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Use these words if you want to advance in your career, win praise, and get noticed

Use these words if you want to advance in your career, win praise, and get noticed
[Photo: Thomas Drouault/Unsplash]

You know how men dominate science, with more professorships, higher salaries, more research grants, and more citations?

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A BMJ study of 6.2 million science articles between 2002 and 2017 shows that male authors tout their work much more than female authors—and that their studies are then cited more frequently, particularly in prestigious journals. Though you could swallow this as yet more downer gender-inequity news, it’s also confirmation that self-praise leads to career advancement. And you can do it too!

When in doubt, go with the word “novel,” which male scientists are quite fond of, using it nearly three times more often than their other favorite words, “unique,” “promising,” and “favorable.” Note that these words express positivity, newness, and specialness, but are not over-the-top direct praise: Words such as “phenomenal,” “groundbreaking,” “spectacular,” and “astonishing” were rarely used, indicating that overflaunting is not necessary.

Women overuse the word “supportive,” as in my research is supportive of prior findings, which is the equivalent of wrapping one’s career in a wet blanket. The researchers write that “the data suggest that women and men use positive words in a similar fashion, but that women use them less often.”

So there you have it. Your mouth’s new favorite words for your work are:

  • novel
  • unique
  • promising
  • favorable
  • robust
  • excellent
  • prominent
  • encouraging
  • remarkable
  • innovative

Good luck out there.

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