It’s not enough to just be good at the work you do. You also need to cultivate the perception others have in your work.
Perception matters, whether your aim is to educate prospective customers, woo your lover, or seek a promotion from your supervisor.
Like so many others growing up in rural North Dakota, I was taught that my actions will speak for themselves, and that I should not boast about my accomplishments. This is a sentiment which we tend to appreciate in people but as professional advice, it’s misguided.
While it’s true that bragging about one’s self is not an attractive trait, if you are not willing to toot your own horn, how can you expect others to spontaneously sing your praise?
Be your own advocate. If you are truly as good as you think you are, it won’t take long for others to advocate for you too.
Share your achievements when it is appropriate. This is where it helps to learn tact and subtlety versus overt boorishness if you want to come across as authoritative and not arrogant.
RaeLea: Before Frank’s advice on this topic, I would often find myself frustrated with being passed up for advancements. Not because my “competitors” were better qualified but because they were better advocates of themselves.
Speaking aloud my achievements has yielded far more positive results than quietly standing by awaiting for my actions to speak for themselves.