Four Brainless Self-Promotion Techniques To Avoid

Many workers think that their hard work will speak for itself. They quietly do their job and stay late at the office hoping that their boss will notice their efforts. However, when a job promotion or pay raise goes to someone else, many employees retreat into a corner, wondering what happened.

Many don't realize that talking about your accomplishments in a confident way is the best way to get ahead in your career. Promoting yourself at work doesn't need to be shameless and you don't have to brag.

Instead, you need to develop a savvy approach to self-promotion so you can get ahead in your career. Being able to effectively toot your horn without blowing the wrong tune can only happen if you avoid these four common mistakes.

  • Don't piggy-back off a tragic event to launch your self-promotion campaign

    The recent hurricane that hit the American states of Lousiana, Mississippi and Alabama left millions homeless and cities in ruin. Hurricane Katrina is turning out to be one of the most expensive natural disasters ever in the continental United States. The tsunami that decimated 11 countries in South Asia in December 2004 is yet another extremely devastating natural event. Many people were displaced and to date, over $2-billion has been donated world wide to help the victims of the tsunami.

    However, it's getting to a point where the publicity surrounding who's giving gets more attention than the people who lost their homes, belongings and family members. Celebrities, companies and even countries are taking this opportunity to boast about the amount of money they have donated. Some companies are even buying full page ads in newspapers just to show what they're doing to help.

    While Hollywood and Fortune 500 choose this time to brag about their contributions, this approach lacks dignity, tact and modesty. Don't make this mistake with your career. If your company just lost a major customer and is now facing a lawsuit for breach of contract, it's not the time to brag about a new process you developed while working with that customer. That shows poor timing on your part and you will look bad in front of your boss and colleagues.

  • Don't brag by putting down the competition

    On Season 2 of the hit show The Apprentice, one contestant, Ivana, was the project manager of a losing team. As she was making her case in front of Donald Trump as to why she should not be fired, instead of focusing on her strengths, she started to bad mouth another contestant. What made Ivana's comments so bizarre is that she focused on someone who wasn't even on the same team as she was. Incidentally, Donald Trump didn't look too highly on Ivana's comments and he fired her with little hesitation.

    Saying negative things about a co-worker may make you feel good, but this approach does little to raise your profile at work. When you do this, you appear to be uncomfortable with your own accomplishments. Instead, develop a 30-second commercial about what you do well. That way, you focus on your triumphs and resist the temptation of making your co-worker look bad.

  • Never include cheating in your self-promotion campaign

    Remember Enron, WorldCom and the adventures of media tycoon, Conrad Black? The executives of these companies cheated in order to gain success. Despite the fact that he was being investigated for diverting company money to his own pocket, Black was outraged and claimed that people should be thanking him for creating so many jobs, not spending their energy accusing him of stealing.

    The things you do at work may not include being investigated by the Securities & Exchange Commission, but there are some activities you may be doing right now that undermines your company's bottom line.

    Whether you take office supplies home from your company's stock room, take a two-hour lunch or overcharge your company for gas on your expense report, these actions are all dishonest. You'll make enemies at work very fast if you gloat about your dishonest deeds in the lunch room. Plus, this is a sure fire way to bring your career to a grinding halt as no one wants to work with a cheater.

  • Don't over-brag

    There's a business woman I met recently. I had read her book and I attended a few of her teleclasses. When I heard she'd be in my city on business, I sent her an email requesting we meet for coffee.

    We met and I immediately regretted it. You see, this business woman spoke endlessly about herself for the entire 30-minutes. Here I was, one of her biggest fans and most loyal customers, and my idol boasted about her product line and how much money she was making. This business women didn't take any time to find out who I am nor to learn why I'm her biggest fan. I walked away from that meeting and never bought anything from her website again.

    It's important to let others know about your achievements, but don't do this at the expense of bad manners. Find the balance. Know when it's appropriate to talk about your accomplishments and when you should hold your tongue. A good self-promoter knows the value of listening to others. This skill can work wonders for your career.

    The way for you to advance in your career rests in your ability to self-promote. If you won't talk about your achievements, don't expect anyone else to do so, but remember that your goal is to be savvy in your approach and leave the brainless techniques to someone else.

    Leesa Barnes is a career transition expert who inspires women to create the career they deserve through her coaching programs and workshops. For more information about Leesa, visit her website at

    In The News:

    Stop Networking, Start Connecting  Harvard Business Review
    Key Ratings Rise For Arista Networks  Investor's Business Daily
    Best DevOps Tools of 2021  EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet

  • Client Attraction Technique #2: Networking

    One of the most cost effective ways of generating leads... Read More

    When Gifts Say More

    What's a gift mean? If you're like me, you probably... Read More

    Networking - Facts to Ponder

    Right here in Europe, the very last continent to enter... Read More

    Powerful Networking: Focus on Building Connections, Not Closing Sales

    You can find numerous references in the business literature about... Read More

    Giving Referrals to Get Referrals

    One of the best ways to get a referral is... Read More

    Mary Kay Ash Did It Best... (The Networking Factor)

    "The Networking Factor, Everyone is important!" This slogan reminds me... Read More

    The 7 Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers

    Networking is a term that didn't exist (academically) until almost... Read More

    Create a 10 Second Introduction From Your USP

    You can generate a ton of business by networking, whether... Read More

    Social Networking: A Link To Like Minds

    Not all dot-com dreams died when the Internet stock bubble... Read More

    Flying High, Flying Far

    "What me? Sell myself? You have to be joking!"This was... Read More

    5 Ways to Wow People Who Wear Nametags

    People wear nametags more often than you think. The majority... Read More

    Business Networking - Common Myths and Realities

    Can we agree about the meaning of networking? I don't... Read More

    Make Money on the Internet - The Lifestyle Advantages of Professional Marketers

    Some of the most successful businesses in existence today started... Read More

    Networking: Strangers, Friendship, and Business Growth

    You already know that uncomfortable feeling, that knot in your... Read More

    A Vital Habit For Selling Big Ticket Items

    I hope the title of this article aroused your curiosity!... Read More

    Network Marketing

    Network marketing is the ordinary person's best opportunity to make... Read More

    How to Keep from Sounding LIKE Totally Stupid

    June is reality check month. Lots of the resolutions have... Read More

    Lesson 61 - When Does Aggressiveness Turn Into Annoyance?

    The StoryWhen attending conferences, conventions, or private events, it's guaranteed... Read More

    How to Gain Maximum Value from Your Networking Time

    One of the best ways to get business is through... Read More

    Plan for the Event or Flounder

    Rather than being there to eat the food and drink... Read More

    10 Steps to Successful Networking

    "It's not what you know, it's who you know."This old... Read More

    Are You Really Listening: The Importance of Strong Communication Skills

    Let's face it, when most people think of IT professionals,... Read More

    Jump Start Your Network

    Networking is often identified as a key business building activity... Read More

    Five Steps for Expanding Your Customer Base with Guerilla Networking

    As a single company, it is impossible to provide your... Read More

    Volunteering for a Networking Group

    When is it appropriate to volunteer to take a position... Read More