It was time to click a group photograph and I called the HR manager to come and sit in the center. She said, “Aparna, I prefer to click the photograph than getting clicked.” I said, “Come on join us you have put in so much effort to coordinate this event and without you, the photograph will be incomplete.”
“No, if I sit in the center then people will think that I want to be center of attraction. I would prefer to be ignored and have no desire to behave like a jerk. I believe my work speaks for itself I don’t need a photograph to get my work noticed”
After the event, we were having a coffee together and I again said,
“You should have joined us in the photograph at least for me.” She kept staring at coffee, took a deep breath and responded, “I don’t like drawing attention because it is considered as visibility factor in my company. People start commenting and I can smell the J factor” (jealousy).
Now that made me think how many of you are good at drawing attention towards what you achieve? Our belief system shapes us. We are always told that we should take a back seat. If you struggle to claim credit for your achievements it may cost you throughout your career. The cost will be higher when you’re trying for a promotion. Without showing and discussing what you contribute how will you qualify for the next level?
Claiming and showing your hard work and accomplishments does not make you self-centered or self-serving. It sends a strong message that you are ready to rise and the performers may need to learn how to deal with J factor. But we tend to fall in the trap of not disturbing the environment around us and try to be nice with peers.
And here I would like to draw your attention to the piece of write up mentioned in the book ‘How Women Rise’ author has mentioned that management sometimes mistrusts women /employees who are not claiming their achievements. They view behavior as inauthentic, falsely humble and lacking in commitment.
Sit right in the middle, self-promotion is an art. Learning to be your own best advocate on the job can take may need redesigning of your belief system. But, if you don’t look out for yourself, nobody else will. You can take charge of your career journey by self-promoting with humble confidence. If you think someone will notice your great work and give what you deserve then your career is at someone’s mercy.