Talking highly of yourself to others might be uncomfortable, but it could benefit you and your career. Positive self-appraisal is a major reason why many workers advance to higher positions, and it's a technique that every worker should practice.
"Self-promotion is a necessary tool to help professionals elevate into the next stage of their careers, especially if they are not being properly recognized by their peers," said Vanessa Fioravante-Cuomo, principal and co-founder of ANDER & Co.
However, there's a fine line between self-promoting and bragging. You can share your success and attributions without coming off as a boaster. Here are three tips on mastering the act of self-promotion.
1. Be subtle
In an article by MBA@UNC, UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Online MBA Program, Allison Fragale, associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that self-promotion can leave a bitter taste in people's mouths. An overconfident worker is often disliked by their peers.
You want your colleagues' support, and you want to build a positive workplace culture. Don't poison the air with arrogance. Instead, subtly mention your accomplishments without hogging their attention or downplaying their work.
"In weekly team meetings, you can address the wins of the week, which may include spotlighting other teammates, while still exerting your own achievements," said Fioravante-Cuomo.
Praising co-workers as part of your success will also show that you are a team player, which is important to any manager.
2. Take advantage of performance reviews
A performance review doesn't have to be a one-way conversation. Especially for shy or introverted employees, it can be used as a more private opportunity to highlight your assets.
Fioravante-Cuomo suggested crafting a list of victories and reciting what you want to say. You might feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice promoting your skills and accomplishments, the more naturally it will happen, and the more confident you will feel.
"In the professional world, it's vital that we step into scenarios that take us out of our comfort zone in order to achieve personal and professional growth," said Fioravante-Cuomo.
3. Advocate yourself to executives
Don't try selling yourself to just anyone, especially not co-workers or competitors.
Fragale's research found that it's best to brag to a busy boss, because they will likely repeat what you said without realizing it was you who said it – much like third-party validation. You will get credit and praise for your work without being labeled as a showoff.
If you tell your manager how great you are, they'll also be more likely to think of you when it's time for promotions.
"Although you may not think so, your bosses are always looking out for the next associate that is ready to be promoted," Fioravante-Cuomo said. "Talk to your superiors about the skills and expertise you contribute to meet the company's business goals. By addressing your potential, you're positioning yourself as a savvy problem-solver that is ready to tackle the next assignment. With strong work ethic, an optimistic can-do attitude and a hint of self-promotion, you'll be on your way to your next raise."