May 29, 2024

Rise and Shine: Mastering the Art of Self-Advocacy in Your Career


follow me!

I’m an executive coach and accomplished business consultant who brings experience as a two-time start-up Chief Operating Officer, small business and entrepreneurial expert, and coach to my work. Learn more about me here!

Meet Brandi Keiser

Today, I’m delving into a topic that some may find slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps you’ve heard the nagging voice of imposter syndrome that tells you you’re not enough—not worth that raise, not deserving of that promotion, not [fill in the blank] enough—or maybe you’re just not quite sure how to take your career to the next level. Listen, I’m here to tell you that advocating for yourself professionally is a vital skill, especially as you start moving up in your career. It’s about recognizing your worth, communicating your value, and ensuring that your contributions are acknowledged and rewarded. In this post, I explore how you can do that effectively. (If you want more related content and the “oomph” to take the next step in your career, you might check out my blog “The Consultant’s Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome.”)

Understand Your Value

First and foremost, you *must* be convinced of your value. I’m not talking about arrogance. I’m talking about recognizing your skills, accomplishments, and potential. Reflect on your achievements, gather feedback from peers and mentors, and identify the unique strengths you bring to the table. Create a list of your accomplishments and regularly update it. This will not only boost your confidence but also provide concrete examples when you need to advocate for yourself.

Communicate Your Achievements

So, now that (she says hopefully) you understand your worth, it’s time to be sure that ray of sunshine is felt by others. Regularly communicate your achievements to your manager and peers—don’t assume they’re aware of your contributions. Hear me—this doesn’t mean bragging or constantly talking about yourself, but rather finding appropriate moments to highlight your work. For instance, during team meetings or one-on-one sessions with your manager, mention the progress you’ve made on key projects. Frame your achievements in terms of how they benefit the team or organization, which demonstrates that you’re aligned with broader goals.

Build Strong Relationships

Relationships are the bedrock of any successful career. Cultivate connections with colleagues, mentors, and industry peers. Don’t underestimate the power of being genuinely interested in others—offer help when you can and be a reliable team member. Strong relationships can provide you with advocates who will speak up for you when you’re not in the room. For example, if you’re working on a team project, take the time to understand your teammates’ goals and find ways to support them. This mutual support can build a network of allies who will champion your efforts and highlight your contributions.

Seek Feedback and Act on It

While ensuring both you and others are convinced of your value, it’s just as important for you to seek feedback from your colleagues and superiors. Not only will this show that you’re committed to growth and improvement, it reinforces your value when you receive positive feedback and provides opportunities for growth when you receive constructive criticism. Win-win? I think so. For example, if your manager points out that you need to improve your presentation skills, take a course or seek a mentor to help you develop in that area. Following through on feedback demonstrates your commitment to professional development and can position you as a proactive and dedicated professional.

Be Proactive About Opportunities

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Seek them out. Volunteer for challenging projects, propose new ideas and take on leadership roles when possible. This could look like suggesting a solution or offering to lead an initiative after noticing an area in your department that could be improved. Being proactive shows that you’re eager to contribute and capable of handling more responsibility.

Ask for What You Want

Whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or a new opportunity, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. I’ll say it again—Don’t. Be. Afraid. Prepare your case by highlighting your achievements, the value you’ve added, and how the new opportunity aligns with your career goals and benefits the organization. Practice your pitch and be ready to negotiate. Remember, advocating for yourself is about clearly and confidently communicating your worth and ambitions.

I can’t emphasize enough that advocating for yourself is not a one-time thing—it’s an ongoing process that requires self-awareness, communication, and a proactive approach. By practicing the strategies I’ve discussed here, your self-advocacy will not only propel your career forward, it will help you rise to your full potential and shine a light on the world of possibilities awaiting you.

Remember, your career is your responsibility. Take charge, speak up, and make your professional journey an exciting and rewarding one.

All my best and more,


P.S. Want to be the first to know of new content and offerings? Subscribe to my newsletter (don’t worry… I will respect your time and inbox.). 

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *