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Self promotion tips over into parody

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
Finance and business commentators had a lot of fun last week at the expense of Elon Musk CEO of Tesla who announce his new title would be Technoking. Which makes him sound like a self promoting DJ rapper. It’s not clear why he chose this title other than he does head up a highly successful cutting edge technology organisation. As to King , I can only assume he wishes people to think he is successful, intelligent and talented even if this is at the expense of people not liking him very much for saying so.
In business if you want to get on you have to do some self promotion.
In this country we are a little reticent about blowing our own trumpet. It’s not cool to be considered boastful. However most ambitious managers recognise that when it comes to applying for a promotion you need to sell yourself and make the most of your experience and achievements. Whilst their CV and subsequent interview may reflex a greater willingness to promote themselves many talented people don’t even get as far as the interview because when it comes to managing your career you need to be self promoting way before you apply for promotion.
As an experienced mentor and I like to think successful talent spotter I am always surprised by highly intelligent and motivated individuals who assume their talent and hard work alone will get them recognised and rewarded with promotion. This is not how large organisations work. If you don’t tell people what good work you are doing how do you think they will get to know?  Are you expecting your boss to be singing your praises to higher management because that’s not a very reliable method. Managers have been known to take credit for the work of others!
One of the most effective ways of promoting yourself is to volunteer to be on a corporate working group or involved in a corporate project, that way you network more widely, come into contact with different senior managers who can see your contribution. You can also promote your organisation’s successes , the ones you have been involved in, by writing them up in professional journals, perhaps jointly publish the work with a colleague.
If it’s considered innovative or an example of good practise others will be interested to hear about it. This could result in being asked to make a presentation at a conference. This happened to me on a number of occasions. I discovered that other people simply couldn’t be bothered writing up a success story into an article yet journals were always keen to get pieces on innovative practices or the background to a successful project written by a practitioner.
Changing your job title to make yourself sound more important won’t fool anyone, if you want people to know about your good work you need to tell them.

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