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Women in Focus

I did that! How boasting can boost your career

Vivian KELLY
by Vivian KELLY Published on February 5, 2014

Are you done putting all your time and energy into the company and not being recognized for your achievements? Are the rungs on your career ladder ever further out of reach? Get yourself out of that career rut and start boasting your worth. Promote your value and watch that promotion come calling. It's time to quit hiding your talents and get that closer to your career dreams. It all starts with a bit of boasting.

According to reports women don’t boast as much as their male counterparts which may explain why we still earn on average 19% less than men (not to mention half their bonuses!). Although both women and men have equal abilities, we fear that too much confidence could be sabotaging our professional image with most women regarding self-promotion as a narcissistic quality. We say it’s time for a change.

Promoting yourself at work doesn't come naturally for all women. Often we find that self-promotion can feel like a battle, but in the midst of a shrinking job market it's even more important to flaunt what you've got.

Interview and career acceleration coach, Margaret Buj says: “Women who are comfortable with promoting themselves are not only more successful in landing a job from an interview, but go on to build stronger networks and are more successful throughout their careers.”

Done in the right way, a little self-promotion can do wonders for your career, it's all about how you sell yourself.

Increased turn over lately? Met targets? Saved the company some cash? Time to start singing your own praises - and grab that promotion!

Promoting yourself at a job interview...

1. Tell your story.

Margaret says, “For every interview, you need to create a story that illustrates how your motivations, strengths, values, skills, and accomplishments tie into the position. You also need relevant and tangible examples of what you’ve done in a current/previous role that make you the strongest candidate for the job.”

Employers are much more willing to listen and most importantly to remember if you manage to evoke their curiosity.

If you’re not a natural story teller, learn how to be. Avoid the dreaded sweat and stammer by beginning to write, recite and practice.

Practice does make perfect!

2. Communicate your value.

Once you’ve got your story down it should be easy to engage people. Got their full attention? It’s up to you to make the most of it.

No matter what happens in your interview, always fall back on why you’ve been successful and how you can solve their problems. Emphasize your skills, talk about your accomplishments, say why you admire the company, and always communicate your desire for the job.”

Showcase your values and emphasize your personal brand. You are amazing. Remember that!

3. Network, network, network.

Sourcing jobs externally isn’t as tough as you think if you know what you’re doing. Stuck on your company’s career ladder? Talk to the right people and clue yourself in - there’s no time for missing rungs.

Margaret says, “Attend industry events and read industry periodicals and online journals to be aware of changes. If you don’t have a page on a social networking site like LinkedIn, make one. More and more hiring decisions are made using internet searches. And always have an up-to-date, well-planned and thoughtfully articulated resume ready for any request.”

Promoting yourself at work...

4. Don’t promote yourself - promote your value.

Reinforce your value - to everyone. Instead of boasting about a great deal you bagged on a beautiful pair of Louboutins turn that confidence into something meaningful at work.

Reframe your experience and expertise in terms of the value you have to contribute. Doing so enables you to shift from making it all about you to how you can better contribute to the success of others as well as your organization.”

So, if there's an opportunity on the cards that you think you'd be perfect for, make other people think that too. Tell them why. It's time to get vocal - it's your success and your career at stake.

If you made a good deal for a client at a former job, tell your new client - stating the facts of your success make you sound more believable - and more like someone people want to work with.

It’s also a good idea to remember those who have helped create successes. Keeping these people on your radar will benefit you when and if they're needed.

5. Share examples, not your ego.

There’s nothing more powerful than sharing specific examples of your accomplishments. Not only will you prove your merit to the company but you’ll also be sharing information in a way that won’t be frowned upon.

“I’m a great seller” and “I exceeded my targets each month” can be interpreted in two different? lights. Demonstrate your worth in the right way and your employers will respect your contribution to the company (and you might even find yourself more appreciative too).

Know the facts of your success and sprinkle them into conversation when relevant.

Margaret says, “We all gravitate to people who are passionate about what they’re doing and want to do. Likewise, we all repel from those who incessantly name-drop or push themselves and their ideas on us.”

6. Understand your market

Be your industry’s guru! Know the market inside and out. As a knowledgeable worker you’ll be looked up to by peers and in turn, motivated to do more at work.

But, at the same time you should be mindful to whom you share your knowledge with too.

“Be strategic in what you share, whom you share it with and how you communicate your experience. If those you’re speaking to cannot perceive relevant value in what you say, you may be labeled as boastful, boring, or (more likely) both.”

7. Reframe disapproval.

No matter where you work your nine-to-five you’re bound to meet the office grump, but don’t let the cynics kill your fire.

As Margaret says, “However humbly you might promote yourself, you always risk disapproval. So be it. Those who criticize are generally saying much more about themselves (their insecurity or fear of being left behind) than they are about you.

“Letting fear of disapproval (failure or losing face) determine what you say or do is a sure-fire way to never achieve the success you want – in work or in life.”

Combine your self-belief and your vocal success record with a professional look and you should have no problems convincing people that you're the rising star of the company.

“Carry yourself with the best posture, speak and gesture in a confident and authoritative manner, and wear attire that imparts your success.”

Remember that a little gloating and self-promotion is NOT arrogant. Revive your mindset and be your own personal cheerleader - the possibilities are endless.

Margaret says, "Remember, self-promotion is about strategically building our ‘personal brand’ to ensure that those who can help us accomplish more in our careers will know not just who we are, but the value we have (and want) to contribute.

"Think about it as simply sharing information to educate relevant people about who you are and what you have to offer.”

Feel like you can conquer that career stall now? Tweet us @wewomenCA

If you want to find out how recruiters read resumes, why you’re not getting hired, how to sell yourself successfully in a job interview and how to negotiate your best salary yet, you can download Margaret's free “You’re HIRED!” video course for insider secrets and advice.

by Vivian KELLY

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