Self-promotion is a must have skill in today’s marketplace. How you use your reputational power and how you promote yourself is key to staying marketable.
We, as women, are especially sensitive about selling ourselves, stepping into the spotlight, and talking about ourselves in a positive manner. In my 20+ years of business experience, I have seen the consequences when women do not promote themselves effectively. Certainly, it is evident if you look at the percentage of women in C-suites across the country.
I have seen talented women passed over for promotions, women who were not able to secure funding to start or expand their businesses, qualified women who did not get a job interview, and women who did not make it as entrepreneurs.
Why did this happen? In many cases, these women worked hard and had great skills.The answer often comes down to this: Women do not promote themselves well.
We are more comfortable taking a back seat. We are more comfortable deflecting praise rather than graciously accepting the praise and taking credit for a job well done. We are more comfortable apologizing for our success than acknowledging our accomplishments.
So why are women so hesitant to promote themselves? It started with our upbringing when we were told to stay in the background, to be humble, not to brag and that it’s good to wait until someone recognizes us. These beliefs become a part of who we are. They are hardwired in our subconscious mind and when our conscious mind makes the decision to promote ourselves, these beliefs often hold us back and prevent us from feeling comfortable and confident talking about ourselves in a positive way.
As professional women and entrepreneurs, we know that we need to promote ourselves and our business and so we take the leap and begin to talk about ourselves in a positive manner, but it doesn’t really feel quite right. It’s uncomfortable and awkward and often our promotional pitches fall flat.
Wouldn’t it be better to wait until someone recognizes us for our accomplishments?
NO, because good work and talent are not enough.
How you accomplish what you do and how you go about publicizing those accomplishments are equally important.
No one said promoting yourself is easy. It takes practice and preparation and the conscious decision to dispel the limiting beliefs that hold us back. However, the better we get at recognizing and proclaiming our own successes, the more successful we will become.
Jane Stimmler says
You are right on point about self-promotion! It’s one of the most uncomfortable things for many women to do – and one of the most essential. In my book, Breaking Into the Boys’ Club, we talk about developing a comfortable promotional style – something that feels right. I believe that’s the key for many women.
This is such an interesting post. My husband actually has “issues” with self-promoting in general… he hates doing it for himself and I can feel the daggers when I do it! Self promoting is essential today and so is networking. I just cannot figure out how to get him to understand it! It would be lovely to have someone to “back me” when I’m doing this, but I’m definitely flying solo on this one!