Think back to childhood: Were you one of those kids that sat on your bed and secretly dreamed of being a rock star? As you got older, maybe you fantasized that you’d be walking down the street and someone would approach you and say, “You must star in my next film!”

When you’re young, these little daydreams are harmless, fun thoughts. But now, you’re older and your ‘someone’s-going-to-discover-me’ thoughts aren’t so cute anymore. In fact, if you’ve been secretly waiting for the world to wake up and see your talents and gifts, particularly when it comes to life on the job, you could be waiting a while. This isn’t because you aren’t a talented, skilled employee– in fact, you might be God’s gift to sales, or a genius at dealing with difficult clients. But no matter how talented you are, you can’t necessarily assume that other people see what you really bring to the table. After all, your colleagues – including your boss – are swamped, busy people with problems to solve, memos to write, and kids to take to soccer practice by 5:30 pm. In short, don’t assume that anyone has time to breathe, let alone notice the fact that you’ve been showing up at 6:30 every morning to get a head start on work.

The bottom line? Instead of waiting for the world to wake up and see what you already know about yourself – that you add tremendous value to your job, to your clients, or to your company – it’s time to show them instead. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

• Now is not the time to be shy, modest, or otherwise lacking in self-promotion. The key is to find the balance between good, old-fashioned humility, and tooting your own horn in a way that is appropriate, and doesn’t leave you sounding like an egomaniac. For instance, the next time a client sends you an email singing your praises, forward it to the boss. After all, the customer is always right, so let them do the talking for you.

• Mum is not the word. No matter how brilliant you are, nobody is going to know it unless you speak up, often. Give presentations, share ideas at meetings, play an active role on conference calls, and -- here is the key - sound good. Anyone can spout off B.S. or bore the pants off us at a conference, but it takes someone special to tell us valuable information in an interesting, entertaining way. Practice speaking skills, rehearse in front of the mirror, so that when you do speak up, you’re the person that we all want to listen to.

• Fix the parts of you that aren’t so great. Nobody expects perfection, but sometimes, there are reasons why the world isn’t responding to us the way we’d like. Whether it’s how you write an email or dress for a client meeting – or simply how you interact with your coworkers – do yourself a favor and make sure that you’re on target. Find a trusted colleague and get a second opinion on your next email, your last presentation, or why your boss hasn’t promoted you in three years.

Let’s face it: Waiting for the world to wake up and discover our amazing-ness is for kids. As adults, we’re responsible for our own lives and for the success of our careers, and when you show the world what you can offer, you increase the likelihood that good things will come to you, from a bigger promotion to a better raise. Best of all, when the world sees your gifts and understands the depths of your capabilities and talents, they get put to use in bigger ways, on grander scales, and have a far greater impact than if you keep them all to yourself. Don’t keep your gifts a secret – make them known and reap far greater rewards instead.

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Freedman is an expert in career and workplace issues. She is the author of Work 101: Learning the Ropes of the Workplace without Hanging Yourself and The MBA Student’s Job-Seeking Bible, and was a 2005 finalist for College Speaker of the Year, awarded by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. Elizabeth runs a Boston-based career-development and coaching firm; clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and The Gillette Company. To bring Elizabeth to your next association event or workplace meeting, please visit