When I was about twelve years old I was sent to a catholic school.  Here I was plied with stories by the nuns about the lives of saints and ne-er do well catholic girls who came to a bad end.

However, the story that stands out in my memory was about “Poor, dear Mary”.

“Poor, dear Mary” was a single catholic woman with a limited social circle who, at the tender age of 30, looked to be “on the shelf” for life.  The nuns hinted strongly that that she might be “plain” but “good”.

However, “Poor, dear Mary” had never given up on the hope of marriage.  She spent many years praying to the statue of Saint Joseph to find her a suitable husband.   However, one day, in a fit of pique, “Poor, dear Mary” got so tired of waiting that she threw the statue out of the window.

As luck would have it, the statue struck a man on the head in the street below.  Luckier still, this same man happened to be good-looking, rich and (of course) catholic.  Luckiest of all, he was in search of a wife.  As you might have guessed he picked up the statue, handed it back to “Poor, dear Mary” and a few months later married her.

What are the chances of a good old-fashioned catholic tale like that happening in real life??

The answer, of course, is pretty slim.

Yet how many of us sit around in our current jobs like “Poor, dear Mary” feeling under-valued and hoping we’ll be noticed and promoted?

Yet if you want to get ahead in the work place you need to take a hand in your own destiny and start getting noticed.

If you think your only route to getting noticed is to stay behind long after everyone else has gone home then that is pretty pointless as there’s no one there to see you.  And if you’re not being seen then your efforts won’t be appreciated.

Like most good brands you need an audience.

It is a subtle shift but viewing yourself as a brand with your own unique USP will change the way you handle yourself in the workplace and ultimately the way others view you as well.

So ask yourself:

What are my USPs?

What makes me stand out from my peers?

Now you need to decide who your audience is.  Be selective.  Your target audience is not the person sitting next to you – that’s the competition!  Your target audience should be your boss and the agency Managing Partners.

Make sure you mix with your “target audience” when the agency has social events.

Get regular appraisals diarised.

Get testimonials from your clients.

You don’t want to be viewed as one of life’s passengers but a driving force who makes things happen.

Ultimately, luck is not in the lap of the Gods as it was for “Poor, dear Mary”.  It is preparation plus opportunity.

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