Book Review: Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success by Dan Schawbel

April 1, 2020

Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success by Dan Schawbel shows people how others perceive you at work, and how knowing that information and manipulate it can help you succeed. Mr. Schawbel is a bestselling author who has made himself an expert on personal branding.

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I saw this book in the library and borrowed it thinking it will add value to some college classes that I teach. After all, many of us are aware that our personal brand is probably some of the most important assets that we possess, but many people, especially those that grew up with social media, don’t recognize that fact, or simply don’t care.

Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success by Dan Schawbel certainly helped me verbalize some of those thoughts, and help me present them clearly. While that subject is only a small portion of my class (maybe 20 minutes in a 4 months long course), I felt that it brings in much needed value to my class and many of my students.

This book has aged, some of the specific advice is no longer relevant, as many are at this age where information moves so fast it changes on a monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly basis. So it’s only expected that what was true about certain websites five years ago, is no longer so.

That being said, some of the advice the author gives is still relevant, and even more so now than when it was originally written.  Two of the main takeaways from this book are to take care of your social media branding, and thinking “inside” the box.

Social media branding has to do with thinking of yourself as a brand, and a direct reflection on you. One of the first things potential employers do is to google their respective candidates and check out their social media profiles. You don’t even have to be a potential candidate, every day almost we hear of some person that got fired because they went on a racist, xenophobic, or just trashy social media rant that started making the rounds.

Thinking “inside” the box has to do with making yourself indispensable, finding out what manager really need or want and using those skills. One has to use your potential in your present position rather than looking elsewhere for promotions.

Using social media can be a double edged sword, but the author stresses that you can use it to your advantage by increasing your personal brand. The book also offers relevant advice about balancing self-promotion without stepping on toes, as well as what managers look for when promoting employees. The advice the author gives are all based on numbers, not intuition, but I’d like to see a more current version of this book at some point.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I borrowed this book from the local library.
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