What I Have Learned About Selling Yourself At 20
(A message to my 16 year old self)
Perspective is everything. Taking a chance to reflect on your experiences are important to your progress. This is what I wish I knew at 16.
Twenty years is by no means a long time to be alive. In fact I think I got my first job at 16, so only four years ago, however I have learned some important lessons over the last few years as a college student that have changed my view on what it means to truly sell yourself.
I have learned to enjoy the process of selling myself. Growing up and even in my first years of college I never truly understood this process. If you can find a way to enjoy the process things will feel different and more like a conversation. Everyone needs to be able to sell themselves to some degree in order to set themselves apart from others. Whether it is getting a job, asking someone on a date, getting someone to read my blog, or giving a presentation you are always in a way selling yourself. In the society we live in today it is embedded into our culture that we try to climb the hierarchy of success. We all aim to get promoted, get recognition and strive for success. I’ve often found myself frustrated at certain moments in my life especially in high school where I thought I was more qualified than someone else or had done more than that person. There have been times where I felt like I had gone above the Call of Duty and yet find myself surprised with the outcome. Over the years I have found that the reason was there had been a lack of attention to detail. Missing out on a small detail had hurt me and impacted my outcome at times. Below are some things I wish I did earlier, but have found to help sell myself over time.
- Your Tone: How you show passion and authenticity is essential.
- Paying closer attention to first impressions and thinking about perception
- Raise your hand: Far to often in our society we mistake this for being a dumb question or being scared. It shows passion through expression
- Take pleasure in networking: Make it a hobby and learn about peoples stories (because everyone has one)
- Put yourself in other’s shoes: Try to understand others perspectives
- Visualize Success: Visualize yourself making that sale; this is very powerful. Confidence goes through the roof.
- Be a trusted voice: Continue to mold and shape your personal brand and reflect
- Feedback is a two-way system: Look for those mentors in life. Find mentors who can give feedback. Also give feedback to others.
- Humility: If someone comments on something of yours it is always good to acknowledge and say thanks for your feedback.
- Experiencing several job interviews and learning from every instance
- Public speaking opportunities: development of confidence and self elevator pitches!
- Enjoy the Process: Talking to people can be very interesting, informative and educational. You can find out all kinds of things including everyones own story and experiences
In the end, never underestimate the importance of selling yourself. If only I would’ve understood the value of this skill earlier in my high school and early college career.