I am sitting with my mom in the hospital waiting room (dad in back surgery – all turns out well), utilizing the “free time” to work and catch up when she asks, very meekly, “When you get to a stopping point, can you show me what you are working on?” She goes on to say that I forget that I am her daughter and that she is proud of what I do and she would like a glimpse into my working world. Wow! Impactful reminder to me that we as women don’t toot our horn and advertise what great things we are accomplishing in our lives.
We constantly keep our head down and do the work in front of us, while forgetting to include the support circles in our daily lives. So how can we promote ourselves, but not in an annoying, nasty way?
Here are some tips for self promotion, but not be an egomaniac:
1. When someone asks what you have been working on, actually tell them. Mention a success – even if it seems small. Examples might include: I just wrote my 25th blog, or booked a new prospect appointment or completed the latest RFP, etc. If it is a team project, use the “we” for the overall success and break it down into who accomplished which tasks. Don’t just brush over the details.
2. Push a big idea or philosophy instead of just an actual project accomplishment. Something like: We are really starting to promote living an excellent life in all of our materials. What do you think? That displays your innovative thinking without the braggart tone.
3. Use social media effectively, but not overwhelmingly. Don’t be a bragging mom (no pics of college acceptance letters or SAT scores, please!) However, a quick post such as landed a new client or wrapped up a project is quite appropriate and encourages kudos from supporters.
4. Work hard and your diligence will pay off. Keep your own list of accomplishments to validate your efforts and keep you motivated. Nothing promotes like a job well done – makes the company look good and you as well.
Historically, our society has encouraged women to be the support behind achieving men (Mad Men, anyone?) As women have moved into the professional ranks, we are slowly changing this paradigm, but we must be the ones to advertise the shift. Men have no problem self promoting and networking, so we must adapt a few of their tricks and make them our own. After all, if you don’t toot your own horn, who will?
PS – I did share my work with my mom and she was very proud!
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