Taking time each day to market one’s self is a passion of mine. Its roots come from the worst piece of advice I ever got.

When I was in my 20s I worked as a lobbyist and grassroots organizer for a non-profit organization. I was doing a great job and was passionate about my work. At the same time that my boss left to join the Peace Corps, a new position opened up. I was already doing the work and was qualified. That’s when he told me, “Do a good job, Heather, and they’ll notice you.”

What crap. I was passed over for the promotion. Why? The president of the company had no idea that I wanted the job.

I was holding down the fort, taking on new responsibilities, doing a kick-ass job, and he didn’t notice.

I was sharing the stage with the attorney general of California. I was organizing and running major press conferences. I provided “expert testimony” before the Public Safety Committee of the California State Assembly. Congressmen took my calls. Yet, I wasn’t even on his radar.

Once the reality sunk in that I had really messed up, I took control of my career. I set a new path and created new goals. It took several years, but I finally made it to corporate communications. Legal marketing to be exact.

Since that day to this, I have always managed my career (not to be confused with doing a kick-ass job). I joined the Legal Marketing Association. I volunteered for any committee work that I could do. I served as president of the local chapter, and made my way to the national board. I have never hesitated to ingratiate myself to the “gurus” of the industry. If my phone rings I take the call. I mentor anyone who asks.

It was slow and steady work, but it’s been paying off for me in numerous ways.

With the recent advances of Web 2.0, particularly Twitter, I have quickly positioned myself into the heart of the conversations concerning the business of law, a passion of mine. Very quickly my reputation now precedes me on a broader stage.

But it takes time, every day. But it’s worth it. It’s my career.

Part 2. Career v. job
Part 3. Where do you find the time?
Part 4. My 4 point 2.0 plan

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14989395041372194357 mister.thorne

    Heather — this is a great post. I look forward to reading Parts 2 — 4 (and beyond, if possible).Now, if “do a good job and you’ll get noticed” is the WORST advice you ever got, then you’ve been getting great advice!

  • http://www.captiv8communications.com Nicole Carrubba

    Heather – This is a great post. I have often found throughout my career that some of the smartest and most talented people often get passed over for promotions or miss out on exciting career opportunities because they are afraid to speak up and self promote or get involved. I know that sometimes I’m afraid to have a voice, whether its in the boardroom or now, in the Web 2.0 community space. Sometimes it can be intimidating! Your blog and your efforts should be an inspiration for all who struggle to find their voice. Look forward to reading parts 2 and beyond. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Tooting my own horn | The Legal Watercooler()

  • Pingback: The best business advice I ever got, I got from Joan Rivers | The Legal Watercooler()