Your Work does not Speak for Itself. You Do!

As children we were taught, appropriately, not to brag. It’s time to unlearn that habit.

After many years in the careers advising business I came to realize that most individuals, regardless of their professional standing, cannot speak to their personal value on the job. This inability directly impacts your professional legacy.

To add value is why you were hired but are you holding yourself back from obtaining the raise and the promotion by not professionally and appropriately promoting yourself on the job? Or worse, potentially to be laid off? Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Establish a “Personal Promotion in the Workplace” mindset. 

Come to terms that it is OK for you to promote yourself. Contrary to everything you have ever been taught, your accomplishments are about you: not “them;” not “the team.” If you are waiting for someone to pat you on the back it may never happen.

Determine to take an inventory of your very best ‘wins.’

We are talking about a topic you are exceedingly expert in: You. Think about what you have brought to the job in the past. Reflect on and quantify that value. In other words, had you not been here what value and accomplishments would the company have ‘gone without’? Spend quality time on this effort so that all of those wonderful things you aspire to in your career will happen.

Determine to begin keeping a daily inventory of those things that you do.

You may not be aware of it but a lot of your best accomplishments happen over time. Work (and life) is like that! And to make it easy for you ‘there’s an app for that!’ Really! There are a bunch of them. Go to your favorite app store and type in ‘performance review’ and see what pops up. The ones I have found are exceptionally easy to use and free for individual use.

Ladies, “pair up” to promote you.

According to a study by Jessi L. Smith, PhD, “women downplay their own accomplishments but have no trouble promoting a friend.” Over lunch or coffee, talk to each other and then promote yourself—from your best friend’s point of view! How neat is that?

 Guys, I’m calling you out.

Mid to late-career men especially need to take this advice to heart. It’s been my experience that men tend to become complacent later in their careers. Maybe it has something to do with having achieved the corner office that blinds men to the fact that you can never quit promoting yourself on the job. Pink slips happen!

Referring back to my open I mentioned that as children we were taught not to brag. This is a cultural thing that goes deep. You can brag (inappropriate!) or you can communicate to your supervisors, management and that board of directors the value you bring to your organization on a continuing basis. Done professionally and consistently this is proper and necessary to your personal/professional success.

A final note: None of my past female clients, of their own accord, had intended to negotiate their salary at the time of the offer until I insisted they do so. With not too much preparation, all but one were able to obtain a significant increase in pay.

Maybe worse—and heartbreaking from my point of view—a woman I was speaking with recently told me that in her 31 years with the company she only ever asked for a raise one time.

Please visit http://rickgillis.com for more information.

Rick Gillis

Rick Gillis is a nationally recognized careers expert who specializes in personal promotion on the job. A onetime workplace radio and TV host, Rick is a speaker and the author of five books including PROMOTE! Your work does not speak for itself. You do.

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