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It’s Not Bragging, It’s Self-Promotion

You are a proven performer who works hard and achieves high-quality results. You know that you’re a valuable resource, but you’ve reached a plateau. Your career has stalled. How do you get beyond being “stuck”?

No matter how hard you work, if you’re not sharing your accomplishments with influential leaders, they will never fully recognize your value. Don’t assume that others notice all of your achievements. Most are too busy focused on their own activity. To get the recognition you deserve, and in turn, get the executive opportunities you want, you must proactively promote your value.

Self-promotion can feel uncomfortable, but if done strategically, it can powerfully influence your career. By adjusting the way you think and talk about your accomplishments, you can become comfortable with promoting your expertise to others.

Take the following steps to increase your visibility.

1. Recognize that you are an expert

It’s easy to underestimate yourself and your abilities. Most of us focus on our gaps and weaknesses, rather than on our strengths. To advance your career, though, you’ll need to confidently embrace and promote your expertise. If you are a subject matter expert in your company, let others know. Get comfortable articulating your key professional achievements and strengths and practice communicating them to others.

2. Share your knowledge with others

Teaching others what you know is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise. Become a mentor to junior professionals or offer to deliver a presentation at a team meeting. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge. It not only showcases what you know, it also establishes you as a leader who has the ability to help others perform more effectively.

3. Be yourself

Self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to many professionals. While we all know people who are over-the-top promoters, self-promotion can be done authentically. Find an approach that suits your style. Consider documenting your wins in a weekly status report, or sharing your successes in a meeting with your manager. The important thing is that you practice. The more comfortable you get sharing your accomplishments, the more confident and visible you’ll become.

4. Communicate your results

No matter how strong your results are, if you don’t proactively let others know, you won’t get the recognition you deserve. This is especially important when vying for a promotion or new advancement opportunity. Your results establish your expertise. You must communicate these to influencers who can help you get ahead.

5. Be visible in the industry

Increasing your visibility outside of your company can give you a strategic boost, particularly if you’re seeking a new executive role externally. Industry groups, professional organizations, relevant online publications, LinkedIn, etc. all offer valuable platforms for showcasing your strengths and establishing your expertise. Leverage these opportunities to network with influential leaders and share your value.

6. Have a positive attitude

Your attitude can make the difference between getting a new opportunity and remaining stagnant. Positive self-promotion, which includes minimizing complaints, sharing credit as appropriate, and focusing on solutions, is critical to career success. Many otherwise talented professionals have hit dead ends in their careers because of poor attitudes. Don’t let that happen to you.

You have already established yourself as a successful executive. Promoting your strengths and expertise is not bragging, but illustrating the value you bring to your organization. When done strategically, self-promotion is not obnoxious or offensive. It’s an excellent way to increase your visibility and achieve the recognition you’ve earned.

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