Excelling at work is always the goal. But taking credit for your accomplishments can leave you feeling anxious and awkward about what to say and how to say it.
So how do you highlight a job well done without sounding like a long-winded, obnoxious show-off?
You guessed it: carefully.
Bragging is a major buzzkill and a surefire way to irritate and alienate your colleagues. But the ability to acknowledge your contributions with confidence can lead to raises, new job titles and nicer office views. In this era of job instability, tooting your own horn with finesse in the workforce is an art form worth mastering.
The difference between being a gasbag or a confident employee proud of your work revolves around intention, tone and delivery.
Here are 10 ways to embrace the excitement and energy of your strong performance and call attention to it in a healthy way.
Show don’t tell. Communicate your brand by showing people what you can do. Let your results speak for themselves.
Share kudos. Praise your team or the individuals who had a role in your success. It’s always a smart move to find a way to acknowledge the contributions of others who help you stand out. While lifting others, you lift yourself.
Share your struggle. Let others know about the challenges you met. Your difficulties make you relatable and eliminates pretense.
Credit your company’s motivating role. Find a way to tie your accomplishments back to the company’s vision statement or mission. Show how your work benefitted the company.
Track your achievements. Create a document to note your successes. Include positive feedback. Review this list before your performance review.
Enlist someone to brag about you. Distance yourself from boasting by finding someone impressed with your work who is willing to gush about it.
Watch social cues. If your coworkers are rolling their eyes or suddenly fascinated with their shoes when you speak, that’s a sure sign you need to make some adjustments.
Use humor or a humble approach. Doing so can make you feel more relaxed. But be careful you don’t lapse into the detested humble brag, a shiny boast covered in falsely modest attire. This backdoor crowing works by using fake humility. “Must cancel my weekend plans. So many clients!" A Harvard Business School study last spring found the humble brag, which is increasingly popular in social media, could make others view you as insincere and less likable.
Tell a short story about your accomplishment. Paint a picture of your achievement with words and include the role others performed.
Avoid too many “I” sentences. This is especially true during interviews. Instead of saying, “I am a leader” use language that shows the interviewer that is the case. Avoid sounding conceited.
It’s fine to toot your own horn. Wanting others to be impressed with the value of your contributions makes you human. And in a competitive workspace, self-promotion is downright smart. Just avoid overdoing it.