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Are women punished for self-promotion?

 April 30, 2013

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Self-promotion can be very daunting, annoying and even terrifying for many.

Some women to flaunt their educational and career background with little fear of being perceived as egocentrical or self-absorbed.
Excessive self-promotion is not attractive - so how does one get the balance right? Does it depend on context, track record, pubic profile?
The last thing needed for women's advancement is for women to be discouraged to talk positively about their achievements. Yet self-promotion is a valuable tactic for moving up in one’s career.

Career women can benefit hugely from making their achievements known. When women are proactive in making their achievements visible they can be advanced faster and further.

Women should be proactive in making sure their achievements are known, and ensuring their manager and key people are aware of their accomplishments. Seeking feedback and credit as appropriate are also important. Asking for a promotion when deserved is also important.

Research authors Dr. Nancy M. Carter and Christine Silva in a Harvard Business Review article revealed that women who proactively network with influential figures get ahead. In addition to self-promotion, networking can also bring huge career advancement opportunities. To progress in one's career, Carter and Silva say working females “should continue to ensure that their managers are aware of their accomplishments, seek feedback and credit as appropriate, and ask for promotions when they are deserved, just as the high-potential women we’ve followed have been doing. Helping others recognize their contributions will help women get ahead further and faster.”

Owning one's accomplishments and being proud and comfortable to discuss them in an appropriate manner and context is a vital skill. Confidence and assesertiveness are also key.

A study published by Stanford University revealed that women who are confident, assertive, and aggressive but know when to tone down these attributes land more promotions than other females or even men. When women can hold your own, show others they understand your own worth and are confident of their achievements, they can go a long way.

So remember these TOP 5 tips for self-promotion:
1. Talk outomes: be clear about what you achieved and why it was important
2. Be matter-of-fact: don't use irrelevant emotional adjectives (e.g. enormous, exciting, etc) 
3. Make it relevant: Put your achievements in the context relevant to your audience
4. Draw future application: Make it obvious how you can build on your skills and achievements
5. Individualize: Combine your strengths to provide a unique and competitive picture

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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