Self-promotion at work = a necessary evil?

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This week, a mentor of mine gave me this feedback: “You need to publicize your work. If you don’t tell others, then nobody will know”.

My first reaction was: Self-publicity? What a waste of time! I’d rather roll up my sleeve and do “real work”. Who wants to look like a loud-mouthed fool yapping about how spectacular she is?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are actually quite a few tangible benefits from tooting your own horn.

1. Spread good work

If you actually did do some spectacular work, then you owe it to the world to disseminate this information. What would our world be like if the person who invented the wheel just kept it to himself? If your work truly adds value to your organization, your customers, your stakeholders, or our world, then you need others to replicate, scale, and build upon it.

2. Give credit to others

In today’s world, we rarely work entirely in isolation. Therefore, there is usually an entire team behind a project. By promoting your project’s work, you are not just promoting yourself, but you would be giving credit to others. Recognizing the work of others not only thanks them for their efforts but also makes them more inclined to work with you in the future.

3. Build your own brand

If you put your head down and work away, then you limit your network and sphere of influence to only the people that you work closely with. Promoting your accomplishments not only raises your profile in the organization but also establishes you as a subject matter expert. For example, if you launched a successful social media campaign for a product, then promoting this accomplishment could brand yourself as a social media expert.

This could lead to more opportunities that would not have existed before. Perhaps other product teams would have heard of your work and invite you to help with their campaigns. Maybe the company recruits you to become the new head of social media. None of this would be possible if nobody knew about your work in the first place.

Self-promotion can be time-consuming and tricky to execute. With too much promotion, people may think you’re narcissistic and a bit shameless. I think the key is to focus on the work, its value to others, and the team rather than on yourself.

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One thought on “Self-promotion at work = a necessary evil?

  1. Pingback: Career Lessons from Kim Kardashian | Pancakes and Parachutes

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