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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Making Self-Promotion Easier

Dear Sue:

It has been suggested to me more than once that I am holding myself back from getting where I want because I am not doing a good enough job of promoting myself. I admit I am uncomfortable with the whole idea, but then I am not even sure I know what I should be doing. What do I need to do to do a better job of promoting myself to help me get where I want?

- Uncomfortable with self promotion

Sue Says: There will always be people who appear to soar through their careers effortlessly, but donít be fooled; itís never as random or effortless as it appears. Self promotion isnít about bragging about your accomplishments or stepping over others, itís about owning your strengths and believing in yourself. You donít t have to change who you are to get where you want.

Self-promoters are confident people who present themselves in the best possible manner at all times. They are people who arenít afraid of praising others; they know that making someone else look good makes them look good too.

Pay close attention to the things you say and do. Do you build yourself up and focus on your strengths or do you tear yourself down and dwell on your shortcomings? Do you find opportunities and make things happen or wait for opportunities to come to you? Are you willing to take on a challenge or do you prefer the status quo? Do you volunteer to help out even when you may not benefit directly or do you avoid involvement if thereís nothing in it for you?

Self-promotion is more than a skill to be mastered; it is a way of thinking and being. Consider the following:

Know what makes you uniquely you. Identify your achievements, no matter how small. Keep track of your accomplishments and the lessons youíve learned. No matter how insignificant you may think something seems, it might just be the one thing that sets you apart from others.

Get out of the background and into the forefront. Put your name ďout thereĒ. Make sure people get to know you. Reach out to others, be the first to say hello. Get connected--and stay connected with people. Remember people on special occasions, honor their accomplishments, and let them know whatís happening with you. Keep in touch with brief e-mails, a personal note, or a quick phone call every now and then. Never become a nuisance, but do what you can to stay connected.

Get noticed. People who look as if they are ready for advancement typically are. If you want to get noticed, you have to do more than blend in; you need to stand out. Donít go around telling people how great you are; let them see it for themselves. Dress a little better, stand a little taller, smile a little more; make your conversations a little snappier. Itís the little things that make a difference; start adding something small each day. Before you know it, people will take notice and you will get the recognition you deserve.

Self promotion is a way of being; be the kind of person you need to be to get where you want.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at asksue@suemorem.com or visit her web site at http://www.suemorem.com

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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