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Photo courtesy of Capital One.
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Marina’s perception of how to thrive at work shifted when she learned about a theory of achievement that states only 10 percent of career success comes from performance. Image and exposure make up the other 90 percent.
“That knowledge felt seismic,” said Marina, a director of Business Capabilities Tech for the Business Cards & Payments team. “I would have been eternally grateful for someone to give me that knowledge when I started 25 years ago. A strong brand can open doors because it makes people remember you.”
Marina is now making it her mission to help other women in tech with their careers. In 2022, she presented on building your brand at the Women in Tech Boston conference.
Discover her four tips below.
Marina had a habit of downplaying her accolades and deflecting praise onto others if someone complimented her.
“I used to worry I'd come across as arrogant if I didn't minimize my success,” Marina said. “I had to get rid of that negative self-talk.”
Marina has made it an intentional exercise to respond to compliments with a “thank you.” She also does a mental exercise to see herself through friends, colleagues and loved ones’ eyes.
“We are most critical of ourselves,” Marina said. “Downplaying yourself makes it harder for others to believe in you. View yourself as you would a friend. Compliments will be a lot easier to accept.”
It’s not enough for Marina to accept praise—she also logs accomplishments and positives throughout the year. The record makes it easy for her to provide accurate and thorough information for mid-year and end-of-year reviews.
“It lets you reflect on everything you have accomplished,” Marina said. “It’s a little cheat sheet to give yourself a pat on the back or a boost of confidence. You deserve it.”
Create a strong digital footprint that represents you. For Marina, that starts with a good LinkedIn photo and a crisp bio.
LinkedIn reports that profiles with photos receive 21 times more than those without pics. Additionally, Marina knows that her LinkedIn photo is one of the first things to appear when someone Googles her.
As for the bio, Marina thinks of it as a short elevator speech about her career. She recommends you pick one to three professional accomplishments that indicate what makes you unique. Part of her bio reads: “Technology leader with 20-plus years of proven track record of planning implementation of new large scale projects.”
“I got my job at Capital One because a recruiter found me on LinkedIn after I updated my profile,” Marina said. “You never know who might get in touch.”
One aspect of working at Capital One that Marina has come to love most is how many opportunities there are to meet new people.
She casually expands her network through meet and greets—quick conversations with associates to share professional and personal interests and develop long-term relationships. She meets associates in her role as the co-lead for the New England chapter of Women in Tech, a Capital One Business Resource Group. And she is always connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn.
Marina recommends finding a way to network that is comfortable for you, whether it’s one-on-one chats or attending conferences. Your expanded community will help you stay on top of industry trends, keep a pulse on the job market and find prospective mentors.
“We all know that the most connected people are often the most successful,” Marina said. “Staying on the radar is a challenge. Proactively building relationships allows your brand, and you, to be remembered.”
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