Maybe you’re shy, afraid of being judged or you just don’t have experience speaking up for yourself. Whatever the reason, you might be tempted to do nothing, hoping that, as the adage goes, good work speaks for itself.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens the way you want it to.
In fact, being afraid of self-promotion can railroad your career and possibly even keep you in low-level roles long after you deserve a promotion. So, how do you let your boss know you have skills without coming across as a show-off?
According to Harvard Business Review, “[S]uccess at work depends on being — and being seen as — both competent and likable. … But if you draw attention to the value you’ve created … you risk coming across as a shameless self-promoter.”
Turns out, touting accomplishments without compromising one’s workplace reputation is tricky business. Luckily, mastering the art of self-promotion is a skill that can be learned.
5 key skills of self-promotion
Here, we'll dive into five ways to articulate your value to your boss, minus the cringe-worthy #humblebrag (which, according to science and common sense, isn’t fooling anyone anyway.)
1. Practice open communication
The first step to increasing your workplace visibility is to practice your communication skills continuously, not just when you update your LinkedIn® profile.
Lisa Severy, PhD, a career counselor at UOPX, underlines the significance of rapport-building with your manager. “Establish a pattern of informing your manager regularly by speaking up in meetings or sending updates as things occur,” she suggests.
This way, keeping your boss in the loop about your new skills or qualifications becomes a natural part of the relationship. Resist becoming “an employee who only bombards a supervisor with her accolades when the latest promotion becomes available,” advises Severy.
2. Leverage online platforms effectively
In today’s remote work culture, we all know that social media is vital to networking and personal branding. Of course, keeping your LinkedIn profile current is a smart way to stay relevant in the job market.
Still, it should not replace direct communication about your skills with your employer. “People shouldn’t rely on LinkedIn as a good way to inform employers,” Severy explains. For starters, the settings on everyone’s accounts are different, so your manager may not even see the update.
And if your update does catch your employer’s attention, it may have the effect opposite what you desire. “There is the chance that an employer seeing an updated profile will assume that person is starting a job search unless told otherwise,” Severy warns.