Are you underselling yourself at work? There’s probably a fine line between confidence and bragging, but to be successful, you kind of need to toe it! Bragging isn’t somewhere most of us feel comfortable. Problem is, we often go so far to play down great work that we’re underselling ourselves from the offset.
As a writer, I’ve found this is one of my biggest setbacks. No one is going to read my work if I kind of shrug and say it’s “okay”. It’s something I continually try to work on… not just confidence, but outward projection of my strengths and accomplishments. It’s tough, and I’m far from comfortable with it, but it’s also necessary if we want to be heard.
Many very successful women I’ve seen in my career have been those who aren’t afraid to say what they’re good at and many more have probably not gone as far as I think they deserve because they aren’t comfortable selling themselves.
Stop underselling yourself by:
- Writing down your accomplishments. This involves detailed analysis of all your achievements in your line of work so you can look at them objectively, and recite them in all their glory without blushing.
- Designing a story that memorably hangs together, not a list of facts. You want to paint a picture of yourself that will have the listener engaged.
- Practicing. Like any major presentation, practice makes perfect. You have to believe it for it to flow. Ask yourself, what do people remember from your story? Are they interested? Are they confused? If people are confused, maybe you need to include an example as you talk about your work.
“Finally,” says Caroline, “You need to constantly remind yourself about your accomplishments. You need to refine your story over time because your target audience and goals change, and your story should reflect what you’re aiming for, not just your past. You need to remember to brag because you’ll forget since it doesn’t feel natural.”
I’ve often felt as a mum returning to work that I’ve been on a back foot, but a lot of that has probably been my own doing, because I’m underselling my skills – even to myself! I guess the point here is that no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously enough to be proud of what you’ve accomplished. So be loud, be proud and go get what you deserve.