Don’t Stay under the Radar
Most women I’ve worked with, have a difficult time publicizing their accomplishments. Some of the executives, have a hard time with self-promotion. Men are trained to take credit for their achievements, while women seem to stay under the radar. I’ve had to learn to take credit for my projects. Once my favorite CEO gave me a compliment on one of my projects by saying, “That was amazing, you outlined the entire sales operations process from A-Z. Great job!” My response? Was it, “Thank you. I especially like how I outlined the positions, job functions, and repeatable sales operations processes.” No, my response was, “Oh, it was nothing. You asked me to create Sales Operations, so I did.”
Thank goodness my CEO coached me, on the spot, by telling me, “What you did was an huge accomplishment. You need to take credit for your work. I notice you always downplay your work.” My CEO was noticed my life-long problem. I always responded to success like that, as if it was nothing an it had to be done, constantly underplaying my achievements.Â After his advice, I vowed to be comfortable with my success, own it, and communicate it when necessary. Is this self-promotion? Yes, but it’s required if you’re a woman in business wanting to raise your profile.
How Women can Raise their Profile
Getting on the radar screen of decision makers. Thatâ€™s a hard task anyone, but especially for women. Karin Halperinâ€™s article â€œFive Ways Women Can Raise Their Professional Profileâ€ at CareerJournal.com offers insight advice on how to get on the radar screen.â€œYou might be doing an outstanding job, but if nobody notices, your efforts are likely to go unrewardedâ€ Halperin states. Hereâ€™s her list that women and knowledge workers in general should do in developing or managing their career:
- Become an authority: â€œDeveloping an expertise helps you stand out, especially if itâ€™s territory no one else has yet staked.â€ Itâ€™s easier to differentiate yourself from the pack when itâ€™s an area not occupied by others. Look for the white spaces and make that space your own.
- Polish your public speaking: Practice, practice, practice. Public speaking is not easy. Over time, it becomes easier as you become more refined and comfortable in your own skin. Who knows. You just may become good it and enjoy it.
- Identify new ways to build business: Always have your thinking cap on, pondering about what your company could be doing to grow existing business or what your company should be doing to grow new business. Workers who start on the front lines working their way up the ladder have a unique view about product or service strategy. You may identify your companyâ€™s next big thing.
- Participate in an industry association: Never underestimate the power of groups. All that camaraderie and networking. Associations are like networks on steroids.
- Publicize your achievements: Women and knowledge workers especially should remember this point. Itâ€™s easy to let time go by, getting the job done that we forget to brag. Write a success story, case study, or white paper about the application of your achievement. If youâ€™re in your association, you have a built in target audience by publishing to your associations newsletter.
Smart Lemming Tip: Become an expert, take initiative, have confidence and presence, work for your employer as if were your own sparking ownership of how to grow the business, find a group similar to yourself, and donâ€™t forget self-promotion.