By Chrissy Scivicque
The idea of self-promotion conjures a negative perception for many people. They immediately think it equates to bragging—and that’s a dirty word for most well-mannered folks. Certainly, self-promotion can be problematic. When done wrong, it can backfire and harm your reputation. After all, we’ve all known someone who missed the mark and came off as arrogant or self-righteous. And who wants to be known for that?
However, when done well, self-promotion can have a powerful, positive impact on your career.
Why Self-Promotion is Necessary
The right kind of self-promotion can give voice to your value and expertise. It can help you establish a strong professional reputation and elevate your visibility in the workplace. As author Peggy Klaus says, “Remaining quiet about your successes only leads to being underappreciated and overlooked.”
As a proud former administrative professional, I know a lot about underappreciation. It’s one of the most common complaints I hear from admins today. We are, in essence, the invisible superheroes of the office. But, if we want more recognition and acknowledgement, we have to come out of the shadows. If we want to get noticed, we have to become vocal advocates for ourselves and the value we deliver each day. Business leaders are busy; if we’re not careful, they can easily take our contributions for granted.
That’s where self-promotion comes in.
A Simple but Valuable Perspective Shift
So, how do you overcome the negative preconceived notions you have about self-promotion? The answer is simple: You need to change the way you think about it.
You were probably taught to be humble and let your actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, these long-held beliefs simply don’t serve us well in today’s busy, competitive work environment. To make self-promotion more comfortable, consider this: It’s merely a way of advertising yourself. Think of it like a television or radio commercial for your services in the workplace.
Sure, some commercials are totally annoying—especially when they’re irrelevant, unwanted or heard too often. But some commercials are helpful. They can spark interest, provide valuable information and affirm our buying decisions. That’s why advertisers use them—because they work when done well.
As an administrative professional, you want people to understand the value of your services. You want them to buy what you’re selling, so to speak, and to keep buying more in the future. Commercials are one way to do that. You just want to make sure your commercials are the kind that get people excited and energized about what you do and how you do it—not the kind that make people want to switch the metaphorical channel!
The Right Kind of Advertising
Think about quality advertising and the components that make it powerful. The best commercials speak to us in terms we can relate to. They make us smile and laugh, or just think about something in a different way. They appear frequently enough to give you a sense of consistency, but not so often as to make you crazy with repetition.
These same components make self-promotion in the workplace successful as well.
As an administrative professional, your career is like your own personal small business. You are the owner and CEO. You’re also the chief marketer. It’s your job to help others understand the features and benefits of the goods you are selling. No one else is going to do it for you.
Try looking at self-promotion through this new lens and see how it feels. I’ll be speaking on this topic at the IAAP Summit in 2018; I can’t wait to share more insights along with some simple step-by-step instructions for doing this in a way that feels comfortable and natural. Until then, continue to think about this concept and how you might apply it in your work life.
Catch Chrissy and other spectacular speakers at IAAP Summit 2018 in Austin, Texas. Find out why IAAP Summit is the go-to conference for office and administrative professionals year-in and year-out. Hurry, early bird pricing ends in January.