To get ahead in this world, you have to “put your best foot forward.” But, there’s a fine line between respectable self-promotion and shameless bragging. So how do you use self-promotion to advance your career, without coming across as a show-off? Use these quick tips to tactfully toot your own horn:
- Realize that context is everything. To successfully self-promote, your comments need to be relevant to the conversation. Bringing up your latest success while your boss is talking about his favorite TV show will not earn you any points. Bide your time until the conversation switches gears. Research has shown that once a topic has been raised, a subsequent boast is not viewed as inappropriate – because it’s in context.
- Wait for the right moment. Believe it or not, it is okay to steer a conversation toward a topic relevant to your accomplishment. However, changing topics doesn’t give you license to just blurt out what you’ve done. Be patient and wait until your conversation partner asks a question that gives you the opening you need.
- Be a tortoise, not a hare. Self-promotion is about building a long-term reputation for yourself; establishing trust and respect in your workplace (or the marketplace). So get in it for the long-haul by making self-promotion a habit. Set daily goals for doing something small – sharing an idea, reaching out to someone, showing up at an event – and measurable results will follow in time.
- Promote your ideas. Beyond talking up accomplishments, you should also spread your ideas, concepts and vision. By promoting your ideas (as opposed to just your deeds) you will give co-workers and superiors something to support – without being “turned off” or threatened by your success.
- Know yourself. Are you like most people, who err on the side of caution and don’t talk themselves up enough? Or are you the type who tends to talk easily about yourself and your accomplishments? If you’re unsure, ask a trusted friend into which end of the spectrum you fall. The art of successful self-promotion depends upon having the self-knowledge to realize when to toot your own horn, and when to let your actions speak for themselves.
Let UNITEMP help you put your best foot forward. When you come in for an interview, our experienced staffing specialists will learn about your skills, interests, experience and needs – then show you where your strengths lie. We can help you master the art of self-promotion and find the perfect employment opportunity. Just give us a call.