How to Self Promote Without Bragging

We all know that person who brags endlessly about themselves and their accomplishments. You know, the coworker who goes on and on about her recent promotion or the family member who posts photos of his brand new car on Facebook. For these individuals, self-promotion comes naturally although for most of us, talking about ourselves can be uncomfortable. Before we go into detail about self-promotion, first understand that talking about yourself and your accomplishments is a natural aspect of managing your profile and, in turn, your career. Most people cringe at the thought of having to promote themselves, particularly at work, but this needs to change. You are your greatest product, and you need to make sure you advertise your brand to the right crowd at the right times.

1. Talk about accomplishments

If this idea still makes you feel uncomfortable, think about self-promotion as simply keeping your team and manager in the loop with how you’re progressing the work. Let’s break that down. When you succeed, your team and your manager also succeed. You don’t need to wait for your annual performance review to highlight your accomplishments. You can give your manager progress reports on your work throughout the year that will help them focus on your successes as well as those derailers that prevent you from gaining the traction you desire. This will help you, your team, and your manager set S.M.A.R.T. goals and provide an opportunity to highlight when you are under budget or ahead of schedule. Projecting this behavior at work seems simple on paper but, for many, it doesn’t come easy. For example, research suggests that a lot of women fear they will look like they are bragging in the workplace, but you must keep in mind that these status reports aren’t about you. Your work impacts your company’s ability to achieve its mission and grow the business, and this is why you don’t want to hide when you are doing well.

2. Be grateful and include others

As odd as it may appear, self-promotion should not revolve around you. You need to focus on both your accomplishments and the accomplishments of those with whom you work! These types of updates speak to the overall function of your team and showcase your leadership skills by pivoting attention to others. Recognize — publicly and often — how other circumstances and people have helped you realize the success you have. Every accomplishment involves some kind of cooperative effort. Make sure to highlight how you did not get where you are alone and the ways in which you gain promotions and new responsibilities with the support of others. 

3. Expand your knowledge

No matter what team, position, or company you are a part of, you need to make sure you are always seeking knowledge to best manage your career. If learning opportunities through training forums at work are limiting, it is your responsibility to seek more. You can gain skills that become relevant to your organization and, in turn, position you as the go-to person for the job.

As you work toward becoming an expert in certain areas, make sure you promote those accomplishments. For starters, you should be strategic with your online presence by posting on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook about your professional development. You should think about what you want to be known for on those platforms and market yourself accordingly. Beyond social media, you can also use your newly learned skills by writing or speaking about your area of expertise.

 Being a team player, working hard, and focusing on continuous learning are the foundation of success at work. However, to grow and gain new opportunities, you need to make sure you are promoting your accomplishments to others in your organization and industry.