How To Get Promoted, Without Promoting Yourself

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

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

Other times, these women feel stuck in their careers. They have everything it takes to succeed in a more senior role but the relevant stakeholders don’t see that. Or there is room, but their manager is reluctant to support them to get the 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 paygrade. 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.

And 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 chance of a promotion. No wonder we suck at it, if we do step up and try – 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 sharing about yourself and your successes from “showing off” to simply “informing”, 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 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 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!

Book a call with my team for a free coaching session and let’s see what we can do for you!