Field Notes: #IamRemarkable: The art of graceful self-promotion

August 23, 2020
  • Competencies
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • Professional Well-Being
 

"Field Notes" is a regular AACRAO Connect column covering practical and philosophical issues facing admissions and registrar professionals. The columns are authored by various AACRAO members. If you have an idea for a column and would like to contribute, please send an email to the editor at connect@aacrao.org.

by Laura Remillard, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions, Stanford University

I am remarkable. 

You might ask why would I say that? You might think that I am bragging, or have an overblown ego. As a woman, it has never been easy to say those words because some of us were raised not to brag or appear to be overbearing. Those traits have been seen as negative characteristics and less socially attractive, in the working world. 

This year I have been involved in the Stanford’s Women in Technology (WIT) community as a member of the Education and Training committee . The purpose of WIT is to advance representation, engagement, and support for women and non-binary people in technology roles at Stanford. Among other opportunities, WIT offered #IamRemarkable training, a Google initiative that "empowers women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond,” thereby breaking modesty norms.

Accomplishments do not speak for themselves 

What I have learned from the #IamRemarkable training is that it is not easy to break away from a mold. It takes practice and a lot of reflection. As you consider your accomplishments and start to speak about them, you might feel awkward in the beginning or even embarrassed. But if you want to advance in your career and be taken seriously, this is the time to do something. It took me a while to realize that, contrary to what people might think, accomplishments do not speak for themselves. In the modern workplace, team collaboration is popular. Unless you make your contributions known, no one will know exactly what you did. 

The workshop encouraged participants to consider that it is not bragging if it is based on facts.

Tips for self-promotion

Other takeaways included:

  • Practice phrasing and expressing two to three professional accomplishments with friends and colleagues, or your manager.
  • Keep track of your achievements so that when you need it, you have it.
  • Share your accomplishments in a real professional setting, then review and improve.
  • Have goals: use your self-promotion skills to achieve a career goal you set for yourself.

Lastly, get a group of friends or colleagues to share an achievement shout out every Wednesday. “I am remarkable because….” and fill in the accomplishment. 

We all want to feel valued for the hard work we perform. Remember, it is not bragging if it is based on facts, and accomplishments do not speak for themselves.

These things are worth working on because #youtooareremarkable.