Most of us don’t want to be known among our inner circles as a bragger, but people too often miss important connections to advance because of their modesty.
In today’s highly competitive climate, it’s important to stand out and gain recognition for hard work and unique qualities. Here are some ways to do that:
- It’s a New World: Let go of those outdated modesty myths that your mom may have taught you, like, “A job well done speaks for itself,” and, “Good girls don’t brag.” They no longer apply.
- Those in the Know: Think of the successful people you’ve met and look up to and consider why they stand out. Are they modest or tightlipped about their triumphs? Most likely you respect them because of their confidence and ability to share their accomplishments.
- You Are Interesting: Every one of us has strong points. To remember yours, create a list of your assets with examples. And when the right moment comes along in conversation, you can insert these.
- Getting Comfortable: Bragging may feel uncomfortable. You may fear that you’re coming off like a jerk. Practice makes perfect. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone—letting people know about your skills and successes is key to getting ahead.
- A Title…Plus!: When someone asks you what you do, most people just spout their job title and nothing more, which can lead to a conversational dead-end. Instead, keep talking and bring up one of your recent accomplishments—if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will.
- Timing is Everything: To successfully toot your own horn, you need your comment to be appropriate to the conversation. If you bring up something when everyone is talking about a completely separate topic, you will seem self-centered.
- Steer the Conversation: There will be times when you will be present at a gathering and feel left out. If people are talking about areas you know nothing about, try changing the subject to a topic you have some expertise in.
- Keep it Relaxed: Smile or laugh when you talk about your accomplishments rather than being smug or superior. Your natural demeanor and relaxed facial expressions will enhance what you’re telling people.
- Talk About Others, Too: Talk about the hard work that you and your team have done to help achieve your goals. People will appreciate your accomplishments more if it’s linked to the work of you and many people.
- Reciprocate the Pat on the Back: Make others feel good, too! Keep the conversation two-sided and ask about the other person’s job and projects as well.
Him: So what do you do?
You: I’m a Project Manager for __________.
Him: Oh, that’s interesting.
You: It is actually, right now we are working to get our product distributed to a new market, and I’m in charge of local outreach.
Him: Oh really, what market?
You: We’re expanding into Latin America—I’m going to Argentina for two weeks next month.
Him: Wow, I’ve always wanted to go to Buenos Aires.
You: Do you travel a lot for work?
Him: I don’t at all—my job is pretty desk-ridden.
You: Yeah, that was me last year. But I realized I had interest in traveling working abroad, so I applied for a position within the International Division. It’s a much better fit. Is that a possibility with your company?
Him: Hmm, it could be! I wonder if there’s someone in my department that I can talk to. Thanks so much for the idea! Now, tell me more about your work…