How To Get Promoted Without Promoting Yourself

Featured in Community

Perhaps half of the women that I work with, are not looking for a redirection of their career. What they want is a straight-up promotion. 

Often times, a promotion would simply mean aligning practice with theory, i.e. they are already doing all the work and carry the responsibilities of the higher position. That just hasn’t been recognised in their title and salary yet. 

Other times, these women aren’t given the change to perform at a higher level. They have everything it takes to succeed in a more senior role but the relevant stakeholders don’t see that or choose not to support them for a promotion. 

Regardless of the background, what my clients need in order to move up, is to have the career conversations that show that they have got what it takes for the higher title and pay and / or that they are already operating at that level. 

And that inevitably involves speaking about themselves and their accomplishments. 

After all, the research is clear that women are promoted based on past performance, not on potential. 


That’s where fear and discomfort kicks in.

Because speaking about ourselves and our accomplishments, can feel like bragging or showing off to us, which is highly uncomfortable – especially for women. What is okay or even encouraged behaviour for boys and men, is uncouth for girls and women. “Look how confident he is!” we say about a man who talks about his success. “Ugh, what an arrogant show-off” – about the woman who discusses the exact same thing. 

No wonder we don’t want to participate in that behaviour, even if that means forgoing the chance of a promotion. 

No wonder we suck at it, if we do step up and try to discuss our accomplishments – we have little training and it’s a very tricky balancing act as a woman. 

So we stay silent, and stagnant. And Bob-down-the-corridor gets the promotion.


So what are you supposed to do? How can you overcome this mental hurdle to talk about yourself in a way that gets results?

My advice is for you to focus on the intention of your message. If you reframe the process from “showing off” to simply “informing” or “sharing”, it takes some of the pressure off, doesn’t it? 

What I mean is, you don’t focus on you, you focus instead on THEM: by sharing what you are great at doing, you allow them the chance to make an informed decision. Without the information you are sharing with them about you, they cannot make that informed decision. So really, by discussing yourself and your accomplishments, you are helping the other side. 

Making this one small shift in your thinking lowers the bar to have these conversations in the right way, so that you get the promotion and salary raise that you deserve. If you want or need more help, please get in touch to see if my career and salary coaching program may be for you. I promise you that after working with me, you will actually enjoy these conversations! 


The Five Simple Mindset Shifts Smart Career Women Use To Negotiate New Roles, Promotions & Salary Raises Of - On Average - 93%

© Women In Negotiation 2023   |   Website by Vida Virtual Support