It’s so blatantly obvious. The new guy on the scene is trying to grab all the hot jobs—the ones that get the most exposure and have the highest dollar value—even though his photography skills aren’t quite pro. Why are you losing clients to HIM? The new guy must be better at schmoozing. What else could it be?

This is the fourth in a mini-series of five posts on how to create your Personal Value Proposition (PVP). (Find the first post here.) Creating your own brand is the key to standing out and getting noticed. Many of us know this, yet struggle to make it happen.

Strutting our stuff, speaking up, and stepping into the spotlight is easier said than done. Unless, of course, you are a narcissistic extrovert. The rest of us have been taught to behave, be polite, and wait patiently for our turns.

When I was working as the Sr. Director at Corbis, a Bill Gates company, one of my direct reports had seniority and was next in line to move ahead. I remember my conversation with her vividly. When I asked what her goals were, she replied that she wanted a promotion. Specifically, she wanted a management position. I asked what she had done to demonstrate she had the necessary skills and the respect from her team to become a manager.

What she said next killed her chance for a promotion right then and there. She said I would have to give her the promotion first and THEN she would show me.

I could hardly believe my ears. Yet, this is not an uncommon mindset. Do you think that someone, somewhere, sometime will see past what you are doing right now and simply hand you a job, regardless on whether or not it is through employment or a freelance opportunity if you’ve never done one like it before? Do you believe it’s enough that you have paid your dues?

This approach doesn’t work. When making a significant investment, your clients want to see that you are capable of what they want. Your portfolio is how they can “try before they buy.” Before you get that smoking hot job opportunity you have to—at minimum—demonstrate you’ll be able to pull it off.

The truth is that scoring hot jobs, those projects that quickly propel your career, reputation and bank account forward, are the key to recognition. These are your opportunities to show off and prove your worth.

If you’ve been following my PVP mini-series, then by now you have your super skill to show off, you are no longer a wallflower, you know what you have to offer, and you can speak up without being a bitch or a bully.

Hog it, grab it, take it, volunteer to do it, or wrestle that hot job opportunity away from the new guy. You’ve been letting him steal the spotlight with below standard skill for too long.

In the next and final segment we talk about how to build strategic alliances. You’ll need these to get noticed.

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