Articles

Member in the Spotlight: Elana Augustine

Elana is the Marketing Coordinator at Conway & Owen, an M/E/P engineering firm based in Alpharetta, Georgia.  She moved here from New York State and has ten years of overall marketing experience with six years in the A/E/C industry.  Elana was previously a member of SMPS Upstate New York and served as their Membership Director for three years.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management from St. John Fisher College and a Master’s degree in Management from Nazareth College, both located in Rochester, NY.  Elana enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, exercising, and tries to never miss a new episode of Downton Abbey and Modern Family!

What I Love About SMPS Atlanta

"To me, our members are what make the SMPS Atlanta Chapter stand out.  Everyone that I’ve met has been great with helping me make the transition to a new state and new A/E/C market, such as giving advice on what industry meetings to attend, providing me with vendor recommendations, and explaining the difference between “ITP” and “OTP!”  I also love our Chapter’s wide variety of monthly events, especially the Boot Camps; they’re worth getting up early for!"

- Elana Augustine

How to Get Noticed without being Notorious

If you want to get ahead in the business world, inevitably you have to get noticed. But how do you get noticed if you’re not fond of the spotlight? Or how do you get the right kind of attention if you have the tendency to speak before you think? What about changing your image as you progress in your career – surely you’re not the same person at 45 as you were at 25?

These are the questions Dr. Beverly Y. Langford, President of LMA Communication, addressed in SMPS Atlanta’s February boot camp, “How to Get Noticed Without Being Notorious.” Dr. Langford explained that the recipe for getting noticed through an effective professional presence involves a “4D approach” – Discover, Develop, Demonstrate and Deliver.

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The discovery phase involves figuring out what differentiates you from others around you. Is it your IQ, problem solving skills, creativity, ambition, personality, or some other unique characteristic? Determining your strengths, while also acknowledging and understanding your weaknesses, is key to discovering what Dr. Langford referred to as “your natural style.”

Once you know your natural style, it’s important to develop credibility and manage perceptions. Credibility is gained in a multitude of ways, but it’s an ever-moving target, she explained. There are also different types of credibility – your initial credibility (also known as a first impression, which is made within 60 seconds of meeting someone for the first time), and your acquired or earned credibility. Another aspect of the development phase that Dr. Langford described involves keeping yourself open to others and forming relationships with individuals who will go to bat for you (advocates).

However, to truly be noticeable, you have to spend some time doing things that will actually get you noticed. Consistent demonstration of your knowledge and experience, always being alert and “in the moment,” treating others with respect, and not being afraid to admit when you don’t know something are all key factors to demonstrating your capabilities and standing out in a crowd. Dr. Langford also suggested simple actions such as arriving early, looking your best, and not being afraid to make the first move (go up to that person at the networking event, already!) as ways to get noticed.

And finally, the last ingredient to a successful “get noticed” strategy is to deliver. Dr. Langford explained that being responsive, taking initiative, keeping promises, taking smart risks, and giving credit freely are all things that contribute to how people perceive you. She suggested to be willing to give before you receive, and to look at business contacts as a “relationship bank account” – you never want to take out more than you’re willing to put in.

She ended her talk at the boot camp with a quote by Catherine Kaputa – “Talent and ability are important, but visibility alone may explain the difference between a professional who is in demand and earns a large salary and another professional who is just getting by.”

 

Post by: Brittany LuizMarketing CoordinatorGLEEDS