I saw an article on Forbes.com the other day called “15 Ways to Establish Authority in Your Field.” I thought it contained some great career advice. While many of the 15 tips in the article are more suited to entrepreneurs, five of them can be helpful to you as you build your product management rep. Let’s take a look at these five.
There is no shortage of industry-specific publications—like PM360. Most are looking for authors. Take a look at the publications circulating in your office. Pick one that you like and send them an article proposal. It’s always great to be in a magazine read by people in your company and industry. There are also many great article distribution websites. In my opinion, Ezine Articles (ezinearticles.com) is the best. Write an article on your area of expertise—it can even be a case study describing one of your successful projects. Submit it to Ezine Articles. Once it’s up, make sure you share it with your colleagues and boss.
Build a Social Network Following
You can do this via Twitter (one of my favorites). Start tweeting about issues in the pharma and device industries. People will find you and you’ll build a following. (But do set up separate IDs for your professional and personal tweets, and don’t mix them: Your work colleagues don’t need the latest details on your tiki bar obsession.) Or join LinkedIn and become a member of pharma or device groups. Stay up to date on discussions in these groups. Offer your opinions in a thoughtful way. Better yet, start some discussions. And, if you really get into it, create a group of your own.
Become a Speaker
You don’t have to become a professional speaker to speak. Offer to do a talk for one of the professional organizations to which you belong. I did a lot of talks at my local American Society for Training and Development early in my career. Get in touch with local service organizations—Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist International, etc. These groups always need speakers for their weekly or monthly meetings. Speaking does two things for you: 1) it helps you sharpen and clarify your thoughts and ideas and 2) it is a nice thing to have on your résumé—even when you are applying for a promotion within your company.
Become a Leader
As I mentioned above, there are tons of professional and service organizations. All of them need volunteers to handle leadership responsibilities. Get involved. I guarantee that when you find an organization you like and get actively involved you can progress from being an entry level member to president in five or six years. It takes time and effort, but it is a good way to demonstrate your leadership abilities.
Teach Classes and Workshops
You can do this inside your company or out. Volunteer to teach a lunch-and-learn session on marketing or product management for people inside your company. If your company doesn’t have a lunch-and-learn series, start one. Also, most communities have a variety of adult education venues. Choose one and teach a class there. In addition to building your resume, you’ll be making contacts and clarifying your ideas. You never learn something as well as when you teach it to others.
Establishing yourself as an authority is a great way to build your personal brand and create the career success you deserve. As I’ve mentioned above, there are five things you can do to establish yourself as an authority, and although they require a little effort, they are not too difficult to do: 1) Publish articles; 2) build a social network following; 3) become a speaker; 4) become a leader; and 5) teach classes and workshops. Put these five tips to work and you’ll establish yourself as an authority—and be on your way to creating the product management career success you deserve.