Stop Thinking You’re “Above” Self-Promotion (And Start Doing This Instead)

car salesman

Somehow as an Introvert Leader, you have made it to the level you are right now by some means. You weren’t discovered like a starlet at a diner. You had to be competitive to get where you are. Even if this is your first job, you’ve had to self-promote just to get the job.

Self-promotion is something you must do if you’re going to do something besides play video games all day long.

Yet, I fairly consistently hear comments that it’s a disgusting, demeaning thing to do and only the truly loathsome humans out there do it. You perform and your work stands as a pillar of virtue and speaks for itself. You are “above” that behavior.

If this is your thinking, you’ve put yourself in a trap where you will stay until a stymied career finally frustrates you or you retire. You will get to watch as other, less skilled people get ahead.

Is this you? (Please, be truthful.)


You Need to Recalibrate Your View of Self-Promotion

Self-promotion begins as an infant when you learn that your parents stand between you and a candy bar. We all have goals and are continuously in the mode of pursuing them. You’re doing something to move yourself from point A to point B when you have a goal, even if it’s to learn to play golf. All goals include self-promotion to achieve them.

The trap that we Introvert Leaders run into is that we see people who are over-the-top, self-important braggers who are truly worth avoiding. We think that’s the role model of self-promotion and all too often, we over-correct in the other direction. We fail to self-promote while doing our job because we deliberately choose the opposite behavior.

When you fail to self-promote, you’re choosing to fail your career goals. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

Another thing you’re failing to do is pay attention to the other self-promotion that is also going on all around you. You probably didn’t notice it because it wasn’t as blatant.


How to Do Self-Promotion the Right Way

The other — and better — self-promoter is the person who updates and communicates with the boss. That real role model is learning what the boss’s priorities are and working to support them. A good self-promoter figures out what it takes to earn a promotion and works openly to earn it.

You need to realize that climbing up in your career is more than merely performing well. You also climb the ladder of success by forming great relationships with people who like and support you. Each step you make will be easier because you were savvy enough to realize that people (especially the boss) won’t go out of their way to discover your great performance. You have to go out of your way to help them understand what you’ve done and why it’s a good thing.

You, not someone else, must take the responsibility to self-promote if you ever want to take one step forward.

You can self-promote in a very authentic, honest way. You simply need to look at it differently than you are today.

What’s the biggest struggle you have with self-promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Michele Smorgon

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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