Of Course, I’m the Best! How to Strategically Self-Promote in the Office
Selling yourself. It is a bold assertion, one that perhaps you have not yet come to understand fully, let alone master. You hear it often enough, but what does it really mean? It implies a sort of inherent charisma or indescribable spark that draws people together. But, you wonder if you really are one of those people who can do it effectively. And, if you can, how can you do it without coming off as pushy, arrogant, or phony? Further, when is the appropriate time to sell yourself, outside of interviews and cover letters? Here, we have several concrete tips for promoting yourself on the job—in the comfort of your own office—using methods that do not require a whole lot of “acting” on your part. All you need is to be genuine to incorporate these tips into your daily routine.
#1 – Be a perfectionist!
Work with enthusiasm and give your best effort to provide the most perfect product you can —even when nobody is looking. Perhaps the best way to sell yourself on the job is to not say anything at all. Instead, just perform at a high level reliably. Give that best effort on your all on projects, with your interactions with clients, even with your everyday exchanges with colleagues. Also, always be sure to keep a great attitude, always wearing a smile on your face when possible. While everybody has her “down days,” the most successful workers power through them with positivity. After all, when you see a service being advertised on one platform or another, how does the spokesperson often sound? Energetic, enthusiastic, truly convinced that this particular service (or product) is going to be the one to succeed? You deserve the same energy in your pitch, so let yourself have it.
#2 – Take the initiative.
Offer your work experience on new projects when you know just what to do—but do not be afraid to decline projects when you are completely booked or simply don’t know. Sometimes part of being a well-educated and skillful worker is strategically admitting when you simply have too much to attend to at once or do not have the answer. Sometimes, this is okay. That is not to say that you should never speak up or volunteer to go above and beyond the call of duty. When a project arises that you can efficiently complete to the best of your ability, do take it on and produce work that best reflects your skills and work ethic.
#3 – In giving feedback and construction criticism, offer solutions.
In evaluating employees with whom you work, offer solutions to specific problems. In other word, when giving colleagues feedback on their work, do not focus solely on the bad. Instead, provide specifics on how to solve a work issue or a behavioral encounter (Lutz). Giving helpful constructive criticism takes as much practice as it takes to learn how to accept it yourself. Not to mention, good constructive criticism gives you the opportunity to pitch your own ideas and in turn yourself. People gravitate toward those who are good at coming up with solutions to problems and who can be honest without being condescending or demoralizing. When you have a solution to a problem in the office, do not be afraid to take the lead.
#4 – Build your social media profile.
Make a presence on social media and build your profiles to create the best online version of you. The beauty of social media is that you can create your profile and tailor it to reveal any number of things about you—from your educational background, to any awards and achievements, to your personal connections. But what’s even better is that you can perfect it as many times as you feel fit. What does this mean? You should keep your LinkedIn profile as up-to-date as possible. Be specific about your skills and how you have developed them on the job; be specific about any projects as well. Making your online presence as positive and impressive as possible will surely win over colleagues and clients alike when they look up your name. Maintaining a strong online presence, in sum, is a great way to sell yourself without having to feel as though you are “getting in other people’s face,” so to speak.
#5 – Give compliments and build others up!
Part of developing a reputation for yourself involves building and maintaining meaningful relationships with others. With this mind, always be sure to give your colleagues encouragement, support, and praise when warranted. Acknowledge their hard work and be sure to tell others about it. This step is about as important for others as it is for you, as it reveals that you are attentive to what others are doing and are able to recognize good work when you see it.