Master Self-Promotion to Get Ahead

If you want to be noticed and get ahead, you need to get past that discomfort of self-promotion. I wish we didn’t have to do […]

If you want to be noticed and get ahead, you need to get past that discomfort of self-promotion.

I wish we didn’t have to do it, but the way the world works, it’s not enough to be great at what you do. You also have to be good at promoting yourself. 

But how do you do that without coming across as arrogant or self-absorbed? Here are three strategies on how to get ahead by promoting yourself with grace and confidence.
Become Visible, the Right Way.

It’s not so much about putting yourself in the spotlight, as about letting people know what you’re capable of and about the value that you bring.  It’s not so much: “This is me, I’m special”. Rather: “This is what I can bring to the table, this is what I can do for you/the organization/the team.”
Think: “contribution” instead of “vanity campaign”.

Let people understand the abilities and accomplishments that you have, and that you are willing to stretch yourself to deliver more value in the future. 

Push Past the Impostor Syndrome.

In Greek mythology the hero Odysseus was warned by the sorceress Circe that on his way home from the Trojan War he would encounter many perils, the first of which were the Sirens. They were treacherous monsters whose seductive song would lure sailors to carelessly approach their island where their ships would break on the rocks. Odysseus ordered his men to plug their ears with beeswax so they wouldn’t hear the singing and this way could pass the Sirens without falling into their trap. 

Just like them, you need to make yourself immune to the whispers of the Impostor Syndrome. This syndrome is a common condition, paradoxically experienced mostly by capable people, especially the high-achievers.
It lures you into staying in a comfort zone by its own “siren song” that goes like this: “You are not good enough. Who do you think you are? Stay put. Keep your head down. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Stay small, stay safe”.
If you listen to it, you will not be safe at all, but rather you will end up like those ships, broken and forgotten. 

If you need help with overcoming the Impostor Syndrome, download the eBook “Outsmart the Impostor Syndrome”. available on this website under Free Resources. You can even find which type of the IS you are in the included quiz. And of course, if you want coaching to overcome it for good, contact me and we can start working on it right away.

Put down your “tiara” and pick up the mike.

It would be so nice if people noticed and rewarded your hard work.
But most people are more focused on their own work and issues than on seeing and appreciating others.

And it is just so upsetting to me to hear some of my talented, capable clients who say in frustration: “Why don’t they choose me?” “Why am I underpaid?” “Why don’t I get better projects?”

And when I ask them: “Do you actively champion your own cause? Do you raise your hand for projects or promotions? Do you highlight your contributions enough?” – the answer is usually: “No. I simply hoped that my good work would be recognized and appreciated.” 

This expectation that if you keep doing your job well, someone will notice you and place a metaphorical tiara on your head as a form of recognition is as false as that siren song. People who suffer from Tiara Syndrome really believe that they will be recognized for their value and automatically be rewarded and paid what they are worth.

But the reality is, you have to ask for what you want. And if you don’t ask, the answer is always *no*.

If you think you suffer from the Tiara Syndrome, try your best to overcome it because the cost of it is very real. Some studies show that women might earn around 500 thousand US dollars less than men in the same roles in the course of their working career because they don’t negotiate pay rises, while men do. 

Don’t be that person! Speak up for yourself and get what you are worth, whether this is money, a leadership role or a development program. Put down that tiara, and pick up a mike instead. Start advocating for yourself and being your own best champion. It gets better with time, I promise.

Special note for women.

Men and women don’t play the same game. According to a 2019 survey of more than 1,000 working women, 84% said they feel uncomfortable talking about professional or academic accomplishments, and more than 69% said they prefer to downplay their achievements. 

Read that again.

We have that unfortunate tendency to “wait to be recognized”, “wait for the right moment” or “wait for an opportunity to present itself”. You can wait a long time, sister.

Fortune favors the brave and the active.

Create your own opportunities and have courage to step into stretch assignments. You know that when you do, you rise to the occasion.

Work with me to push through your own perfectionism and limiting beliefs to create your own luck, or join my online program to build the skills and mindsets necessary to set you apart from the crowd and get the opportunities and rewards you deserve.


With leadership greetings,

More resources for you:

Get Libby Gill’s eGuide: The Top 10 Career Killers and How to Avoid them (tip: Tiara Syndrome is # 10) 

or get any other of her free resources for leaders



The Politics of Promotion: How High-Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead by Bonnie Marcus

Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz