Six Simple Ideas for Authentic Self Promotion

This is a guest post by Cathie L. Murensky Ph.D. She is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist with expertise in leadership and organization development, learning and talent management as both an external consultant and an internal practitioner.  You can find and follow her on her InnoVision International website.


For a while now, most of us have been in survival mode, weathering economic uncertainty and organizational upheaval.  Now the time has come to regroup, re-conceptualize the future and our careers. As organizations become flatter, and the number of promotion opportunities diminish, how do we define professional growth and advancement?  Rather than waiting for such opportunities you can actively shape your career and influence in a manner that supports your career objectives.


Self Promotion

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I believe you can (and should) promote yourself in a way that is authentic.  Most of us know talented people who don't get the recognition they deserve and sometimes the most visible, but not necessarily the most valuable employees make the cut.  But candidly, people are busy, "face time" is limited, and organizations are becoming more dispersed.  How then can you differentiate yourself from others? 

Success requires relationships at a variety of levels. Many people need to know who you are and what you have to offer.   Self-promotion can be a key influence strategy to increase your visibility and support from others.  I know what you are thinking, but effective self-promotion does not have to be painful or exaggerated.  Consider the following points:

  • Self-promotion is not inflated. Ignore those who boast and play up to others. People who promote themselves well understand there are many ways to communicate their achievements such as speaking up in meetings, sharing successes and volunteering for visible roles.
  • Self-promotion isn't pretending to be someone you're not. Your efforts will be better received if you are genuine.  Authenticity is an important skill for creating a collaborative workplace.
  • Become self-aware.  Gain a strong understanding of your strengths and your development needs.  If you try to self-promote and are not self-aware, you can come across as either pathetic or arrogant.
  • Don't expect others to notice your work without some effort. Doing a job and doing it well doesn't ensure that others will appreciate it. You need to connect the dots between what you do and why it matters. The decision-makers in the organization won't always make those connections by themselves.
  • Don't inflate yourself at others' expense. What might seem like a good idea at the time will damage your reputation and your working relationships with others.
  • Look for opportunities to talk about your group's accomplishments.  Participate in meetings and share your group's achievements and challenges.  Ask others for their insights and contributions.

Self-promotion can be an important strategy for managing your career.  When approached authentically, these tactics can increase your visibility and accelerate your professional growth and advancement.

Question:  What's your self-promotion strategy?

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