As a Black, female junior employee, I am always looking for ways to self-promote ad establish my brand at work. First starting out, I was hesitant to share my accomplishments in fear that I would be seen as too boastful. It’s hard balancing all the outward perspectives of self, personal worries, and reality, especially when it comes to career. Over time, I realized that to be considered for more complex work, I have to put myself out there. In all, I had to navigate the concept of self-promotion – presenting one’s self as a skilled and capable employee.
Here are 4 ways to self-promote at work:
- What makes you great? Before you can self-promote, you have to identify what sets you apart from others. Start keeping a running log of your projects and document every piece of feedback. Once you’ve built up your list, take a moment, and reflect on your top-selling points. Are you the go-to for training? Do you regularly take charge of data analysis? Find what assets and skills you bring to your team and capitalize. You can even share this list with your manager so there’s never a question on what you bring to the table. Side note: These logs are also a great pick me up during the hard times at work!
- Be Vocal: Now that you know why your great, it’s key to understand why we even need to promote ourselves. It’s not a reason to brag, but a time to put confidence behind your work. Promoting yourself is also essential to career progression. That log of work you created? That’s evidence of why you should be considered for new positions, promotions, and higher compensation. Just like you, managers and colleagues are busy, so they’re not keeping running tabs on your work. In my field, we use the term “posting”, or giving an update on your current work or project status, to keep everyone aware. The frequency of these updates will depend on your team culture, however, I encourage all those new to the workplace to post at least every other week, if not more. Don’t be shy about your skills and accomplishments.
Produce great work and show your best self.
- Business As Usual: To put it bluntly, there’s nothing to promote if you’re not good at your job. Your employer needs you to complete certain tasks. Learn the steps and become a subject matter expert. It is hard to miss when a colleague has mastered a concept or skill. However, take it a step further. How can you make the task better? Can you include others? Don’t settle on just getting the work done.
- Step outside of your desk. Making connections is as much a necessity as excelling at your work. Don’t get in a cycle of only logging in and logging out. Attend networking events, set catch-ups with those outside your immediate team, and find ways to get involved. Even if you’re working from home, there are still virtual happy hours and even game nights. Show your personality (but make it professional), don’t just be the “person behind the screen”. Although work product is always a factor in progression, in industries such as business or media, it’s also who you know and commerciality Promote all aspects of yourself and avoid being one dimensional.
Bonus Tip: Do remember, that there is always a time and place for self-promotion. Be aware of times when the group is a priority over the individual. Read your audience and ask yourself, is this a time to talk about me? When it is the time, do be gracious. Self-promotion is important, but so is being a team player and humility. Check out this Forbes article to learn more about tactfully self-promoting.
Drop your self-promotion tips and questions in the comments!