Confidence is key to getting ahead in your career, but how can you communicate your expertise without sounding boastful? To help you assert your talents in a polished, professional way, we've come up with some key suggestions that make tooting your own horn a cinch. Whether you're planning for an upcoming review or seeking out your next promotion, here are four smart, savvy tips to follow.
In order to properly and thoughtfully sing your own praises, it's best to prepare for those moments year-round. First, keep an email folder where you can save all the positive feedback you receive, and then use specific quotes as a reference during your reviews. Next, make sure to monitor and note all the important statistics for your position, like major sales, new clients, and year-over-year improvements. Managers can't remember each and every assignment you've ever completed, either, so maintain a running list of your major projects and the goals that you achieved.
Modesty and positivity are crucial. There's a fine line between expressing your potential and conveying arrogance, so try to tread carefully. For one thing, you need to make sure that the accomplishments you're highlighting are your own. If others contributed to your success, then give your colleagues credit too. That won't take away from your efforts; in fact, it shows both leadership and intelligence. Likewise, it's best to acknowledge any mistakes or shortcomings that arise — just be sure to end on a positive note by calling attention to any lessons that followed.
Read on for more tips to help you get ahead.
You can toot your own horn all you want, but if you disrupt or annoy your manager, then she's not going to listen to your points. Don't ambush your manager when it's convenient for you. Instead, schedule a meeting dedicated to your review or wait until the appropriate time presents itself. Location is important too, so be sure to reserve a conference room or another private location for your appointment.
A good rule of thumb: to maintain healthy relationships and a favorable reputation, you should brag to your manager, not your coworkers. There's no reason to discuss your career status with anyone other than your supervisor or the HR department. That being said, you should work with your manager to refine your job description and professional goals during review sessions. Then, when tracking your accomplishments, you can refer to those specific, mutually defined responsibilities.