How to Prove You’re a Pro Without Bragging
No one likes a blowhard.
Unless you are a professional wrestler or hip-hop superstar, chances are people aren’t going to appreciate it if you are constantly running your mouth about how awesome you are.
At the same time, being too quiet about your successes can have adverse effects.
Thanks to LinkedIn, professionals have a place to talk about their successes without it being perceived as overly self-promoting.
But just because there is a stage to do so doesn't mean you should just start flexing on all the people in your network. There's an etiquette - a fine line between talking about your achievements and being a braggart.
So what does that line look like? And how do we walk it without falling to either side?
The Importance of Talking About Your Accomplishments
Some might think that by simply sharing their success stories they are being boastful - and doing so inherently shows a lack of modesty. We get it. But don’t let other people’s blatant arrogance ruin your ability to talk about yourself in a way that is positive and self-promoting.
Talking about yourself increases your chances of being remembered. It reveals a lot about who you are, what you are capable of, and creates an opportunity for someone to be inspired and follow in your footsteps.
Being too humble can have adverse effects as well. Peggy Klaus, Author of Brag: How to Toot Your Own Horn Without Blowing It writes,
“It’s those who visibly take credit for accomplishments who are rewarded with promotions and gem assignments.”
By failing to talk about your achievements, you not only show a lack of confidence but a lack of enthusiasm for the work that you’ve done.
All of these things are far too important to let yourself hide behind a curtain of humility simply because the Kanye Wests of the world have made a bad name for those who have a strong sense of self.
5 Ways to Prove You’re a Pro (Without Bragging)
Here are 5 ways to show the world you are a badass without sounding like a total narcissist.
1. Talk About The Accomplishment, Not Yourself
This one seems a bit obvious, but it needs to be said. When talking about your accomplishments, talk about the situation, not yourself.
What were you trying to accomplish? What obstacles did you have to overcome to succeed? And what was the outcome?
By focusing on the events, and not the characters within them, you create a narrative that becomes relatable and possibly inspiring to those faced with the same challenges.
2. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Reality check - no one is all that impressed by you. They are impressed by what you do. And there aren’t many cases of a person getting to where they are without some influence from other people.
You need to acknowledge the people that helped you get to where you are. Even if it is just the emotional support that you were given along the way.
Think about any acceptance speech ever. “Thank you to my family and friends and fans and…” the list goes on.
People know you didn’t do on your own, so don’t pretend as though you did.
3. Use Humor
A little bit of humor can go a long way. Don’t get us wrong - you don’t have to treat your accomplishments like they are a joke, but by adding a bit of humor when you are talking about yourself makes it more genuine.
However, don’t get humor confused with humblebragging (i.e. masking a compliment to yourself in a complaint).
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Nothing is more off-putting than someone belittling another person to make themselves look more impressive. So it should go without saying that you should never dig on someone else when talking about your own success.
That being said, the opposite is also true. Don’t compare yourself to other successful people. Unless you are looking to make people roll their eyes - because that’s about all you’ll get from it.
5. Show Plenty of Gratitude
This tip is without a doubt the most important. It also speaks for itself. If you aren’t grateful for your success and everything that took place to get you there, do the world a favor and don’t talk about it.
It’s not difficult to show gratitude. Just acknowledge the fact you don’t think you are entitled to success because of who you are.
A quick mention of a colleague’s help, a shoutout to your followers for their dedication, or simply stating that you are thankful for the opportunities you’ve had to do what you do all show that you appreciate the success that you’ve earned.
No matter what your story is, if you’ve achieved something, you shouldn’t feel bad for sharing that with someone else. You deserve to talk about your successes.
The best thing to do before sharing your success with others is to ask yourself, “Why am I sharing?”
If the answer is to impress them or gain their admiration, you’re dangerously close to being a braggart.
Rather, when you own your success and you feel worthy of the things you’ve accomplished, talking about it isn’t about proving your worth, it’s about sharing the stories that got you there.
Now that we've armed you with the tips you need to prove your a pro without bragging, it's time that you take your success stories to the place all professionals go to talk about their careers - LinkedIn. Download our FREE Guide: 5 TIPS FOR LINKEDIN SUCCESS to make sure that you are getting the most out of this awesome networking platform.