What About Shameless Self Promotion…

What about shameless self-promotion when you are looking for work?

I have been grappling with the balance of just doing what I love and simply letting that love spread – and the concept of what I call shameless self-promotion.  And I have come to that there is a balance to strike.

I really have a strong dislike for shameless self-promotion.

I really do.

I think it is preposterous, boastful and lacking a humility that I value.

Hearing someone say, “I am so great” gets me going (and not in a good way).  I get uncharacteristically feisty and in-your-face and want to ask, “Why?  Why are you so great?  Great, like, better than anyone else??”

I don’t like when I am being that way.

So I went to look at the discord I was experiencing.

What am I taking issue with and what is my truth about it?

It starts with that as a Swede, I was raised to keep it down, not boast, not to stick out, to be a part of the communal whole, instead of striking out as an individual.  Out of that, for as much as I speak, I can get both shy, quiet and self conscious in different situations where I feel like I would have to raise my voice to get heard.  Most every self-promotion inside of that cultural context seems shameless!

My second point is this:

Don’t we all feel like people should “just get” how great we are?

Why should I even have to say it?

Which is just bratty on my part and arrogant to the other extreme.

Buddha is my boy in many ways and on this topic he had it right – that there is a Middle Way.  The balance to strike as I see it is:

  • Love your work and do it well.
  • Talk about the work you do because you naturally talk about things you love.  When we are in love with someone, we simply can’t stop jabbering away about that person.  It is the same with the work you’ve given yourself too.  That is your self-promotion and you neither have to use sharpened elbows nor be shameless about it.
  • Circle back to “Go” and dip inside again, to find what the next piece of knowledge you have will truly make a difference for yourself and others.  The one which you want to impart and give the world next.

This process takes me out of my dislike of promoting myself.

I am just talking.

And I am just talking about what I love.

And if someone wants some of it, I am happy to share it.

Does this help?

Does this help you entrepreneurs who are setting out to do something new?

Or you mothers who are about to join the work force again after raising your children?

Or those of you who got laid off and looking for what’s next?

Let me know.  Talk to me.



4 Replies to “What About Shameless Self Promotion…”

  1. Thank you for your post. In my career I have not had to self promote and it would have been frowned upon if I did. So I am not sure this is a subject I am credible to speak on… but here goes a little commentary on your post. You clarified what you are meaning by self promotion. That it is not boasting about yourself, but about talking about what you love to do, and expressing your passion for it. That is helpful. We only have words to communicate but they sometimes have to represent complex reality. Some people say “break out of your comfort zone”. But you still have to be comfortable with yourself.

    1. Yes, yes, yes, Peri! There is a breaking out of your comfort zone where you learn and grow, and then there is another kind that send you into your panic one, where you are way in over your head and when the time isn’t right for you to be there. So yes, learn, but not so fast that you are no longer being you in that process….with love and respect always, Jo

  2. I make money at work I do not “love” but do “love” to do the work well and help as much as possible. The more the challenge of the engagement, the more interested and emotionally involved I become. Given those parameters, I also do not love to “self promote” but do have to given that I am self-employed. I look to be involved with people and companies I like and respect – that way it is easy to talk about what I do. I also believe in “you get what you give” and feel that it is my part to give honest and sincere service. To try to help and support my clients. This is working out well for me – my little company isn’t so little anymore and I am busy all the time. Thank you Jo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *