Do you recognize yourself in any of these people?
1. You jumped through hoops to get a new client or complete a major project and didn't get the credit you deserved. Even worse- someone else got the credit.
2. You believed you were clearly in line for a promotion or job opportunity but didn’t get it. Even more upsetting, someone you felt was less deserving got the job.
3. Your work was presented at a meeting by your boss or other team members. Even more upsetting, when they acknowledged that you had done the work, your senior manager asked, “Who is that?”
If any of these situations sound familiar, you are not alone. Most people, especially women, absolutely hate to share their accomplishments and as a result, other people step in and grab the glory. The old adage, “A job well done speaks for itself” was most likely drummed into your head from childhood. You feel like your boss should be the one bragging about you, if anyone does. Or maybe you are so busy doing your job, you don’t have time to brag about it.
All of these excuses are standing in the way of your success. In fact, Catalyst Magazine determined that of all the career strategies women use to get ahead, the most effective one was promoting their own accomplishments. Men may get promoted on potential but women are promoted on performance. If your manager, coworkers, team leads and executive management don’t know the good work you are doing, you will be left in the dust by others who aren’t afraid to toot their horns.
At this point, most people argue that they’ve seen others who brag about their accomplishments and they consider those people to be obnoxious. You may be right, but scientific research has shown that individuals who brag, even if they are obnoxious, are considered more competent that those who downplay their accomplishments. However, if you can brag in a positive light, you are not only seen as more competent but also seen as likeable.
You can learn to brag properly. Just as preparing for a major presentation takes practice and some finessing, sharing your great work also requires effort. A job is not done unless others know you did it.
Renee Weisman, owner of Winning at Work Consulting, was a distinguished engineer and executive in the male dominated semiconductor industry for over 40 years. Author of Winning in a Man's World, 5 Ways to Get a Man to Listen and her newest book, 7 Steps to Bragging the Right Way, Renee teaches men and women how to work together more effectively.