Hopefully most professional women now understand the importance of taking credit for their accomplishments and promoting themselves across the organization to gain visibility and credibility. There have been many studies by Catalyst and other organizations that support the necessity of promotion for career advancement for women.
Understanding your value proposition and being able to confidently articulate this to others is the first important step in promoting yourself in the workplace. The ability to self promote begins with an inner journey of self-reflection to gain an understanding of what you bring to the table and how it benefits others in the organization or the company.
The second step is the determination of how, when, where, and to whom you should promote yourself. This requires political savvy or a sensitivity to the culture and people involved as well as a strategic focus to figure out who needs to know the information about you for your advancement.
It does no good whatsoever to promote yourself in a way that turns people against you. In fact, it can do more harm than good. If the culture in your organization does not respond positively to powerful women and there are not many women with top leadership roles, you might make the assumption that your promotion needs to be subtle and personal.
Like any other relationship in or out of the workplace, it takes some time to develop trust and mutual respect. Take the time to get to know the person with whom you are communicating. What is important to them? What interests them? How does your value proposition benefit them? Can you offer some support on a project? Collaborating on a project is a great way to gain visibility and showcase your skills without blowing your own horn. What other opportunities are there in your organization?
If you have a boss who never gives you feedback, ask for it. Send weekly status updates. Request feedback to determine if you are on the right track and meeting expectations. Keep track of your accomplishments over the year to help you prepare for your performance review.
What is the culture in your organization?
How receptive is this culture to assertive women?
Do you have any female role models who have leadership positions? Look at how they communicate. What has led to their success?
As you build your own internal and external power network, build relationships and listen and watch for clues that will help you position and promote yourself in a savvy manner.
We can learn to articulate our value proposition but we also need to be mindful of how best to communicate this to others for the maximum impact.