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I recently finished writing some technical literature that is getting published shortly. It took me two years to write it (mostly due to my procrastination). I am proud of my work and it is not even remotely related to my employer's product (it is related to my hobby). I consider it to be a milestone in my career.

I did tell my manager and two other people that I am working on this literature when I started at this job(to prove that I have the skills for the job). I did not disclose a lot of detail about my work. My manager shared this information (as an interesting tidbit about me) that I am working on something as a hobby and people have had questions about it in the past (I answered them satisfactorily).

Now that I have completed this literature, I am not sure if it is fine sharing my accomplishment with my manager/colleagues. I have asked people close to me and they have been vague about their suggestions. One person asked me not to share this information since it might create the impression that I am less focused on the job and it would make people react differently due to jealousy.

On the other hand, my performance at work has been rocky to say the least. Recently, I screwed up big time but managed to recover from my mistakes in a short span. In my performance review,my reviewers gave me a good performance rating despite my mistakes. But I rated myself "below average" and this did not go well with the higher ups. I was genuinely not happy with my performance and I decided to reflect the same. I was warned that it goes to show that I did not understand my job requirements and I ranked below the organization's employee performance benchmark as I rated myself poorly. I was told that I would be put under "observation" if I repeat this mistake.

Now that my work is getting published, I am debating whether or not to share this accomplishment with my colleagues. I am concerned that I am already under "observation" and doing so would create an impression that I am involved in activities that might affect my performance at work. My manager advised that I am being very conservative while appraising myself and I need to learn "bragging".

My question is: a) Is it okay to reveal this accomplishment? b) Would it be considered bragging if I reveal this accomplishment?

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    What do you expect to gain by sharing it? – Masked Man Feb 22 '15 at 7:59
  • I agree with wandering dev manager, if you're struggling a work. But at the same time only you are in a position to judge your corporate culture. I would hope they would be glad you spent free time on a technical project rather than them claiming ownership of your free time. – Nathan Cooper Feb 22 '15 at 8:53
  • @Happy - Nothing much actually. In the past, I did not share a similar accomplishment and kept it completely under wraps. Someone found it over the web and I was asked to share this info everyone. So I am debating if I should indeed tell this to everyone myself. – anonymouse Feb 22 '15 at 16:05
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    Now you know. Never rate yourself less than 4 out of 5. If you think you put in a good effort for the rating period then always rate yourself a 5. A veteran told me this in my youthful years and I am glad I listened. I was going to rate myself 3 but ended up rating myself a 4. My manager gave me a 5 and a promotion. If I had rated myself a 3 the promotion would have been gone. What you probably did by rating yourself low is make your manager look bad because they were happy with your work and rated you accordingly. If your work is not good then let someone in authority tell you. – Dunk Feb 23 '15 at 23:21
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    In hindsight, my manager was right in rating me a 5. I thought I was a 3 because I was developing expertise. Thus, I started recognizing how little I really did know, despite my being much more capable than others at my level. Lesson learned. People are often incapable of objectively evaluating themselves. So error on the side that benefits you most. – Dunk Feb 23 '15 at 23:24
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...create an impression that I am involved in activities that might affect my performance at work

You are struggling at work, talking about something that could be a career move outside the current role has the potential to blow up in your face.

I know you're bursting to tell someone, but given also that it has taken the full time you've been in this job, don't. People will assume this is what your focus has been on.

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