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Hey, You Can Still be Humble and Brag About Your Career Achievements - Here’s How to do it Right

There is a formula to bragging; be honest, acknowledge your efforts and the teams you worked with and you might get some new opportunities. Learn how to brag about your career achievement to get the attention that matters

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There is a formula to bragging; be honest, acknowledge your efforts and the teams you worked with and you might get some new opportunities. Learn how to brag about your career achievement to get the attention that matters


Social media has taught us that self-promotion and affirmations pay off and they have the capacity to bring you the right (and even wrong) kind of attention. In the work context, the right attention to your career achievements can get you a promotion, a grant, a new project, a travel opportunity, and the list goes on. The issue is, no one comes to work to brag about your career achievements. Most people actually never see your achievements until they are direct beneficiaries. This is why you need to brag about your career achievements, but it requires finesse so you do not sound tacky or arrogant.

Here are tips on how to brag about your career achievements the right way, who knows it might even land you your next opportunity.

Don’t try to be humble about the brag - own it

Humblebragging in the African context is different from the western world. We do it by trying to act like the success wasn’t as difficult for us or by making our personal achievements collective efforts so we don’t stand out. At the back of your mind, you are hoping someone will read between the lines and give you your flowers. Well, they most likely won’t. 

This 2017 study shows that humblebragging is a form of self-denial where you aren’t fully realizing the efforts and resources that went into the success. The fellow app website adds that humblebragging is more likely to come across as arrogant—you’re less likely to be portrayed as arrogant if you outright bragged about your accomplishment. So own it. 


Make it brief and the tone light, positive and grateful

Fellow further asserts that as you brag the focus is on your successes, keep it short. In case someone else gives you praise always say thank you to them. Avoid talking in too much detail about the struggles you overcame or the capabilities that you needed to succeed. Doing so can make it seem like you don’t think anyone else would have been able to achieve the same thing, which is an arrogant thought. 

About the tone, the way you convey your successes has a big impact on how they’re received. It can make the difference between, “Wow, I’m proud of myself for that,” vs. “Yeah, I actually knew I’d be able to do that anyway.” To keep your tone from sounding arrogant, focus on avoiding matter-of-fact tones. Keep your tone light, positive, and grateful. 


Be honest about your achievements and do not mention your weaknesses

If you struggle with telling the difference between when you are being arrogant and when you are being honest about the achievement, use data to communicate your achievements. For example, “When I took on this role, I grew our market portfolio from K customers to J customers.”

Mentioning weaknesses could bias a listener and wash away the efforts it took to achieve your success. It may also give unnecessary details of critical opinions you have of yourself. Mention your achievement and leave it at that.


Acknowledge the team or company you worked with for their efforts and share your gratitude for their efforts even as you brag

Successes are hardly a one-man effort, a lot of seen and unseen work goes into making them happen. Acknowledge these team efforts as you brag about your career achievements. It portrays a self-aware and grounded person who sees their team and the value their team members bring.

Sharing your gratitude for the people you worked with takes entitlement out of the picture. Keep it light and genuine. People can sniff a kiss-ass a mile away and may not buy your bragging.


Timing is everything if you want the right people to listen

There are a few moments when it’s paramount and appropriate to brag about your career achievements because people want to hear you out:


It’s inappropriate to brag when someone else is receiving praise because it takes the spotlight off of them and you may be perceived as narcissistic or self-centred. Bragging about your career achievements during a crisis or when a team member is sharing their struggles is also inappropriate because there are more pressing issues at hand.

An honorary mention bragging about your achievements. It works well with a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness. Because you get to believe you actually put in the work and also recognize when you are toeing the line of arrogance. It may start out awkward but it gets easier and better. Hope this article was insightful, you deserve your flowers, so go forth and brag about your career achievements, trailblazer.

Written by

Anita Kamba

A Ugandan Civil Engineering Professional working with a Ugandan government corporation. I am also a social media content creator and writer. Most of my creative work is influenced by personal experiences and those of people around me.

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