What have you accomplished this week/month/year? If you can’t answer that question, your contributions may not be on your boss’ radar either. That could spell trouble when it comes to career advancement – or in some cases, keeping your job.
There is a big difference between bragging and making the status of your work known. Some people (especially many women) fail to communicate accomplishments for fear of sounding too boastful. In some cultures, drawing attention to your positive attributes is considered ill-mannered at best. For every professional, self-promotion must be handled sensitively.
Allison Jones writes at Forbes.com:
The important thing to consider when sharing any accomplishment is to focus on celebrating your success in the context of your company, career, and professional growth, rather than making it sound like you think you’re better than others.
Jones suggests beginning by tracking your successes. Look at your job description and figure out how you’re accomplishing each item. Keep a journal that is focused on your results. Compare those to what’s required for the job you have and the position you want next.
Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune interviewed Peggy Klaus, author of “BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It.” Klaus says that we too often share our capabilities and success in job interviews, then stop completely when we’re hired. She advises people to share successes intermittently, and understand that bosses need and want to hear about what’s going well.
Keep your ego in check as you share your successes, or you’ll be perceived as a boastful jerk. Remember John Mooney’s caution: Some folks brag because they like to hear the patter of their little feats.
Yep, you’re awesome. We can help you talk about it.
Photo from iStockphoto.
Over the years I’ve learned that it’s best to contextualize my success in relation to improvements in customer service, increased productivity, streamlined work processes, better communication (both within the department and across the organization), team success, etc.
I’m an idea/vision person and like to be recognized for those ideas (especially when they actually result in something positive); however, I once received good advice from one of my favorite bosses. He said, “Does it really matter whose idea it was as long as the outcome is achieved?” I realized then that he was right and what I really cared about was making a difference, not “owning” the idea that generated the difference.
The truth is, none of us work in a vacuum and I can’t really think of anything I’ve accomplished that didn’t rely on the assistance or expertise of others. I share my success as I offer kudos to others who helped me along the way. It’s way more fun to celebrate with others than to sit in my boss’s office and extol my own virtues!