Promoting yourself at work can be difficult and awkward. “Good work speaks for itself,” the adage goes. And while it’s a comforting thought, it’s also wishful thinking.
The reality is that it’s unrealistic to assume that your boss or colleagues will notice all your skills, talents, and accomplishments without your pointing some of them out.
This is especially true when you work remotely, without the typical visibility that in-person work allows. The unfortunate truth is that too much modesty can hold you back.
But being too humble can cost you a job, promotion or a pay rise. If you want to get the reward and recognition you deserve, sometimes you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone–– and start talking about your accomplishments.
There’s a fine line between selling yourself and bodaciously bragging about your strengths at work.
We know that success at work depends on being—and being seen as—both competent and likeable. You need people to notice your growth and accomplishments while also enjoying your company.
But this puts you in a predicament. If you draw attention to the value you’ve created—to ensure that managers and peers recognise it—you risk coming across as a shameless self-promoter.
Not to mention the “icky” feeling that many of us get when we self-promote (narcissists excepted). Bragging doesn’t have to be a dirty word, though. Done right, you can show off your capabilities while still showing gratitude for your colleagues.
Embracing dual promotion
A relatively new term is picking up momentum within the business world for this exact approach: dual-promotion.
Fresh research from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has coined the term “dual-promotion” which is promoting peer achievements while also singing your own praises.
The belief is that more favourable impressions are made when self-promotion is combined with other-promotion, projecting warmth, likeability and competence. Here’s how to show off – in a good way…
- Give credit to your peers
In addition to highlighting your own achievements, you need to show you’re a team player. Talk up a team triumph. By praising your peers at team meetings, you’ll also cosy up to your co-workers.
Speak about what “we” accomplished (not what “I” accomplished) and you’ll become known as a smart person to partner with. Be a shining example of teamwork and people will seek you out. Plus, building relationships with peers can improve job satisfaction, and benefit you in the future if you ever need a referral.
- Share gratitude
If you’re making a public statement or posting on social media, thank the people who helped you to achieve your goal or objective, sharing the credit where it’s due. Describe what each person did to carry the project through—including yourself.
Speak to each team member’s distinct strengths that meant you could work together effectively, and share your appreciation for the opportunity to work as a team.
You’ll be underscoring your skill in managing the team without directly talking about it—plus, people will look forward to working with you again in the future.
- Lift up others at the same time
Spotlighting the achievements of individuals on your team can be an easy and authentic way to expand visibility.
Similarly, you might find others making more of a point to acknowledge you, which allows your successes to be seen and heard without you needing to even open your mouth.
If you’re friendly with one of your officemates, maybe consider functioning as each other’s “wingman”—someone who sings the other’s praises. This is a natural way to look good without ever seeming self-important.
Much of your success in the workplace depends on your relationships with your peers. Being genuine, giving credit where it’s due, and sharing praise will endear you to your colleagues and help you establish a good reputation.
But it’s equally important to make sure you get your fair share of the credit and praise when you deserve it—because you’re the only person who can truly and accurately promote yourself. It’s also up to you to seek out opportunities where your career can really flourish and thrive.
Your first stop? Head to Silicon Canals Job Board where you can browse hundreds of exciting jobs now. Here are three hiring this week.
HR BP, Eba Clearing, Frankfurt
EBA Clearing is looking to recruit a HR Business Partner for its Frankfurt office who is passionate about people, ready to make an impact, and eager to drive the growth of the company and their own career. You will work closely with a team of four and build external relationships with HR partners across Europe. You’ll need a Master’s in HR management or business management/administration, and have at least five years’ of successful experience as an HR Generalist or HR Business Partner.
Consultant Business Analyse – Öffentliche Verwaltung / Public Service, Accenture, Düsseldorf
Accenture is seeking to hire a Consultant Business Analysis to advise public sector customers on their digitisation and transformation projects and designing the appropriate software solutions. To apply, you’ll need a degree or a comparable education, ideally in the fields of economics, computer science, engineering, natural or human sciences. At least two years’ experience in technology consulting or system integration is also required.
IT Senior Security Specialist, L-Bank, Karlsruhe
L-Bank in Karlsruhe has an open role for an IT Senior Security Specialist to operate and improve the information security management system (ISMS); design of specifications for (technical) information security and the associated processes and security assessment of authorization concepts, applications and systems. You will have a degree in computer science and several years of professional experience in information security.