Hate to Brag? How to Self Promote to Advance Your Career

by Renee Weisman, author of Winning in a Man’s World

Greater IBMer and author Renee Weisman

Do you recognize yourself in any of these people?

1.    You jumped through hoops to get a new client or complete a major project and didn’t get the credit you deserved.  Even worse- someone else got the credit.

2.    You believed you were clearly in line for a promotion or job opportunity but didn’t get it. Even more upsetting, someone you felt was less deserving got the job.

3.    Your work was presented at a meeting by your boss or other team members. Even more upsetting, when they acknowledged that you had done the work, your senior manager asked, “Who is that?”

If any of these situations sound familiar, you are not alone.  Most people, especially women, absolutely hate to share their accomplishments and as a result, other people step in and grab the glory.  The old adage, “A job well done speaks for itself” was most likely drummed into your head from childhood. You feel like your boss should be the one bragging about you, if anyone does.  Or maybe you are so busy doing your job, you don’t have time to brag about it.

All of these excuses are standing in the way of your success. In fact, Catalyst Magazine determined that of all the career strategies women use to get ahead, the most effective one was promoting their own accomplishments.  Men may get promoted on potential but women are promoted on performance. If your manager, coworkers, team leads and executive management don’t know the good work you are doing, you will be left in the dust by others who aren’t afraid to toot their horns.

At this point, most people argue that they’ve seen others who brag about their accomplishments and they consider those people to be obnoxious.  You may be right, but scientific research has shown that individuals who brag, even if they are obnoxious, are considered more competent that those who downplay their accomplishments.  However, if you can brag in a positive light, you are not only seen as more competent but also seen as likeable.

You can learn to brag properly. Just as preparing for a major presentation takes practice and some finessing, sharing your great work also requires effort. A job is not done unless others know you did it.


How do you keep track of YOUR accomplishments and share them with the world?

About the Author:

Renee Weisman was a Distinguished Engineer and Director of Engineering at IBM until retiring in 2008. Having spent nearly 40 years in the heavily male-dominated semiconductor engineering industry, often as the only woman, Renee learned firsthand how women can hold themselves back.

The owner of Winning at Work Consulting, Renee now teaches others the secrets to her success. Renee is a featured writer for excelle.monster.com, smallbizlink.monster.com and for the Poughkeepsie Journal’s Young Professionals career page.

Visit Renee’s site

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