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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Practice Promoting Yourself

All the things that you can find on the Internet.

So part of what I love about the Internet is it is a great way to network, and the chain of information always continues. Below is great article that I found on Ag Career Women. I think the article has a lot of merit, and we all could do a better job of promoting ourselves. A certain friend of mine (we'll call her Bird again) is always spreading the good news about her accomplishments - I usually see them over Facebook. Each time I see that she has a success whether it be personal or career driven it reminds me of how hard she works to achieve her goals. 

Don't think of it as bragging, these people are your friends and colleagues and they want to hear and share in your successes. 

Now back to why I love the Internet - so as I was reading this article I discovered that it originated from another website called Women On Business. This site has all kinds of information. I can't wait for my next free evening or quality time in the airport so I can start sifting through all the information. 

I hope you all enjoy the article and am excited to hear your thoughts!

Blog from www.womenonbusiness.com, written by Susan Gunelius
Practice Promoting Yourself
Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women On Business writer

My experience, and the research I have done and seen, shows that men are generally more comfortable in promoting their strengths and accomplishments than women, and are greater risk-takers. Perhaps you have experienced the same thing.

Men, by and large, seem to understand the importance of self-promotion and they use it effectively to gain money and power. Women, on the other hand, consistently identify self-promotion as something that does not come naturally. Worse yet, many women have the misguided belief that they can rely on fairness and recognition, believing that “If I work hard and do my job well, people will notice.” So, while men are out talking about their talents and abilities, many women simply reject the concept as bragging. They don’t see self-promotion as something that is directly linked to their success. This is often related to the way in which women are socialized – and what I call “the good girl mentality.” The problem is – the social behavior we were taught when we were younger doesn’t always reflect the real business world now that we’re adults.

A successful friend put it this way - “Females need to toot their own horns more. They shouldn’t wait to be asked about what they’re doing. Instead, women should let people in the organization know about their accomplishments.” She went on to recount that the head of her division told her that of all the e-mails and voice mail messages he gets from employees about deals they closed and problems they solved – 99% of them are from men. So, many of our male colleagues are calling their bosses and telling them what a great job they are doing. Ouch!

In fact, more than 60% of the women surveyed for my book Breaking Into the Boys’ Club said that men are much better at promoting themselves. This may be a result of the fact that more than half of those same women felt that women are less confident in their professional abilities than men are – even when their skills are equal to or better than their male colleagues. We’ve all heard stories about men who have stepped up for jobs and been promoted with half the skills and experience that their women peers have. Men see the promotion as an opportunity to jump forward and figure that they’ll be able to handle whatever the position entails. In essence, men often apply for jobs when they have only 30% of the job requirements. Women do not apply unless they have 100%. Men just are not as self-critical as women, who analyze and worry about whether their qualifications fit the job precisely. Why do we do that??

Another problem woman have in promoting themselves is that they haven’t found a comfortable promotional style. Perhaps you have felt this way: when an opportunity comes for you to chime in and promote something you have done, you can’t think of how to word your story appropriately, and you are afraid promoting yourself will sound awkward – or even obnoxious. Clearly, some practice is necessary in order to phrase what you want to say, say it in a pleasant tone, and invite comments – not jealousy – by others. Try practicing a self-promotional story or telling about a success when you’re with a good friend, or even when you’re alone, to get over your fears.

It’s important to be sure you are doing enough to promote yourself and to be a visible candidate for a promotion or career opportunity that comes up. Think about the strategies you can use to put yourself in a position of strength with colleagues. Practice a comfortable promotional style. Be more confident and assertive. All of these will help you get ahead in the workplace. And, if you are already a good self-promoter – please share some of your secrets!

3 comments:

  1. Crystal, I'm glad you stumbled upon my Ag Career Women webiste and find the articles I post on there useful and worthy of sharing with others. I think the Ag community is full of great people and I look forward to following your blog as well!

    Rhonda Werner aka Ag Career Women!

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  2. Rhonda, thanks for visiting my blog. It seems like in the summer months everyone gets so busy that it is hard to stay up on everything. I am thankful that I have some airport time ahead of me to do some reading!

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  3. Awesome article! Thanks for sharing it Crystal. I also really apprecaite your sweet comments. I'm not sure if I'm part of the 60 or 40%? I am quite cautious about tooting my own horn. I love recognizing others - that help my dreams come true, big and small.

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Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from all my readers. Hope you have a fabulous day.

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