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Dan Schawbel and the New Rules for Getting Ahead

Figure Out How to Promote Yourself the Right Way

How do you promote yourself while adding value to others? How can you do so successfully across generations?

I just had the pleasure of chatting on Twitter with personal branding guru Dan Schawbel, bestselling author and managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. Schawbel and I tweeted about what he describes as “the new rules in the new workplace” in his latest book.

Check out what he says about taking your career into your own hands, differentiating yourself, and targeting your audience.


(In case you don't use Twitter, the @ symbol before our names is just the way our handles appear on that platform.)

@NancyAncowitz: Congrats on “Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success.” What got you to write the book?

@DanSchawbel: I wrote #promoteyourself because I wanted to help my generation thrive in the workplace.

@NancyAncowitz: Say more about how self-promotion is different for different generations.

@DanSchawbel: Millennials self-promote more through technology than older generations. They express themselves through shorter messages.

@NancyAncowitz: What are pitfalls Millennials fall into when promoting themselves?

@DanSchawbel: Their co-workers won't want to work with them and they won't be seen as a leader.

@NancyAncowitz: Isn't that true of any generation? When you promote yourself obnoxiously, no one wants to be around you?

@DanSchawbel: Correct and in today's world, it's easy to unfollow, unsubscribe and ignore people who are overly promotional.

@NancyAncowitz: Yes, and that's a good reason to promote yourself while always looking to provide value to others. How do you do that?

@DanSchawbel: Share resources, quotes, facts, retweet others, share credit on projects, find ways to solve co-worker problems.

@NancyAncowitz: All sounds good. What are some creative ways to stand out?

@DanSchawbel: Become an intrapreneur by looking for new opportunities that your company can take advantage of.

@DanSchawbel: Get involved in activities outside of work that relate to your profession.

@DanSchawbel: Build up your social media presence and become a thought leader in your field.

@NancyAncowitz: Those would definitely help you differentiate yourself. What are the "new rules" you describe in your book?

@DanSchawbel: 1. Your job description is just the beginning. 2. Your job is temporary. 3. Your boss's career comes first.

@NancyAncowitz: I agree about your job description. It's your accomplishments that really count. Yet many people can't describe them.

@NancyAncowitz: You also say that your personal life is now public. Say more about that.

@DanSchawbel: What you post online is public and visible to the people you work with so be sure to be conscious of that.

@NancyAncowitz: Of course. And you write about working with people of different generations. How do you learn to do that well?

@DanSchawbel: Older generations want face time and are all about work ethic.

@NancyAncowitz: Do you mean baby boomers?

@DanSchawbel: Exactly. In the next 5 years, almost all boomers are set to retire.

@NancyAncowitz: What do you need to consider when working with Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z colleagues?

@DanSchawbel: Patience, understanding, self-awareness.

@NancyAncowitz: Say more.

@DanSchawbel: Millennials want constant attention, boomers want obedience and Gen X'ers want flexibility.

@NancyAncowitz: That sums it up! Of course, we know that everyone is an individual, but you point out some interesting trends.

@NancyAncowitz: What's the "rule of one"?

@DanSchawbel: The notion that it only takes one person to change your life for the better.

@NancyAncowitz: How do you find that person? And how can you be that person for someone else?

@DanSchawbel: It's by process of elimination. You have to find the right people and reach out until one responds. Offer value to them first.

@NancyAncowitz: How can you offer them value if they're more senior?

@DanSchawbel: Everyone has something to offer. You just need to research what their needs could be and figure out how you can help them.

@NancyAncowitz: Yes, and offering ideas, information, discussing trends, being a sounding board, and making introductions.

@DanSchawbel: It was great speaking to you today.

@NancyAncowitz: You too. Do you have anything else to add?

@DanSchawbel: In summary, you need to be accountable for your career and take charge of your life. Opportunities won't just appear.

@NancyAncowitz: Well put. Thank you. I enjoyed tweeting with you.

Minor edits were made to the Twitter exchange above.