Self-promotion sounds like a dirty word. It makes me think of cocky, overly confident people who brag their way into recognition. But, research has shown that among the many gender gaps that exist between men and women is women’s reluctance to engage in self-advocacy. While we are happy to go to bat for others, we rarely do so for ourselves. Why?
One reason is that women often pay a cost for advocating for themselves. Contrary to popular thinking, women are just as likely to ask for a raise or a promotion or feedback, but they face more push back when they do. It turns out, people don’t like women who appear too aggressive or greedy. On the other hand, men are expected to behave this way, so when they ask for what they think they deserve, they’re less likely to be perceived negatively for it.
Despite these pitfalls, women should celebrate their successes and promote themselves and the value they bring to the table. After all, if you don’t believe in your worth, who will? Below are three ways you can effectively become your own PR team – even if you’re an introvert – without being obnoxious:
- Keep a list of your accomplishments. Life moves pretty quickly and we often move from one project to the next without skipping a beat. It can be hard to remember some of the wins you scored in January by the time October rolls around. Keep a notebook where you write down all of your major accomplishments throughout the course of the year. This will come in handy when you walk into your review or when you want to make your case for a promotion or raise. You should also take some time to practice how you want to tell your story around these accomplishments.
- Leverage social media. Social media was basically created for self-promotion. LinkedIn is a great place to post articles you’ve written or awards you’ve won. If you’re going to participate on a panel or if you’ve been offered a leadership role within an organization, let your network know. If your boss and colleagues are connected with you, this is a great way to remind them of the great work you’re doing without having to explicitly tell them. It’s also a great way to grab the attention of others in your industry you may want to impress.
- Stop thinking self-promotion is a dirty word. Much like I had to change my perception around networking, I’ve had to work hard at changing the lens through which I view self-promotion. Like it or not, promoting yourself is a necessary part of any job. The people around you simply don’t have the time to figure out what you’re doing and how well you’re doing it. If you start to think of self-promotion as simply keeping your boss and colleagues up to speed on what you’ve been working on, it might help to ease that yucky feeling of being a braggart.
What are some ways that you promote yourself at work?