“Promote Yourself”: Make The Most Of Your Career, Gen Y


Many millennials transition from post-secondary education to a first job, only to find themselves wondering, “now what?”

You may have wound up in this boat for one of several reasons.

Perhaps you’ve realized that opportunities for advancement aren’t what you anticipated, quick promotions or raises aren’t in your future or your chance of launching the next big startup is slim.

Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, helps young professionals navigate an ever-changing economy, evolved workplace and the ‘real’ world.

Times have changed

In his second book, Dan Schawbel – managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm – introduces the concept of “new workplace, new rules” to millennials.

“If you want to succeed in today’s workplace – to develop your career and get noticed – you’ll need to learn how to navigate your way through an economy that seems to be changing every day,” says Schawbel.

Schawbel explains that our generation doesn’t stay at the same job for nearly as long as the previous generation, has skills that older generations are still trying to catch up on and isn’t properly trained in the skills we need to succeed at current and future jobs.

Promote Yourself guides readers through the stages of career development for young professionals. Calling on personal experiences, anecdotes from colleagues and peer and studies conducted on employees and managers, Schawbel explores a number of key skills for today’s workplace, including how to:

  • Make the most of your experience in a corporation
  • Use social media to foster a strong professional network
  • Exhibit the traits that help you earn a promotion
  • Identify if you should move up, sideways, or out
  • Determine if starting your own business is right for you

Schawbel’s book offers practical solutions to make your early career a meaningful experience in an unpredictable market – with less risk. Insights on promoting your personal brand, your ideas and yourself abound.

Bringing passion to work

One of the book’s major strengths is its exploration of strategies to deal with workplace dissatisfaction.

As an alternative to simply leaving work or starting your own business (both risky decisions in this economy), Schawbel explains the merits of less-familiar strategies, including “intrapreneurship.”

Intrapreneurs are entrepreneurs within a company. Schawbel explains that these keeners have bright ideas on how to improve processes, create innovative products or offer new services. Intrapreneurs master their current positions, go above and beyond the job description and get ahead faster.

“Becoming an intrapreneur is a real game changer,” says Schawbel. “Succeed as an intrapreneur and you’ll become so valuable to your company that everyone will want to work with you. At that point, there’s no limit to how far you can go in your career.”

An alternative to intrapreneurship is proactively identifying your passions and strategically turning those passions into a lateral career move within your company.

“A lot of people are afraid of trying to pursue their passions at work,” says Schawbel. “I have two responses to that. First, managers actually like people who make lateral moves. It shows they know how to work in different types of organizations. Second, if you ever want to be able to have a chance of enjoying your work life, you really don’t have a choice.”

While it’s a substantial read, Schawbel’s book is written with an engaging conversational style that effortlessly carries a reader through his advice and insights. Regardless of your position or job satisfaction, there’s an insightful chapter waiting here for you.

Promote Yourself can be ordered online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.