Many women have a hard time getting ahead in the workplace because they are reluctant to brag. You may feel conflicted when you would like to celebrate your victories, but you want to avoid coming across as arrogant. A Brigham Young University study confirmed that social norms about modesty tend to hold women back.
Learning to showcase your worth in a way that highlights your strengths and the benefits you bring to an organization can help boost your career track. Here’s some tips you can implement to help get you started.
Preparing to Brag
- Seek motivation. Realize the value of self-promotion. By some estimates, the average woman still earns about a million dollars less than the average man over the course of her lifetime. Self-promotion can help narrow that gap.
- Observe your male colleagues. Learn from the men you work with. Adapt their bragging style to your own personality.
- Build your confidence. Take on new challenges. Sign up for accounting or computer courses online or at your local community college. These activities will make you more confident and might encourage you to boast.
- Evaluate your strengths. Perform an inventory of your skills and accomplishments. Maybe you’re a whiz with numbers or you excel at writing.
- Ask for feedback. Find out how your friends and colleagues feel about your qualifications. Think about what you get praised for the most. You may discover that you’re good at managing conference logistics or negotiating contracts with vendors.
- Document your achievements. Start a brag book. Mark down when you save your company money or create an outstanding customer experience.
- Limit self-deprecation. Watch what you say about yourself. Accept compliments graciously.
- Manage stress. You may feel awkward talking about yourself. Visualize a calming image, like ocean waves or sheep grazing in a field. Find ways to relax through meditation or physical exercise.
Strategies for Bragging
- Start small. Your grandparents will probably be enthusiastic about anything you have to say, or what are best friends for – right? Rehearse your story with them before you try it on your boss. It’ll help you feel more prepared and confident.
- Network effectively. Form alliances where you can say flattering things about each other to those in power. Women are better at promoting their friends than themselves.
- Focus on outcomes. Make specific and quantifiable statements. Stating that you’ve won two prestigious awards for your marketing campaigns sounds more convincing than just saying you’re creative.
- Serve others. People are more likely to welcome your remarks if they’re helpful. Update your boss on how you completed a project ahead of schedule. You’ll demonstrate that you’re competent and efficient without having to say so directly. Become known for sharing your ideas as well as your accomplishments.
- Choose your setting. There’s a big difference between showcasing your skills at a job interview or performance evaluation and doing so at someone else’s retirement party. Ensure you have a receptive audience.
- Hold yourself accountable. Accept responsibility for both your wins and your losses. Everything you say will have more credibility when your actions speak louder than your words.
- Support others. Give others the opportunity to show off. Everyone likes to bask in praise sometimes. They may even return the favor and put you in the spotlight next.
- Pace yourself. It’s good to be comfortable talking about yourself. Just save it for an appropriate time and place. Ensure you cultivate plenty of other topics of conversation to avoid seeming self-centered.
In honor of #Women’sHistoryMonth it’s time to start making a little history of your own in the workplace. A little grandstanding is good for your career. Tooting your own horn pays off, even if it feels uncomfortable at first.
And speaking of tooting your own horn, if you want more secrets to professional success, you can:
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch quick tips to help your job search or make yourself promotable.
- Join my private Successfully Ever After Facebook Group for trainings and information designed for success-seekers.
- Download my audio books: Get Noticed, Get Hired or When In Doubt, Delete It!
- Join my membership site The Career Accelerator and fast track your career.