The Right Way To Sell Yourself At Work
Forbes.com had a great article on selling yourself at work. Here are some great tips from the experts:
- Peggy Klaus, leadership coach and author, recommends perfecting a “bragalogue”–a short, pithy story that incorporates a few bits of information about who you are and what you’ve done. Use it as an introduction when you meet people for the first time. When I flinched at the suggestion, she offered a convincing counter. “If you were asked to describe someone you care about, you could wax poetic,” she said. “Why can’t you do the same thing for yourself?” She encouraged me to think of a few positive things that I could say about my work, and be prepared to share them during fly-by encounters with my boss.
- Create a Word document to keep track of your achievements. Every time you accomplish something, jot down an entry. Include what you did and why it was important. When possible, show how that achievement helped your company. Include positive comments that other people have made about your work. Review your “brag bag” before sitting down for your performance review. In doing so, you may actually be helping your boss. “At this time of absolute chaos in the workforce, bosses are often doing two or three jobs instead of one,” says Peggy Klaus. “They don’t have the bandwidth to remember what you do every day.” Plus, bosses like good news. Klaus says that when you have a great success at work, you should send your boss a short, enthusiastic e-mail with the news.
- William Arruda, the president of Reach Personal Branding, says that the first step in artful self-promotion is performance. “Building a strong personal brand isn’t about telling people how great you are,” he says. “It’s about showing people how great you are.” He adds that employees should understand where they can contribute the greatest value, and then demonstrate those things that make them exceptional. If you’re creative, then draw on that creativity in team meetings. If you organize spreadsheets for every aspect of your personal life, then share your Type-A habits with your colleagues and become the office Excel whiz. Take on your organization’s biggest problem. No one else wants to do it, so if you embrace that responsibility and succeed at it, people will notice.
- If you’re an introvert, enlist other people to toot your horn. “Rather than tell everyone what you did, find other people who are comfortable describing your role,” says Arruda. The strategy works both ways. If you spread the word about your colleagues’ accomplishments, they should do the same for you.
- Accept recognition. When someone compliments your work, don’t belittle your achievement by replying, “It wasn’t that hard” or “It only took me a few hours.” Instead, practice saying, “Thank you.” Even better, show that you appreciate the recognition by saying, “Thank you. That’s nice of you to notice.”
- If you work hard, you need to make sure that people notice.