How to Get Ahead by 'Humblebragging'

How to Advance Your Career

If you want to climb the corporate ladder, it's not enough to do great work. You also need to make sure that your boss knows about it. The problem is: If you don't do it correctly, talking about yourself can come off as cocky instead of confident.

"You want your supervisor to recognize your hard work (and reward you accordingly), but there's a fine line between tasteful self-promotion (the kind that earns you a raise) and narcissism (where you come off like a boastful jerk). Understanding the difference between the two plays a pivotal role in determining your … career success," author Daniel Bortz says in an article for job search website Monster.

According to Bortz, the best way to boast isn't to brag; rather, it's to "humblebrag."

One way to do exactly that, Bortz says, is to share achievements with your boss "in real time through a quick email, e.g., 'Just landed a big sale! Can't wait to tell you more about it.'"

"Managers want employees to come to them with good news so that they can share that news with their boss," Peggy Klaus, author of Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, tells Bortz.

When you share good news, be enthusiastic, but not hyperbolic. "Good work speaks for itself; don't feel the need to embellish when describing your achievements," Bortz advises. "This means avoiding words like 'excellent' or 'top-notch.'"

Finally, share the credit. "In addition to highlighting your own achievements, you need to show you're a team player," Bortz concludes.

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