• Karen

Becoming Shameless

Updated: Apr 12

Shameless—lacking any sense of shame.

Shame—a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone about the art, and necessity, of gently promoting yourself whenever possible. This colleague said, “If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will!” I totally agree, and in fact said much the same thing nine years ago: https://karensouthw.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/you-gotta-blow-your-own-trumpet/

All these years later, the situation hasn’t changed much. You, yes YOU, need to be the main cheerleader and PR promoter of your career. If anything, the increased level of social media noise has made it even harder to stand out from the crowd.

Something that has changed for the better is the way younger professionals are showing us how to shamelessly speak up and promote our work, our businesses, and our ideas. I’m not sure what combination of factors has made many younger professionals so good at asking for and getting what they need, but I’m awfully glad to have their example. Was it coming of age in an interconnected and social media soaked world? Was it watching their parents and grandparents get squashed by new and unexpected marketplace realities? Was it inspiration or desperation? While I wait for those answers, I continue to work at being a shameless self-promoter.

And why should we have shame about talking up our accomplishments, or asking for what we want and need to go to the next level of success? For those of us who came from particular generations or cultures where we’ve been shushed for bragging or asking, it can be a struggle. Personally, I’ve found YouTube creators a great source of inspiration.

This is a huge topic, but one place to start, especially if you have trouble asking for what you need, is Amanda Palmer’s viral Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMj_P_6H69g

We can be shameless—without shame—as we move through life.

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