On this episode of Work/Life, Ciara Pressler, founder and author of Pregame, talks with Greg Nibler about the challenges many of us face when it comes to the art of self-promotion. She looks into the reasons why you need to continue to self-promote, and how to do it in a way that isn’t, well, “gross.”
First, she notes, self-promotion is necessary “because no one is going to do it for you. You need to be your own best cheerleader and your best advocate.” Whether it’s to expand your own business, or because you are about to reenter a job field that will be packed with other people looking for work, self-promotion is what will make you stand out from other candidates, and is your opportunity to “shout out your own accomplishments,” Pressler says. After all, nobody else will know about your skill sets and talents unless you tell them yourself. Simply put, she says, “you have to advocate for yourself.”
So how do you go about advocating for yourself in a way that isn’t annoying or overkill? The first step, Pressler notes, is to just state the facts. Recount your accomplishments in the way you would normally speak about things, without the flowery, false humility language many of us have been taught to use that feels like we might be “bragging.” Speak of your achievements and success with simple, plain language, which will find the balance between owning your achievements and being humble.
The next step, she says, is “to stuff the ballot box. You have to get other people to amplify what you’re saying.” You can’t just sit back and wait for recommendations, or wait for people to repost or share your information and work. Find your own “hype team” who are in your corner and want to see you succeed. “Ask clearly, and say ‘thank you,’” she says. Having people in your corner to help with referrals and to move your personal message and skills along goes a long way in getting your name out there.
Finding a mix of humility and advocacy can change your job prospect landscape, whether it’s finding a new position within a company, or expanding your current business or freelance work.
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