Women often undersell themselves when it comes to talking about their career accomplishments. But, if you don’t promote yourself, don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Ensure that your name is on the lips of the movers and shakers in your company by using a little bit of personal marketing to pump yourself up.
Many people avoid self-promotion for different reasons. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves by “bragging” … they fear rejection … they’ll be laughed at … they’ll be yelled at … they’ll suffer backlash from coworkers — or maybe even their own boss — they don’t think it’ll do any good … there are a million reasons to not do it.
But there’s one great career reason to do it — you’ll be recognized for what you do!
Step 1: Decide why you want recognition. Do you want a raise? Do you just want to feel more appreciated? Do you want more responsibility? Whatever your reason, make sure everything you do revolves around your ultimate goal.
Step 2: Put it on paper! You may be the only person in your company who knows exactly what you do around the office. And if you assume that your boss knows, guess again! Establish — on paper — your duties and overall value to your company, by documenting all the work you do — even something you may consider trivial or menial.
The best place to start is by getting a copy of your job description from your boss or your HR department and going from there. Once you’ve taken care of documenting what’s on that job description, you can start filling in the blanks (and there are always blanks!), which leads us to step 3.
Step 3: List your duties that aren’t on the job description. You’d be amazed at the number of workers who haven’t seen their job description since the day they were hired — if they even saw it then. And, if you’ve been in your position for any length of time, you probably wouldn’t recognize the job that’s described on that little piece of paper!
But that paper is what the rest of your company uses to grade your performance, give pay raises, brand your position, etc. On the same piece of paper you used in step one, identify everything you do around the office … everything!
Step 4: Put a price tag on your head and a value on your potential! Whenever possible, put a dollar figure on what you do. If part of your job is to find lower-cost vendors, or if you come up with ideas that make department processes cheaper and more productive, spell out your accomplishments. Tie this into your future potential. What are you working on now and how do you anticipate this will affect the company’s bottom line? Emphasize your skills, abilities, and good work habits and your willingness to go the extra mile.
Step 5: Practice your “personal marketing pitch” before talking to your boss. Once you’ve got everything documented, make an appointment with your boss to talk. Make sure you let your boss know the reason you want to talk, because there’s nothing that will blow up your presentation more than a boss caught on the defensive. You might suggest that you’d like to review your work and just compare notes on how he or she feels you’re doing.
But before you have your talk, practice what you’re going to say with a friend, relative, even a trusted coworker who may know the players involved. It’s very common for someone to be cool, calm, and collected until the boss’ door shuts and the person gets flustered.