In her book What To Do With the Rest of Your Life, Robin Ryan identifies 10 career killers. Today we’ll look at two and explore a third, all related to self-presentation.
Click here to look up the book.
Killer #1: Wait to be noticed. Expect that you’ll be recognized if you do good work, so don’t announce your successes.You just finished a degree, won an award and maybe got a paper published. Have you shared your news with those who have the power to reward you?
Positive colleague and bosses want to hear about your successes. If their response is lack of interest or even jealousy, you’re seeing red flags all over the place.
And if you’re a solo-preneur, share triumphs with customers and clients. They want to know they’re dealing with a winner.
Killer #2: Demand credit you don’t deserve. Claim credit for the success of others. Brag about skills and talents beyond what you have.
These days, most of us work in a spotlight. It’s too easy to be exposed for inauthentic self-promotion. Not worth the risk, in my opinion.
Killer #3: Get noticed for the wrong reasons. Share potentially damaging personal information about yourself.
Last weekend I saw the movie Notes on a Scandal, an outrageous example of inappropriate self-disclosures and weak boundaries. With coworkers and colleagues, you’re always “on.”
Even experienced professionals can drop their guard and share personal information when they’re feeling stressed and/or lonely. We’re most vulnerable right after a major move or career change. (Did you see the movie Notes on a Scandal? An outrageous example of confiding in the wrong person, among other things.)
During a career change or other transition, most people need 2 kinds of support: personal and informational. Personal support –from family and close friends — gives you a safe place to talk about feelings. Informational support – from professional colleagues, mentors and consultants – provides perspective: you get to figure out what’s really going on.
Self-presentation can be a great career challenge for anyone. Ultimately, in my experience, it’s a combination of judgment and support. My own report, Bragging 101: Promote Yourself With Professionalism, is based on the idea that brag is not a 4-letter word – if you do it the right way!