WHY DO I NEED TO SELF-PROMOTE? We may think that our work will get us noticed, but the data doesn’t lie. Research shows that women with the same achievements and skills as their male counterparts are not advancing as far or as fast. Without practicing self-promotion, we run the risk of making significantly less money than we could–– or should––over the course of our careers. Here are some tips on how to get started promoting yourself like an expert.
Know the difference between bragging and self-promotion. Self-promotion is educating RELEVANT people about your skills and the value that you bring to an organization or marketplace. Bragging is over expressing your value to relevant and irrelevant audiences for the purposes of making yourself feel secure or superior.
Remember, self-promotion = compensation. The difference could literally be millions at retirement.
Start with passion and enthusiasm. What would you share with friends and family about your job? Start by sharing achievements within this context and they will be taken as enthusiasm for your job. Try something like, “I’m having a really good day because…” add in your achievement and then end with “and it’s also great for Jane Doe and the rest of the team because… which is satisfying for me as well.”
If you’re worried about being labeled as pushy, try this: Talk about your work and success, but also refer to how happy it makes your client/team/organization. When you shift the focus to how your work benefits the broader community, you neutralize the potential likability backlash.
Self-promotion is a daily practice. It is much less effective to plead your case for a raise if you have not been promoting yourself all year long. Your manager will have to process and verify all that you share with him/her.
Ask for more feedback. Men are 44% more likely than women to ask their managers for feedback regularly. This puts women at a significant disadvantage. Make regular, informal asks: When coming out of a meeting, ask your manager, “How do you think that went? I would love some feedback.” Then, follow up with a quick email thanking them for their feedback. As soon as people know you are open to it, they will feel more comfortable giving it!
Think about ways to integrate your achievements into the conversation. One approach is to ask other people what they are working on and use it as an opportunity to respond with what you are working on. If they have any social skills at all they will ask
If you want to grab a promotion, cast a wider net. As you begin to get more senior, your manager alone can’t get you promoted or get you a raise. They need support from others, including their boss and peers, who have interacted with you and agree that you are ready for the next level.
Calling attention to yourself is part of your job. How can management keep track of everyone on their own? How will they know
who to promote to what level and role? Have you ever seen someone you perceive as a “blowhard” get promoted above you? Sometimes we need to “blow hard” about what we are truly accomplishing.
Be careful not to give others your due credit. Research shows that when women give too many kudos to the team, people subconsciously wonder if they can repeat the performance again without that team. Don’t fall into that trap! Use “I” at least once
when sharing achievements.
When it comes to a raise, do your research and be prepared to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than you want. Be aggressive (otherwise you won’t get what you want), but do it in a way that shows you value the relationship and demonstrate how
your ask is good for the company.
When it is appropriate to self-promote during interviews? Always. Until you have a deal.
Get rid of the guilt. Most of us are significant breadwinners for our families, so think about it that way: You aren’t doing it to pat yourself on the back––you are doing it because it furthers your career which supports you and your family.
Take care of yourself. You can’t be effective at self-promotion if you don’t feel good!