I Am Just Doing My Job!

by Anja Uitdehaag

If you are anything like me, you probably believe your work should speak for itself.

Women, more often than men, believe that hard work will be recognized and pay off and do not do enough to network with their organization and self-publicize their achievements. When a more senior position opens up, they assume they will be considered based on their accomplishments and credentials, despite having been reluctant to voice them.

However, just rolling up your sleeves and working long hours is no qualifier to go up the career ladder in the business world.

As you progress in your career, equally important to working hard are strategic thinking, likeability, networking and being a team player.

It is potentially career limiting to not assert yourself in terms of talking about your achievements and successes.

How will you get noticed if you don’t? Konrath compares it to the tree falling in the forest: “If no one knows about your accomplishments, they don’t exist.” 

In order to grow your career it is important that the decision maker believes you have the growth potential as well as the strong team relationships to do the job on the next level.

Many jobs are not advertised and sometimes people are promoted because of their relationships and networks.

As young girls we were taught not to brag. It was perceived as improper behaviour.

However, there is a difference between “bragging” and “self promotion”: “Bragging is when you’re saying something that’s untrue and has absolutely no relevance to the audience that’s hearing it. With self-promotion, you’re sharing things that are true, and can build credibility.” (definition Duke)

Whether you like it or not, one of the keys to success is the ability to let others know who you are, what you have to offer and how you can make a difference in the organization. Think of yourself like a brand in the way you behave and in the way you present yourself and don’t be afraid to speak up; put your hand up and put yourself forward.

Self-promotion is part of responsible career management. If you work hard, you need to make sure that people notice. People who get noticed get the best assignments while those who keep their heads down miss out, despite their hard work.

Women don’t brag as much as men and this could potentially hurt us. You could be missing out on big life/work opportunities because people don’t know how awesome you are.

People in authority positions need to put in place practices that make it feel normal for women to promote their accomplishments and share their successes.

Let’s give it a start here. Share one of your recent successes. Big, small – it does not matter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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