The other day I had a conversation with a colleague. She is an amazing person with extensive knowledge in her field, however, no one in the organization really understands why she chooses not to share knowledge when asked. She is frustrated because no one seems to comprehend her expertise. Sadly, this is a common occurrence. We may have been brought up to be modest and to not “brag” on ourselves. We may feel that others should just know what it is that we do. No matter what the reason for your reluctance, you need to put aside these feelings and sell your worth. Below are the top five excuses I have heard over the years for people choosing not to explain their own worth:
Excuse #1: Employers know every single thing I do.
Often we assume that our employer or supervisor understands exactly what it is that we do. While in some cases this is true, often supervisors do not realize the depth or breadth of knowledge you possess. Help them understand the lengths you go to in order to do your job. Show them the depth and breadth of your knowledge. This can benefit you when you receive a review, raise, or promotion.
Excuse #2 My work should speak for itself.
While this is a nice sentiment, the reality is that most supervisors are just too busy with their workload. Gone are the days when secretaries and administrative assistants were the right-hand of supervisors. While they might know your work is fine, they often do not have time to know everyone and their capabilities.
Excuse #3 People are trying to micromanage me.
While this may be the case, what you feel is micromanaging may be a sign that your supervisor does not understand what it is that you do. They want to know that you have things under control. By being proactive and explaining what you are planning to do in order to accomplish a task , you can lessen the questioning from someone who wants to know everything.
Excuse #4: I do not need to share my knowledge (i.e. knowledge is power).
You may feel the knowledge you gain over the years is your right of passage, but really this knowledge belongs to the company. The Millennial generation, who are now becoming supervisors, do not believe knowledge is power, even if you do. Knowledge is meant to be shared. If you choose not to share your knowledge, you may be left out in today’s world where employers and colleagues expect all knowledge to be shared. Instead, make of point of creating continuity books. Write down what it is you do. Better yet, create a training program to share your knowledge. Show your worth by showing the organization you care about your long-term success.
Excuse #5: I do not want to brag.
This is probably the biggest challenge for many people. We think we are “parading” our skills by bragging or showing off. We need to remember that people do not know what they do not know. You do not have to be boastful or brag to get attention. Instead, Help your employer understand your contributions and capabilities, by just providing the facts.
The bottom line is that employers are not going to advocate for you, you need to advocate for yourself. You also need to show your worth, especially in today’s competitive work environment. Consider connecting to a mentor if this is a challenge for you.