The “Art” of Self-Promotion

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Posted November 27, 2013 by Bobbie LaPorte in Networking Buzz
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If you are like most of your peers, you cringe at the mention of the term “self-promotion”; it brings on thoughts of self-serving bragging, “sucking up” to your boss, having to sell yourself in the workplace. It has negative connotations and creates real discomfort for many of us. As professional women we think that doing a good job should be enough – our boss will surely recognize and acknowledge our hard work – right?

Sorry, but no.

In today’s competitive workplace, you need to take charge of your career and get comfortable with self-promotion. No one is going to take up the cause of your career. You need to inventory your accomplishments, be clear on how they contribute your company’s success, and share them with people who can help advance your career.

So how do you get started?

Let’s look at these tips for approaching self-promotion in a way that is natural, conversational, and authentic for you:

  1. Inventory your accomplishments: we are all busy but make take time to note and record successes – big and small. You may already be doing this for your performance planning process but take a more thoughtful, intentional approach to keeping track of your achievements
  2. Share your successes: ask your supervisor for opportunities to share your successes with others in the company – both inside and outside of your immediate group. This is not self-serving bragging; it is a way to share ideas and outcomes that could be helpful and of interest to others in the company
  3.  Use those “corridor conversations”: be aware when you have casual conversations with colleagues, contacts in networking settings, friends you may meet socially…when they ask what you do or “what’s new?”, be prepared with a short statement about a project you just completed or some positive outcome you had in your work
  4. Look for cross-company projects: ask to participate in cross-departments projects or committees, where you can share what you are working on and your accomplishments with people whom you might not normally come in contact with
  5.  Use the power of social media: use the “status” area of your LinkedIn profile to post updates on what your are doing, reading, learning…as well as other on-line forums, professional associations, LinkedIn groups or blogs related to your areas of expertise

The more often you do this the easier it will become for you. It will seem like a natural extension of your conversation and interaction with others. Try it and let me know the results!


About the Author

Bobbie LaPorte

Bobbie LaPorte, is Founder and Principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. RAL & Associates produces the “When She Speaks” – Women in Leadership Series in San Francisco, sponsored by blue chip Bay Area companies. Before founding RAL & Associates, Bobbie served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM, GE and United Healthcare, as well as two healthcare technology start-ups. A certified career coach, she has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Harvard. She is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, and an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach. Bobbie is currently training for her fifth Ironman triathlon. When she is not coaching executives or Ironman triathletes she proudly serves on a number of Bay Area non-profit boards and happily rescues senior Golden Retriever dogs

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