Four Brainless Self-Promotion Techniques to Avoid

Many workers think their hard work will speak for itself. They do their work quietly and stay late at the office hoping their boss will pick up on their efforts. However, when a job promotion or raise goes to someone else, many employees retreat into a corner, wondering what happened.

Many don’t realize that talking about your accomplishments with confidence is the best way to get ahead in your career. Promoting yourself at work doesn’t have to be shameless and you don’t have to brag.

Instead, you need to develop a smart approach to self-promotion in order to advance your career. Being able to sound your horn effectively without playing the wrong tune can only happen if you avoid these four common mistakes.

  1. Don’t take advantage of a tragic event to launch your self-promotion campaign

    The recent hurricane that hit the US states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama left millions of people homeless and cities in ruins. Hurricane Katrina is becoming one of the costliest natural disasters in history in the continental United States. The tsunami that decimated 11 countries in South Asia in December 2004 is another extremely devastating natural event. Many people were displaced and, to date, more than $ 2 billion has been donated worldwide to help the victims of the tsunami. However, it’s reaching a point where the publicity surrounding who you’re giving is getting more attention than people who lost their homes, belongings, and family members. Celebrities, companies and even countries are taking this opportunity to show off the amount of money they have donated. Some businesses are even buying full-page newspaper ads just to show what they’re doing to help. While Hollywood and the Fortune 500 choose this time to show off their contributions, this approach lacks dignity, tact, and modesty. Don’t make this mistake with your career. If your business just lost an important customer and is now facing a breach of contract lawsuit, this is not the time to brag about a new process you developed while working with that customer. That shows a bad moment on your part and you will look bad in front of your boss and colleagues.

  2. Don’t brag about belittling the competition

    In season 2 of the hit show The Apprentice, a contestant, Ivana, was the project manager for a losing team. As she defended against Donald Trump why she shouldn’t be fired, instead of focusing on her strengths, she began to speak ill of another contestant. What made Ivana’s comments so strange is that it focused on someone who wasn’t even on the same team as her. By the way, Donald Trump did not see Ivana’s comments very well and fired her without hesitation. Saying negative things about a coworker may make you feel good, but this approach does little to improve your profile at work. When you do this, you seem to be uncomfortable with your own achievements. Instead, develop a 30-second commercial about what you do well. That way, you focus on your successes and resist the temptation to make your coworker look bad.

  3. Never include cheats in your self-promotion campaign

    Remember Enron, WorldCom, and the adventures of media mogul, Conrad Black? The executives of these companies cheated to be successful. Despite the fact that he was being investigated for diverting money from the company into his own pocket, Black was outraged and claimed that people should thank him for creating so many jobs, not waste their energy accusing him of stealing. The things you do at work may not include being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but there are some activities you may be doing right now that undermine your company’s bottom line. Whether you’re bringing home office supplies from your company warehouse, eating a two-hour lunch, or overcharging your company for gas on your expense report, all of these actions are dishonest. You will make enemies at work very quickly if you gloat over your dishonest acts in the dining room. Also, this is a surefire way to stop your career, as no one wants to work with a cheater.

  4. Don’t brag too much

    There is a businesswoman I recently met. I had read his book and attended some of his teleclasses. When I heard that he would be in my city on business, I sent him an email requesting that we meet for coffee. We met and I immediately regretted it. You see, this businesswoman talked endlessly about herself for the entire 30 minutes. Here I was, one of his biggest fans and most loyal customers, and my idol was bragging about his product line and how much money he was making. This businesswoman didn’t take any time to find out who I am or why I’m her biggest fan. I walked away from that meeting and never bought anything from your website again. It’s important for others to know about your accomplishments, but don’t do it at the expense of bad manners. Find the balance. Know when it’s appropriate to talk about your accomplishments and when to keep quiet. A good self-advocate knows the value of listening to others. This ability can do wonders for your career.

How you advance in your career is based on your ability to self-promote. If you don’t talk about your accomplishments, don’t expect anyone else to do so, but remember that your goal is to be smart in your approach and leave the brain-less techniques to someone else.