If you struggle to claim credit for your achievements, it may cost you throughout your career. But the costs will be highest when you’re trying to move to the next level or seeking a new job. Speaking up about what you contribute and detailing why you’re qualified does not make you self-centered or self-serving. It sends a signal that you’re ready to rise.

Search firms confirm that women applying for jobs are often less assertive than men when it comes to declaring their qualifications. Fern, a partner in a firm that places health care professionals, says, “We find women are often tentative when describing their skills and experience. It’s not uncommon to come across comments in application letters such as, ‘I’ve never held a position like this before so I’m not sure if my qualifications are an exact match.
ducts and assume that customers “should” want to buy them. They have a marketing function that is designed to effectively promote what they do. You, as a professional, need one too. Otherwise, when the praise you hope for is not forthcoming, you might feel unappreciated and under-acknowledged. You may start to resent not only the higher-ups who seem unaware of all the hard work you do but also colleagues who are skilled at getting noticed. You may then decide they’re just showboats and congratulate yourself on being less self-centered, taking comfort in your own wonderfulness even as you stay in the shadows.
How could they not have? Maureen asked herself, though she did not put the question to her practice head. Hadn’t anyone in the firm noticed that she’d been working her tail off since the day she arrived? Given her record of achievement, why on earth would they not have assumed partnership was her goal? Did they imagine she wanted to be an associate for the rest of her life?

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