** Kind of a different post today. Let me know what you think! **
Once again life has got in the way of blogging. They finally announced the promotion board I’ve been waiting for at work, and my life has been taken over by writing the application form for the last week and a half. It’s an absolute monster, standing at about 6000 words (one question has a 2500 word limit, so it’s not just me being waffly). It’s also super repetitive, because they basically ask you three very similar sets of questions for some reason.
So when it came to the last question, where you get 300 words to tell them anything else about why you are suitable for the job you haven’t already covered elsewhere, and there was nothing I hadn’t already covered elsewhere, I threw caution to the wind and wrote a list of why I am amazing, without any examples. Saying things like “I am recognised by analytical and policy colleagues for consistently delivering work to the highest standard” and using words like “exceptional”.
It was incredibly hard for me to write all this blowing my own trumpet without giving specifics. I was actually inwardly cringing as I wrote it. I think the reason I dislike this kind of chat so much is because the people that are really into it are often the people that have least justification to do so. Like they talk about all being great instead of actually doing something that would make them great. And I know it works, I’ve worked with loads of people, usually senior to me, who actually do very little work, and just bullshit their way through life. And even though it’s blatantly obvious (to me, anyway), somehow seem to get away with it.
But I’d hate to be like that. I want to be recognised for being good at my job, absolutely, but I prefer to be recognised organically, by the people that actually use my work, not by having to go round ‘selling myself’. This is probably the key thing holding me back in my career (along with my inability to hide it when I think people are doing a crap job or are talking nonsense), but even if I do somehow managed to acquire the bullshitting skills that some people have, I can’t see how it would make me happy, because I’d feel like a cheat. Right now I might not have the highest profile I could have, but I know, I’m bloody good at my job, and I know that the people I’ve worked with know that, and that gives me a satisfaction all of its own.
On the other hand, once I got over myself it was actually quite fun to write those 300 words. Too damn right I’m fantastic at analysing, presenting, writing, interviewing, project managing, networking, coaching, negotiating, you name it! Go me! And when I read it back this morning, it wasn’t actually as bad as I imagined. It *is* all true, and I could evidence it if I needed to. I did evidence it in the rest of the form actually.
So I think those self promotion skills are in there somewhere, I just need a bit of practice. And who knows, one day I might even enjoy it, maybe. And if the people doing the good work don’t sell themselves, then you’re just leaving the floor open for the bullshitters, aren’t you?