Promotion from What

What serves your career better: self-promotion or praising others?

Don’t read on. Stop. Really answer that question first.

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While the answer is both, this was not meant as a trick question. Your answer probably says something about what your career needs. If you answered self-promotion because that’s what you do, it may be that you will really benefit from bolstering your colleagues.

If you answered self-promotion because that’s what you aspire to, then you may in fact need more of that.

And of course, vice versa for promoting others.

Doing great work isn’t enough. You need to self-promote to cultivate advocates for you within your organization. But exclusively self-promoting (a common male malady) will create a reputation of self-centeredness and selfishness. Likewise, only talking about others (a common female malady) will gain you a reputation for being nice but not exceptional.

So the real question isn’t the theoretical one I posed above. The real question is the specific one for you. What will better serve your career: self-promotion or praising others?

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