The Art of Self Promotion

Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Evening Divas and Gents! I pray that you all had a fabulous weekend full of rest and relaxation. I certainly had a great weekend. In fact, I was determined to have a great weekend because my week had been quite shitty challenging. And I did! The one thing that made my weekend great was some insight I received during one of my down moments. In the spirit of sharing, I hope to pass some of that insight on to you. After all, sharing this type of information with my readers is exactly what I envisioned when I decided to create the Chronicles. So….here I go!

Growing up, I remember going to church and hearing the choir sing a hymn that repeated the phrase “may the works I’ve done speak for me.” Whereas I definitely understand the spiritual context of that hymn, I am well aware that it does not easily translate to Corporate America. What do I mean by that? I’ll tell you…follow me for a second! 

No Bueno!
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel as if your hard work does not adequately speak for you? Have you ever been in a position where you operate behind the scenes and your work product is not necessarily on display for everyone to see? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it is quite possible that you also feel as if your contributions are worthless, or of low importance on a grand scale. You may feel sad and inadequate because of the lack of recognition for your dedication and efforts towards the greater corporate good. You may feel as if the works you are doing are not, in fact, speaking for you. Truthfully, this feeling sucks!

I recently had a conversation with someone who helped me to put my feelings of inadequacy in perspective. This individual suggested self-promotion. Go ahead and let this marinate for a second…I’ll wait…

Self-promotion is (drum roll please)…..promoting yourself…it’s just that simple! Sometimes, you need to remind the powers that be just how much of a commodity you are. Now, I’m not talking about bragging, or tooting your own horn to the point where you are more of a pain in the ass than a commodity; what I am advocating here is bringing your behind-the-scene accomplishments and good doings to light. It can be as simple as dropping by your boss’ office, and asking her thoughts on the visuals for the team presentation (which you prepared as part of the team and you know were a big hit). Or sending your project manager an email asking if he would like a personal demonstration on the new database you created to that will certainly improve employee efficiency by at least 20%. How about stopping by a partner’s office to subtly recap your role in landing the firm’s new client. You see what I’m saying?

While I full-heartedly support the idea of self-promotion, I do recognize that there is an additional element necessary to execute this task: confidence. In order to successfully practice self-promotion, you have to have confidence in yourself and in your work product. There’s no sense in promoting an “accomplishment” in which you have no confidence. Similarly, you lose the effect of promoting yourself if you have no confidence in yourself….it just won’t work!

Much Better!
The moral of the story is that I am forever grateful to the individual who helped me work through a difficult feeling I was having. I recognize that I have been a participant in the business world for only 6 years, and that I am not above learning something new. In embracing self-promotion, I also identify the importance of throwing my own party to celebrate my work product, and not waiting for someone else to do it for me. I encourage you to do the same, and eradicate that feeling of worthlessness that sometime creeps into your mind. Now, I don’t suggest that I am an expert at this…I am still learning. I do intend, however, to practice and master this skill. And I sincerely hope that you do the same! Have a great week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Self promotion can be tough, especially for women I think. Confidence in women is sometimes seen as being conceited, but it isn't. Honestly we need to change our way of thinking about confidence and encourage it.
As far as corporate world, I imagine it is a difficult ladder to climb but don't give up. It is okay to toot your own own too.

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