Or the career woman’s guide to self promotion.
Even though I may not be qualified to be the head of the NIMN, I would still like to be considered for the seat. Before you dismiss my request as comic babble, I will like to point out that the current race for the President of the United States has made it abundantly clear that lack of qualifications are an advantage.
When you really think about it, being unqualified can be freeing. For starters, unburdened by unnecessary things like skills sets and leadership ability, you might actually succeed in getting the important things done. Like quoting bogus facts, using the race as an inexpensive press roll out to sell an album and reminding people that you are in fact infallible as the constituted authority.
There’s a number of reasons to support me. One is that I take a mean headshot but more importantly, my efforts are groundbreaking because studies have shown that the average woman rarely throws her hat in the ring for jobs she doesn’t feel 100% qualified for. Worse still, even deserved accomplishments are hardly self promoted. It has been suggested (most notably by Sheryl Sandberg in her book “Lean In”) that the core reason this happens is because women are often conditioned from childhood to be likeable and show more stereotypically feminine traits like altruism and empathy.
What’s been helpful for me, and for the women I’m surrounded by in overcoming this conditioning, is to:
- Not think of self-promotion as pumping yourself up or faking: Particularly helpful is to think of yourself as your own PR manager tasked with the responsibility of highlighting the impact of your clients work. This will put you in a more comfortable position to spotlight your successes and allow you view your efforts as honest sharing and highlighting real accomplishments.
- Use the buddy system: Build a community of people who understand and appreciate the value of your work, motivate you to volunteer for visible assignments, have your voice heard in high profile meetings, publicly share results from successful projects and speak up for you in meetings you’re not present at. The value from this is far reaching and cannot be overemphasised.
- Remember that saying “Thank you” is enough: I’ve been guilty of this so many times in my life where upon receiving a compliment on my work from a colleague or boss, I have attempted to shrink the accomplishment for fear of appearing too full of myself. Today, I know that “Thank you” is a great and effective response. Minimising accomplishments only serves to minimise your value to your organisation and we don’t want that.
Now back to my very serious campaign efforts. Campaign posters are coming to a LinkedIn page near you. Spread the word!
P.S: If you enjoyed reading this, please take a moment to subscribe to the blog by scrolling to the bottom of the blog’s feed. It only takes 30 seconds and in the welcome email, I reveal at least one embarrassing thing about myself. Wouldn’t you like to know? 👀