How to assert yourself at work and get that raise

A young blonde female receptionist smiles for the camera.

Never be afraid to market yourself in the workplace. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Jerry Bunkers/Flickr)

Self-promotion is considered arrogant and tacky by some, but it is truly an essential skill. Marketing yourself can translate directly into raises and other benefits in the workplace, but the process should be approached with just the right amount of humility. Here are some tips for how to assert yourself at work.

Confidence is not boastful

Being confident can open many doors in life, among them those doors that represent career opportunities. How can you show that you’re confident in your abilities and accomplishments without coming across as excessively boastful? It takes just the right touch, but that touch isn’t all that difficult to cultivate. To ramp up your self-promotion efforts in an polished, professional way, here are a few tips.

Be prepared for anything

While it is impossible to be prepared for any potentiality, when it comes to your career, there are a number of talking points you can put together that can be recalled when needed. Keep a folder (real or virtual) where you save copies of the positive career feedback you’ve received. Relevant statistics, client data and major sales information should be in there. If you don’t keep track of your praises, nobody else will.

Maintain your humility

A key element of self-promotion in the workplace is to remain both positive and modest. Don’t tear down others in order to make yourself look better, and always recognize that a lot of what happens in the workplace is the by-product of a team effort. Express the potential you have, but don’t sound arrogant while doing it. Give credit where credit is due if your colleagues played a role in your success. Even be prepared to identify your shortcomings, as any job interviewer will ask. It shows that you are realistic, and that you aren’t afraid to show your humanity. You have goals for improvement.

Be tactful and wait for the right time

Don’t make your workplace self-promotion presentation at the wrong time. In other words, don’t wait in the hallway to pounce on your supervisor with all the self-marketing steam. Be patient, schedule a meeting and that will be your time to talk about all that you can do. Ideally, the location should be a private area, such as the supervisor’s office.

Save your presentation for the manager

A professional doesn’t brag to co-workers, but saves the self-promotion talk for the manager with the power to improve their working situation. If there’s any question as to job details, those should also be fleshed out with a manager.


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