Self-promotion is the act of drawing attention to skills and work achievements. As humans, people expect recognition for their work; it’s natural. Whether it’s a LinkedIn post or an email conversation developed with an important contact, self-promotion puts the person in the spotlight for the successes and creates a personal brand image. It’s a skill that’s as important for someone looking to get a job promotion as it is for someone making a job change.
We all know “actions speak louder than words” Many of us prefer to accomplish the work rather than projecting our efforts. Right now, as some employees are still working in relative isolation from home, their efforts may go unnoticed due to the lack of visibility. Working from the office makes it easy (ok, easier) to promote accomplishments and activities; colleagues and supervisors are more likely to be aware of noteworthy moments. But those working from home have to work harder to get those noteworthy moments noticed. The best way to do it? Start bragging. It’s time that everyone gets started adopting self-promotion and helping others realize their actual worth.
Why is self-promotion an important skill?
Self-promotion can likely enhance your career by creating an opportunity to stand out as a valued employee with a track record of success.
What you’ve been achieving is great; being able to self-promote effectively with your boss is awesome. Your mentor or boss would be pleased to listen to your accomplishments. “Email is the go-to mode for sharing successes with your employers,” says Harriet Minter, author of Working From Home: How To Build A Career You Love When You’re Not In The Office. “You can take the time to word it in the best possible way and make sure you include all the detail you want to. See if you can get into the habit of sending at least one a week – the more you do it, the easier it will become.” Self-promotion can trigger your boss to set you up in a better position. It’s also worth keeping a note of your achievements; it will serve as quick reference points if an opportunity to discuss them in the workplace.
How to promote yourself effectively:
Learning how to explain your skillset effectively isn’t rocket science, and with regular practice you can master self-promotion activities. “We have to build time for self-promotion into our working schedule,” explains Minter. Certainly, it is important that you describe yourself effectively. Tell your story in a way the other person would like to listen from you. When we explain how we achieved something “it must allow other people to feel part of the process – or like they get motivated.”
Beyond the standard work status update, practice listing out the activities performed. If you have gone outside work assignment to identify new techniques or to learn additional courses, make sure to update it to your boss. New learning doesn’t just speed up the work process, it could also drive you to the next level in the company.
Just like many other skills, start practicing your self-promotion until using it feels comfortable. If we don’t, we risk becoming out of sight and out of mind.. If you’d prefer something more subtle for practicing, consider putting yourself forward as a mentor, whether for younger colleagues or industry peers. Sharing your expertise and acting as a sounding board for those just starting is a great way to show the skills and experience you’ve accumulated.
Self-promotion is not a crime; just make sure you don’t bluff 😉