Are you doing the hard work every day but feeling undervalued? Do you have more to offer your company, but no one seems to notice or care? Are you bursting with untapped potential but don’t know how to communicate your value?
That was me too. But then I learned a priceless lesson. You can be doing great work to get ahead and earn more, but it doesn’t matter if the right people don’t know. Other people influence your career. They need to know about you, your contributions, and your value in order for you to get recognized and rewarded.
This valuable lesson was transformative in my career! I went from an invisible high-performing wallflower with her head down to a sought-after, high-profile woman in tech with a global network. And I am painfully introverted. At first, talking about myself wasn’t easy. But it is now. If I can do this, then you can do it too with my fail-proof strategy:
STEP 1: When you do great work, document it!
I write everything great I do down in my DevelopHer At-A-Girl Journal. I track my accomplishments. I do this for two reasons. First, so I have an accurate log of all that I’ve done. I use this for proof points in interviews and updates to my portfolio and résumé. Secondly, and equally important, it helps me reflect on what I have done, how far I’ve come, and the progress I’ve made.
STEP 2: Tell people about the work you’ve done!
It’s not enough to do great work. You, and only you, are responsible for making sure that people know about it. Many women struggle with talking about their success, but I promise it doesn’t have to be icky or self-promotional.
For me, I make sure that my entire network knows about my achievements. I share my progress with both my internal company and my external networks. I’ll post a quick update on a company Slack feed or mention my work in a recap meeting internally – whatever is appropriate with company culture. I use conversation starters like “I’m thrilled to share that (insert accomplishment),” or “I’m honored to share that (insert accomplishment),” or “I’m proud to be (insert accomplishment).”
The easiest way to begin sharing your progress is by sharing your involvement in group work. Use something like, “I’m honored to be part of the team that has launched this great new product!” Then insert an image of the team or link to an article with a photo on it. And make sure to recognize your team members too!
Once you’ve built this muscle, it will become natural to share your accomplishments every time you experience success. My bet is you are already doing this on a personal level. Now it’s time to do it professionally too.
STEP 3: Get started. Now.
So, what is one significant achievement you’ve had this last month? Have you told anyone besides your mother? Have you reflected on what this means for you and your career? If not, now’s the time to share it. You can start small with your immediate network and as your confidence builds, share it with your broader network. I created DevelopHer to help empower women in tech to ignite their potential and build their value. It’s so important that once we are confident in our skills, we make sure to share our success with others. Before you know it, you’ll have a strong reputation, and everyone will know you for the great work you do. And once people know your true value, the opportunities for you to get ahead in your tech career will be everywhere.