When you’re working hard and doing great things, you want to make sure that your boss is aware of your achievements. But at the same time, you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging or come across as a jerk. So what should you do?

First, you should know that it’s perfectly OK (and even advisable) to tell your boss about all of the good things that you’ve accomplished. It’s important that your boss knows about the great work you do! He or she needs to know about the obstacles you’ve overcome, the projects you’ve completed, and the good feedback you’ve received. Otherwise, your boss might have no idea what kind of worker you are.

But if the idea of self-promoting yourself makes you cringe, take heart. There are a few easy ways to go about it. Author Meridith Levinson suggests you try one or more of the following:

  1. Be ready with a good comeback – When your boss walks by your office and asks you how you’re doing, don’t give a one-word answer like “fine” or “good.” Be prepared to give a more detailed response. Tell your boss that you’re happy that your latest project went well, you’re having a good time learning a new skill, or you’ve had success working with a certain client. Give your boss a thorough update, and make sure to mention all of the things that you’ve accomplished.
  2. Help people out – Offer to help out coworkers who might be struggling with a certain task or a new type of software. Don’t take on more than you can manage. But if you have the knowledge and capacity to help your coworkers get their work done more easily, you should do it. Not only will your coworkers really appreciate your assistance, but you’ll also start to be known around the office as someone who is helpful, knowledgeable, and collaborative.
  3. Talk about your work, rather than yourself – If you feel uncomfortable talking to your boss about your skills and strengths, focus on your work instead. Meet with your boss to talk about your projects, and be energetic and enthusiastic. Your boss will be impressed with how engaged you are in your work. 
  4. Share complimentary emails – If you get a complimentary email from a client or coworker, forward it to your boss. But make sure to add a sentence or two, just to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked. For instance, you could write something like, “It looks like the presentation was well received. I’m happy that we’re getting good feedback!”
  5. Praise your coworkers – If you worked on a successful project with a group of people, and you don’t feel comfortable talking to your boss about your good work, talk about your teammates’ contributions instead. Tell your boss about all of the great things they did to make the project a success. Your boss will know that you also had a lot to do with this achievement. And he or she will appreciate the fact that you’re praising your teammates. It will make you and your teammates look good.

Levinson, M. (2008, November 19). Self-promotion at work: 8 tips for shy people. CIO. Retrieved from: https://www.cio.com/article/2432152/self-promotion-at-work–8-tips-for-shy-people.html

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