Unless you're a narcissist, self-promotion isn't an instinctive behavior. In fact, promoting yourself and your work can feel downright unseemly.
But in today’s society the competition is huge and what you know is not the most important thing anymore. It’s whether the right people know about it. Therefore if you want to succeed in your career, you should learn how to present yourself in the best way possible:
How many times has your boss asked you, "What's up?" Chances are you've answered, "Not much," every time. It’s because usually people are unprepared to answer that question, and they blow an opportunity with their boss. Instead try taking the opportunity to say work is great and to speak about the progress of your latest project or of a recent accomplishment.
Performance reviews present another golden opportunity for self-promotion. If there's only one time you feel comfortable giving yourself a pat on the back, let it be during your performance review. Come prepared with a list of accomplishments, projects completed, challenges overcome and feedback from peers. If you miss this chance to promote yourself, you probably don't deserve a raise or a promotion.
It's one thing to get your work done early and let your boss know that you've beat another deadline. Even more effective than that is saying to your boss—and to your peers—that you're available to help other people get their work done, too. This technique is effective because it wins you friends and demonstrates your value to your boss.
The hang-up most people have with self-promotion has to do with the fact that they don't like to talk about themselves, particularly in the context of greatness. So it's helpful to think of self-promotion not as talking about yourself, but as talking about your work. And if you're enthusiastic about your work, self-promotion becomes that much easier.