We all have people in our lives who encourage us to do our best and cheer us on when we are struggling. But have you ever thought about becoming your own cheerleader?
Self-promotion can yield positive results in our professional lives but talking about ourselves can be daunting.
Most of us are terrified at the idea of flaunting our accomplishments, especially on public platforms like LinkedIn, since we don’t want to be perceived as pompous or self-absorbed.
Sometimes we are also concerned about being misunderstood or hurting other people's feelings. A friend of mine says she never talks about her achievements at work because she doesn’t want to push away her friends and coworkers or appear as if she is trying to diminish them by shining the spotlight on herself or her work.
While self-promotion isn’t considered admirable and is often discouraged – especially when it comes to women – the fact is that calling attention to our achievements is what helps us advance in our careers.
We may be doing all the right things to succeed professionally — take on and deliver key projects, seek advice from mentors at the workplace and outside, and develop a rapport with leaders in our industry — however, research proves that women's careers grow at a much slower pace as compared to their male colleagues and we have to often wait longer to receive a promotion or pay raise. Hence, it is important to understand the benefits of talking about our achievements.
On the other hand, self-promotion doesn’t always have to be public. It can be as simple as ensuring that our supervisors are aware of the work we are doing and are giving us regular feedback and credit where due.
Self-promotion at the workplace can also show our supervisors that we are ready for bigger challenges, deserve a salary hike, or would like to take on more responsibilities. Once we make it clear that we value ourselves and are confident in our abilities, others will start to notice our contribution and progress too.
Helping others recognize our value helps us get ahead in our careers.
Here are some tips to get you started on your journey toward becoming your own cheerleader:
1. Be selective
Are you tempted to block that friend or acquaintance on social media who is constantly talking about their career developments and successes?
You definitely don’t want to be that person!
Instead, share your projects or achievements selectively on public platforms. The idea is to focus on facts and information instead of talking about how awesome you are.
2. Personalize your message
No one likes to read updates that seem like bragging or spam.
Try reaching out to a small group of followers or friends and let them know what you are up to.
People are more inclined to look at your messages and engage with you if you show that you respect their time and opinions and have taken the initiative to inform them about your plans and progress.
3. Show gratitude
In both the real and virtual worlds, remember to engage with and thank those who give you feedback, send congratulatory messages or respond positively to your news and updates.
Give shout-outs to your supporters in person and also publicly, and maintain regular engagement with everyone who has a kind word or advice for you.
It is natural to feel nervous or self-conscious when we are trying to promote ourselves. But if we don’t acknowledge our own efforts and hard work, no one else will.