In recent years, it is said that “self-promotion” is an important way to seize opportunities in the workplace, and to showcase one’s strengths and accomplishments to superiors and others. Rachel Cooke, an expert on leadership and the work environment, explains how to self-promote at work without feeling uncomfortable.
How to Self-Promote at Work Without Feeling Icky
Doing a great job and pleasing clients is important to seizing new opportunities in the workplace, but simply getting the job done will only lead to your own success if your boss or decision-maker has a firm grasp of your subordinates’ work. If the supervisor or decision maker is not interested in the performance and abilities of his or her subordinates, he or she may not be able to connect the success of the project to his or her own.
Therefore, Rachel Cooke points out, “If you want to get ahead in your job, you are halfway there by simply accomplishing a great job. Whether or not your accomplishments shine through depends on your self-promotion to your boss, and failure to do so could hinder your growth in the workplace, she said. However, many people feel that self-promotion “feels like bragging,” or that it is “shallow to try so hard to show yourself off. Therefore, Rachel Cooke summarizes “5 Ways to Promote Yourself Without Being Offensive” as follows.
◆1: Intentionally focus and appeal
If you are hesitant about self-promotion, you need to view self-promotion not as a way of life itself, but simply as a means to an end. It is annoying for people to appeal every time they succeed in something, “I have succeeded in this task!” is annoying, but if you focus your appeal on specific achievements that are necessary for the purpose you want to achieve, it is not so distracting.
Of course, it is important to strike a balance between promotion and modesty when promoting yourself, and do not flaunt your abilities more than necessary. For example, if your goal is to showcase your ability to listen to clients’ needs, it would be overkill to show off your graphic design or writing skills as well. If you remain humble and only showcase yourself when necessary, your colleagues will be more cooperative.
◆2: Appeal to others together
Self-promotion is not a zero-sum game within the workplace, and there are times when more than one person should be praised at the same time, not just you alone. In many cases, there is help from colleagues and subordinates in accomplishing important projects, and it is also helpful for self-promotion to convey how these “collaborators other than yourself have contributed” to the project. By promoting the abilities of others along with your own, Rachel Cooke argues, you can gain a reputation as someone who can “promote others” as well as yourself.
For example, when appealing to the fact that you were able to successfully sell to a client and start a business, you can say, “Without the excellent research and preparation by my associate Sally, this deal would not have been successful. This allows you to give credit to Sally while demonstrating that you were successful in getting the business started.
◆3: Ask questions that demonstrate expertise
What is IoT? How will AI change the industry over the next decade?” Anyone can ask superficial questions such as “What is IoT?” as long as they keep the trends in check. However, if you know deeply about a particular topic, when you meet an expert, you should ask advanced questions that can only be asked with expertise. By showing a desire to understand the desired subject matter more deeply and responding appropriately to their answers, you can subtly present yourself in your questions as someone who is an expert in the field.
◆4: Appealing while seeking feedback
If you have accomplished some appealing project, you need to appeal yourself to your boss or decision makers. However, it is unnatural to suddenly appeal, “I accomplished such a great job,” and people who are not good at self-promotion find it difficult to start the conversation.
One way to do this is to tell them that you want to analyze the process of things you have done well and make things go even smoother next time, and to convey your achievements to them in the form of asking for feedback. The key here is not to be insincere; you need to understand that you will receive criticism as well as positive feedback, and you need to approach the conversation with an open mind and a sense of humility.
◆5: Serve others
One excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills is to “serve others. For example, if you know a lot about coding, you can make it known that “that person knows a lot about coding” by hosting a workshop or lecturing to interested colleagues during lunch at work. If you are a good presenter, Rachel Cooke says you can showcase your abilities without overtly promoting yourself through actions such as creating an effective template for your team to use in their presentations.
In her final summary, Rachel Cooke argues that those who are uncomfortable with self-promotion should keep in mind that “self-promotion is easy and not sneaky. Rachel Cooke said that self-promotion is “about what you can do, how you can provide greater benefit, and how you can help the company. Rachel Cooke said to think of self-promotion as “a way to let the company know what you can do and how you can provide greater benefit.