Don’t Sit Back and Wait: Learn to Take Credit show case your work !
We have all been there—some of us more recently than others. We worked hard and did a great job on a project, finally completing it… but received no recognition for it. Or, even worse, watched someone else take the credit for our own hard work.
This scenario is more than just irritating. If failing to receive the credit to which you are due becomes a pattern, it can jeopardize your career potential.
Recognition for a job well done could give you a leg up in the race for a promotion. The proper recognition may catch the eye of upper management, giving you the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder much more rapidly than most.
Unfortunately, many professionals fail to secure the credit they deserve. In many cases, it is because they feel that seeking recognition for their work is immodest or unprofessional. In other cases, it is because they believe that their hard work will be seen and appreciated—even if it doesn’t always happen immediately.
Here’s the bottom line: If you sit back and wait to get the credit you deserve, nine times out of ten you are going to be disappointed. Today’s competitive environment dictates that, if you’re hoping to advance your career, you must battle for the credit you deserve.
Of course, you must be tactful at the same time. Here are some suggestions to help you effectively emphasize your accomplishments without being rude or unprofessional:
Work on an “elevator speech” for each accomplishment. It’s important that you are ready to seize every opportunity for recognition that comes your way. Nobody is going to listen to you ramble for five minutes—so create a 30-second elevator speech that highlights the important details of your accomplishment. Practice this speech in front of your mirror so that you can deliver it smoothly and powerfully when the opportunity arises.
Tell stories that subtly recognize your successes. You can’t simply recite a long list of accomplishments over lunch or during a casual conversation. On the other hand, you can tell interesting stories that reflect well on yourself. Tell your colleagues about the challenge you overcame last week, or tell your boss about the way in which you turned an unhappy client into a raving fan of your organization. Be tactful as you utilize this strategy— “forcing” a story into an inappropriate situation will make it obvious that you are essentially bragging.
Relate current challenges to past successes. Imagine for a moment that your boss is discussing a particularly difficult challenge. When possible, draw a connection between the current problem and a success you experienced in the past. For instance, say something like “I dealt with a similar accounting situation last year, and I was able to figure out a solution by…” This allows you to once again claim credit for an accomplishment—and it also gives your boss further reason to have confidence in you moving forwards.
Your co-workers and your managers aren’t going to give you the credit you deserve. It is your job to make sure that your accomplishments are noted. If you take a passive approach and simply wait to receive recognition, you’re surrendering control of your career.
With a combination of planning and tact on your behalf, you will find that it is very possible to claim credit—without seeming obnoxious, conceited, or unprofessional.
So don’t sit back and wait… take credit when credit is due! Your career quite literally depends upon it.