We all like to think that we will be rewarded with opportunities and advancement if we work hard, obtain results, and strive for professional excellence. But, competency, hard work and good results do not automatically translate to professional rewards. Selfpromotion is often the missing ingredient and may be all that stands between you and that next great opportunity. Here are some tips to master the art of effective self-promotion.

Modesty is not the best policy. If you are uncomfortable promoting yourself, change the way you think about it. Consider it a job requirement, not unnecessary bragging. Making self-promotion a priority will help you present your best professional image to those making decisions about your future. Employers often require employee self-assessments prior to determining raises and promotions. If you do not learn to effectively selfpromote, you will not present your best self-assessment to the decision makers. By thinking of self-promotion as a function of your profession, akin to mandatory training, you will become more comfortable with the concept and less modest when it comes to your career.

Keep track of your achievements. If you are not conscious of your achievements, others will not be. Keep track of your achievements, and leadership appointments. If you record your achievements as they occur, you will have them handy when it is time to self-promote.

Be prepared to self-promote when an opportunity presents itself. Have a commercial ready for unexpected opportunities. If you end up in an elevator with your department head, be ready to introduce yourself, explain what you do, and how you contribute to the organization. Convey enthusiasm so that she will understand your passion.

Be prepared to self-promote when an opportunity does not present itself. If you accomplished something important, get the word out. Send an email to a colleague telling her about a recent project, and ask for opportunities to assist her with similar projects. Or, if you want a leadership position, ask for a meeting to discuss how you can better serve the organization.

Accept well deserved praise. When someone compliments you, do not belittle your contribution. Acknowledge your efforts, explain how rewarding the results are and express gratitude. Be proactive. Do not assume your work will speak for itself.

Be proactive and plant the seeds for future opportunities, including assignments, leadership positions, etc. Do not wait to be handed your opportunity to shine.