By Joyce Lain Kennedy

DEAR JOYCE: All of you career advisers keep telling job seekers to brag about their accomplishments. I have a problem with that -- why doesn't my good work speak for itself? I'm the shy, reserved type. What if I don't brag about myself? -- B.L.

If you don't say good things about yourself, who will? Others can carry your praise packs in the workplace -- people who know the richness of your skills, competencies and character can write glowing references for a new job or whisper in the boss's ear when job-saves or promotions are handed out.

But even if you're not a schmoozer or a cheerleader, you can bypass bragging and do effective self-promotion with activities that tap your strengths -- such as writing, researching and listening.

Examples range from writing blogs that display your expertise in a subject, to preparing resumes that emphasize your accomplishments, to expanding contacts through informational interviewing. This advice comes from career advancement coach Nancy Ancowitz, author of a new book, "Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead" (McGraw-Hill).

Are you introverted or shy? Experts see a difference, Ancowitz reports. A summary of her comparison: "Introverts are apt to be quieter, which is often interpreted as shyness. However, it may or may not be. Shyness has more to do with a lack of social skills. Introverts are more self-contained. Introverts are more likely to be shy than extroverts but that's not always the case."

Whatever's behind your reluctance to speak out for yourself, this is the first book I've seen with serious research on the topic that leads to a new game plan; it may help you promote yourself without bragging.

DEAR JOYCE: We keep hearing about jobs that aren't coming back. What are those jobs and why aren't they coming back? -- Y.C.

There are two main reasons why some jobs are sailing into the sunset in America: technology and competition from low-wage countries

A few examples of shrinking occupations: secretaries, administrative workers, mailroom clerks, record shop retailers, employees of directory publishers and photofinishing companies, and a range of jobs that can be digitized and worked anywhere.

Answers to the gone-forever-jobs issue are complex and speculative. Browse for "disappearing jobs" but realize that while some forecasts are commonsense, others are pure guesstimates. Don't miss these two Web sites:

-- The Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Quarterly, The current special issue, "Charting the projections: 2008-18," offers graphic answers to essential employment questions -- how many jobs there'll be and how fast that number is changing. The next issue, due in the spring, will brief the Occupational Outlook Handbook, itemizing the expected market occupation-by-occupation.

-- Job Destruction Directory, This directory contains the names of companies that hire visa workers from abroad and is thought to be the most comprehensive of its kind.

DEAR JOYCE: I stumbled upon an old Dallas Morning News clipping from 1993 and wondered if your booklet, "Home Businesses Under $5,000," is still available? -- L.A.P.

Ah, sorry, no. That booklet's been out of print for a long time. After rooting around and finding a file copy, I saw that some of the 65 pocket-money ideas in the booklet still have validity: Do any of these strike your fancy?

Academic keyboarding term papers, dissertations and grant proposals; antique refinishing; auto detailing service; baby-sitter referral service; barter club management; bicycle renovation; bookkeeping service; carpet cleaning service; catering; child care; craft marketing; freelance writing; fundraising; garage sales management; genealogy tracking; housecleaning; houseplant tending; lawn mower repairing; medical claims preparation; multilevel marketing; neighborhood handy work; pet portraiture; secretarial service; tax preparation; and tutoring service.

If you feel drawn to any of these ideas, Google the subject and see what you come up with.


How to Promote Yourself Without Bragging | Jobs & Careers

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