In Asian cultures, where self-promotion is frowned upon and considered bad taste, most of us tend to shy away from talking about our accomplishments, much to the detriment of our career growth. It’s essential that your boss notices your contributions for you to scale that corporate ladder. But self-promotion is a subtle art.
In the way a company aims to identify the right branding strategy that portrays values of authenticity and trustworthiness, the same principle applies when it comes to promoting your accomplishments to secure a job offer, promotion or pay-rise. Here are six ways to self-promote without being obnoxious:
1. Hone your storytelling skills
Don’t just say you achieved x, y, z. Make them interesting by focusing on the steps you went through, the mistakes you made along the way and the people you learned from in the process. Make the focus of the story the experience rather than your abilities. Nothing says you’re insecure louder than you having to spell out your abilities.
2. Credit your team members and superiors
Always express gratitude for your team members’ and superiors’ guidance and support when recounting your accomplishments. This shows that you’re modest and give credit where it’s due. Being down-to-earth instantly makes you likeable and trustworthy, rather than someone who thinks he or she knows it all.
3. Back up your claims with facts
Don’t just say that you increased the department’s sales by 20% within six months. Go through the details of how you made it happen and make sure you have documentary evidence that you did what you said you did.
4. Be specific
Cite specific examples without over-exaggerating. Don’t just say you’re “the best Sales Manager the company has had.” That sounds over-the-top and fake. Anyone can say they’re the best, but proving it is a different matter altogether. Make specific statements that spell out your contributions clearly, such as “I increased our sales conversion by x% by focusing on regular social media activity and encouraging customer engagement.”
5. Don’t keep harping on it
Make your point and move on. Don’t keep going on and on about it. If your boss or the HR Manager wants more information, they’ll ask for it. Harping on it shows that you’re insecure and needy. It’s a major put-off.
6. Be confident without being arrogant
Confidence is essential if you want to be respected, but it doesn’t mean being arrogant. It’s all about striking the right balance between confidence and humility. Know your worth and be proud of who you are, but stay open to different perspectives and the opportunity to learn something new from the next person. Being able to balance confidence with humility will affect the way you present yourself and your contributions, making you more likeable to your peers and superiors.
Time to put these tips to good use. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with the idea of self-promotion, it just takes practice to get used to it. Get a friend to practice with you. Do it over and over again until it sounds natural.