• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

October 14, 2009

How Shy Girls Win at Work

jobs, careers and the workplace

Photo Credit: N. Hendrickson/Getty Images

Special Offer

In this job market, quiet types can't afford to fly under the radar while chattier—though not necessarily more talented—colleagues get all the plum assignments. We asked Nancy Ancowitz, author of Self-Promotion for Introverts, how to overcome your diffidence and outshine the show-offs.

Perfect your (vocal) pitch. Wallflowers tend to end their statements as if asking a question—So, I had an idea for next week's client presentation? "You can't sell yourself if you sound like an insecure sorority sister," warns Ancowitz. Her suggestion: Use a tape recorder to practice speaking more authoritatively. Keep at it until you quit sounding like a wounded kitten.

Stick with numbers, not adjectives. "Introverts are averse to bragging, but if your boss doesn't see you shine, you're done for," says Ancowitz. Here's how to remind her of your achievements without showboating: Provide quantifiable metrics. If she asks whether you're on track to meet your sales targets, say something like, "At this rate, I'll exceed them by 20 percent."

Solicit feedback immediately. Punctuate your pitch with a subtle request for guidance, like, "Any thoughts on how to make my proposal better?" This approach puts the onus on your manager to help you succeed. "Plus, you'll come across as thoughtful and collaborative, which bosses live for," says Ancowitz.

Invest in some bold accessories. "Your appearance speaks volumes before you even say a word, and you need for it to say that you mean business," says Ancowitz. Ditch the mousy colors and rock one standout piece—a patterned belt, a chunky necklace—every single day.

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Go to the Beach

Go to the Beach

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Money Advice
Smart, Sexy Money

Live your richest life — no matter what you earn — with these no-fail tips from LearnVest's money guru Alexa von Tobel.

The Rich Girl's Money Rules to Live By

Want to earn more? Spend smarter? Live a glamorous life? Take charge of your money with our financial cheat sheet.

Real-Life Revenge of the Nerds

A new book suggests that teenage outcasts are the most likely to succeed as adults.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.