When self-promotion is called for, how do we push ourselves to communicate our own worth?
Creating this new website has reminded me of a problem I often see. Many of us have a problem tooting our own horns. Writing about oneself can have the feel of bragging, but why so? When our occupational and education skills are so hard won, shouldn’t we want everyone to know about them? It’s a business fact that if you don’t promote your relevant accomplishments no one will know you have the experience to do the job.
This is very simpler to the issues of being able to ask for what we want. In a recent professional development seminar, a successful businesswoman stated that about 70 percent of those she hires fail to negotiate with her over the opening compensation offer. Why is it that many of us don’t make at least some effort to strike a better deal? Spend any time at the water cooler at work and you’ll notice the recurring theme of “how poorly this outfit pays.” People generally know what they’re worth, but they are hesitant to ask for fair compensation.
Clearly the last few years have tightened the job market and one might feel he or she is putting a job at risk by advocating for more money, but the job market is only one example of this reluctance to self-promote. Writing this website is a good example. Clearly if I don’t have a website, I will be hurting my prospects for growing my practice. But just like resume writing my emotions get involved in a much more complicated fashion than when the subject is clinical. For some individuals this emotional intrusion can take the form of writer’s block, for others a wide inflation of the facts.
Either way, this emotional response could be standing in the way of getting one’s needs met. When this is the case, there is bound to be a buildup of resentment, directed internally or externally. Being conscious of this tendency goes a long way to solving the problem. Look at your actions or words with this filter and ask yourself, “Am I asking for what I really want?”