IAWA logo
View mobile navigation

Elevate Your Career: The Power of Advocating for Your Contributions in the Workplace

Arpad Szakal – Aviation & Aerospace, Cormis Partners 

In today's fiercely competitive professional realm, excelling at your job entails more than just delivering tangible results. It demands the ability to effectively communicate and advocate for the value you bring to the table. However, it's surprising how often female professionals, particularly those at mid to senior levels, overlook the importance of actively promoting their own achievements. Being your own biggest advocate is critical if you want to progress your career irrespective of the sector you work in.  

Below are some actionable advice and tips I picked up along the way through my conversations with female leaders – both in and outside of aviation & aerospace - to help you navigate this terrain successfully. 

Understand the Importance of Self-Advocacy: At its core, advocating for your contributions isn't about self-aggrandizement; rather, it's about ensuring that your work receives the recognition and acknowledgment it deserves. When you fail to speak up for yourself, there's a risk that others may not fully grasp the extent of your impact and accomplishments. 

Keep Track of Your Achievements: Maintaining a detailed record of your successes is essential. This includes everything from successfully completed projects to key initiatives and any positive outcomes resulting from your efforts. Wherever possible, quantify your achievements using metrics such as revenue generated, cost savings, or efficiency improvements. 

Articulate Your Value Proposition: Developing a clear and concise elevator pitch that highlights your unique skills, expertise, and contributions is paramount. Tailor your messaging to resonate with different stakeholders, whether they're colleagues, supervisors, or potential mentors. 

Seize Opportunities to Showcase Your Work: Volunteering for high-visibility projects or leadership roles can provide invaluable opportunities to demonstrate your capabilities and make a tangible impact. Similarly, offering to present your findings or lead discussions during team meetings, conferences, or industry events can help raise awareness of your contributions. 

Solicit Feedback & Endorsements: Actively seeking feedback from peers, supervisors, and clients can provide valuable insights into areas of strength and areas for improvement. Additionally, requesting endorsements or testimonials from satisfied stakeholders can serve to validate your expertise and credibility within your field. 

Cultivate Relationships & Networks: Building strong relationships with colleagues, mentors, and industry influencers can be instrumental in advocating for your contributions. Likewise, participating in professional associations, networking events, and online communities can help expand your visibility and connect you with like-minded professionals. 

Build Confidence & Assertiveness: Embracing self-confidence and assertiveness when discussing your contributions is key. Avoid self-deprecation or downplaying your achievements, and instead, practice effective communication techniques such as active listening, persuasive storytelling, and negotiation skills to convey your message convincingly. 

Make Continuous Learning (and Evolving) a Top Priority: Staying abreast of industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies is crucial for maintaining relevance and competitiveness in your field. Seek out opportunities for professional development, whether it's through training programs, certifications, or mentorship, to further refine your expertise and broaden your impact. 

In a fast-paced and ever-evolving work environment, being your own biggest advocate is essential for career advancement and professional fulfilment. By proactively communicating and promoting your contributions, you not only ensure recognition for your achievements but also inspire confidence and trust in your abilities. Embrace self-advocacy as a strategic tool for success, and watch as your career reaches new heights.