Two recent studies suggest that a reluctance to brag could be holding women back when it comes to work opportunities. If you’re searching for a new job online, it may be time to improve your bragging skills.
Researchers at Montana State University confirmed the conventional wisdom that women are less comfortable than men when it comes to talking about their accomplishments. They put female students to the test by asking them to write an essay about why they deserved a merit scholarship. The group that did best was the one that was tricked into thinking there was a box in the room emitting sound waves that caused anxiety even though they couldn’t be heard. It appeared that the students blamed their discomfort on the box which freed them up to brag about themselves more effectively.
An earlier study at the University of Massachusetts reached similar conclusions. They found that women working with men were less likely to take credit for their work than women with female colleagues.
Being able to talk about your achievements is essential to landing a new job and advancing in your career. If you’re struggling with excess modesty, consider these tips:
Focus on the bottom line. Downplaying your qualifications is expensive. The typical woman still earns less over her lifetime than her male counterpart.
Build your confidence. Think of it as telling the truth rather than boasting. Assess your strengths and get feedback from people you trust.
Distract yourself. You don’t have to have an imaginary box like the experiment above. Focus on your work rather than your fears.
Talk about results. Sticking to the facts will impress an employer and reduce your stress. Take credit for cutting costs or improving quality.
Team up. You may find it easier to promote others. Network with colleagues you can say nice things about.
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