Tooting Your Own Horn: When You Should Go Ahead and Do It

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No one likes a braggart, especially at work. Overly telling everyone about the great and wonderful things they have done, with a side of implication making them sound better than everyone else.

But when it comes to professional achievements outside of the workplace, there is definitely a good reason to share. And the person you should share with the most is your own supervisor.

Making the case

“It has been well accepted and documented that RT leaders who have been successful in their roles as clinical managers are eminently qualified for additional responsibilities and upward advancement within their organization,” said Garry Kauffman, MPA, RRT, FAARC, FACHE, of Kauffman Consulting. He believes you can make the same case for any professional accomplishments achieved outside of the organization as well.

“Whether I am interviewing an RT for a clinical position or a leadership position, I always want to learn about their accomplishments outside of work,” he said. “While we must abide by regulations on what we can ask a candidate, I make it a point to give the candidate the freedom to address this.”

He suggests service with the AARC is especially pertinent.

“Having served in their state society, in the AARC House of Delegates, or on the AARC Board of Directors all provide support of their professionalism, commitment, and leadership capabilities,” Kauffman said.

In his opinion, therapists who have this type of volunteer work under their belts should let their bosses know about it early and often. That’s what he did throughout his long career, which includes decades of service to the AARC, including a stint as AARC president in 2000. It not only helped to show his dedication to respiratory care, but it also conveyed the value that he put on this service to his managers.

“When I interviewed for a position, I made sure to mention my volunteer work, both as part of demonstrating my commitment to my profession as well as to secure understanding from my supervisor-to-be that she would support my activities,” he said. In his case, that support was always forthcoming, with managers telling him that his professional activities were further developing his leadership skills and were a tangible asset to the organization.

Setting the stage

The initial discussion of his volunteer service also helped to set the stage for approval to attend AARC meetings when the time came. He paid it back when he got home, offering to share the information he had learned with his supervisor and anyone else in the organization who could benefit from it.

“I would select a lecture or workshop that I attended and do a debrief with my executive supervisor to share information that I learned that we could employ in our department or division,” Kauffman said.  “There were several times that I was asked to share this information with other senior executives, and I realize that this was done both for the purposes of educating our executives as well as to serve as a means to demonstrate my value to other members of the executive team.”

So, if you are serving your profession in a volunteer capacity outside of the work setting, don’t hesitate to let your bosses know what you are doing and why. It will speak volumes about your devotion to respiratory care and put a star by your name the next time a new opportunity arises within the organization that you might be qualified to take on.

Want to get more involved with your professional organizations? The best way to start is by volunteering with your AARC state society. Find direct links to each state society website here.

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