How to Toot Your Own Horn – the Right Way

It’s the beginning of December – and you know what that means:

It’s time to prepare for your end of year review.

Whether you’re trying to position yourself for a promotion or raise, or recover from a poor review last year, success starts with tooting your own horn.

The right way, that is!

When it comes to your career success, there’s a fine line between highlighting your accomplishments and outright bragging. On the one hand, you need to show your boss all the great things you’ve achieved over the past year. On the other, you don’t want to come across as an egomaniac.

Here are a few pointers on how to strike the right balance:

Consider your personality.

  • If self-talk isn’t your thing, or if you worry about sounding obnoxious, it’s fine to admit you’re a little uncomfortable talking yourself up.
  • If you fall on the other side of the confidence spectrum, learn how to use it wisely. Remember to show, not just tell your supervisor how awesome you are.

Whether you’re shy or extremely confident, preparation is important. Come armed with a single-page synopsis of your best attributes, biggest wins, testimonials and recommendations. Use the tips below to share successes without boasting.

Be specific. Sweeping generalities like “I’ve done amazing work” do nothing to make your case, and they can backfire by creating the misconception that you’re arrogant. If you found a way to save time, improve processes or generate revenue for your company, prepare details to explain to your manager.

Provide proof. Offer facts, measurable results and feedback from clients, customers or fellow employees to back up your claims. Let data and other people do the bragging for you.

Only take credit for your own accomplishments – and share the spotlight when it’s warranted. If you were part of a team that achieved a lofty goal, explain exactly what you contributed. Extend kudos to your coworkers for their help in making the effort a success.

Pay it forward to yourself. Make tooting your own horn easier on yourself by starting a success file for next year, now:

  • When you accomplish something that applies to any of your performance goals, note it in the file.
  • Throughout the year, add copies of written compliments, commendations and awards.
  • Build a success portfolio that includes work samples, reports or other data that support your accomplishments.

Related posts:

Preparing for a Year End Review
How to Turn Around a Bad Performance Review

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