents’ generation believed that once a person got a job, they should hold it for life. They looked forward to walking out the door with a gold watch and a pension. Employers and employees valued loyalty highly. Employees are moving from a “what have you done for me lately” to a “what can you do for me now” mindset. For example, many corporate employees receive better-than-average raises, but they are looking for even better opportunities. As a result, the most effective way to find those opportunities is to self-promote.

Company-funded pensions aren’t as prevalent as they used to be, and more and more benefits packages are portable. Job seekers are looking to get as much as they can while they can. Employers lay off scores of employees at the drop of a hat. Case in point, a few years ago, the tech and banking industries hired on mass and are laying employees off in the same manner. This labor market would be anathema to my grandparents and self-promoting would be abhorrent.

The term job hopper didn’t land with me initially. But as I look back over my career, that is exactly what I did. I served less than three years in my first and second career positions, one year at my third, five years at my fourth, a whopping nineteen at my fifth, and five at my sixth. Keeping my head down hoping that I would get noticed wouldn’t help me advance in my career. Therefore, self-promotion was necessary. I don’t mean that in-your-face type, but letting current and potential employers know how I could help them achieve their goals.

Here is how self-promoting can benefit current and potential employers and employees. According to Adriene Phillips, Karin Gonzalez, and Lesley Chapel, “Self-promotion can be very effective in that it allows people to identify the contributions and leadership skills of the individual. Effectively speaking about self is a leadership skill and often results in many accolades from supervisors and bosses. The occasional promotion or raise usually goes to the person who understands how to effectively self-promote.” Self-promoting may be done in many ways; face-to-face, social media, YouTube, podcasts, blogs, business cards, and resumes. Job hopping and self-promoting are good as long as they are win-win.

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