The goal of this article is to put a stop to three common excuses people use to avoid self-promotion.  So many people dislike talking about themselves, but why is it so hard to talk about our accomplishments?  Perhaps many of us had mothers who dissuaded us from talking about ourselves so that we did not appear to be self-absorbed.  Or, perhaps it recalls “that person” (we all know one!) who talks incessantly without regard for others in the conversation.  Regardless of the reason, telling your story is a crucial part of interviewing and career advancement and self-promotion is a necessary skill.      

Stop These Excuses Now  

Which one of these excuses do you use?  Or, do you use all three? 

  1.   It’s not good to talk about yourself too much. 
  2.   It’s bragging.  No one likes a braggart. 
  3.   It makes me uncomfortable.  I’m not that great! 

Overcome Your Discomfort with Self-Promotion 

To grow professionally, you must overcome your discomfort with self-promotion.  There are numerous tips for creating the Tell Me About Yourself response, so review a few of them and decide what feels most natural for you.  Then, craft your response and practice it.

Attending a networking event? It’s still good to talk about yourself.  Believe it or not, people are interested in what you have accomplished.  Here are some great tips on how to talk about your accomplishments without seeming like a braggart.

Looking for recognition and promotions at your current job?  Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers, recommends developing a valuable skill (think Excel or SEO marketing).  Then, reaching out to others who would benefit from it and offer your help.  Soon, you’ll be known as the go-to person for that skill without having to say a word.

The Benefits of Self-Promotion 

Think of it this way: would you refer someone to your professional contacts if you are unsure of their full capabilities?  Would you hire a person who wasn’t able to articulate his or her value?   It will feel uncomfortable at first, but self-promotion will come more easily the more you do it.  In time, you’ll find taking the time to advance your self-promotional abilities is well worth the effort.

 

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