Executive Coaching Articles

Get Credit For Your Work

Joel’s coaching focuses on effective ways to communicate your value and contribution to leadership. If you ever wondered why you are not receiving due recognition for your work and value to the company this program is definitely for you.

Rick Esker, Director, Mobility Alliances Group,Cisco Systems

Getting credit for your work is not always easy. You can do great work, but if no one knows you were responsible for the outstanding results, you won’t get recognized. The key to getting credit for your accomplishments is doing an effective job at promoting yourself and letting other people know what you did. This includes the work you completed, the projects you contributed to and the beneficial ideas that were yours.

One of the primary reasons people often don’t get credit for their work is because they are working behind the scenes and are reluctant to “blow their own horn.” Often, other people take credit when credit isn’t due to them. This is a common practice in the competitive corporate world.

There are two types of people who do this. The first is the person who takes all the credit at the very last minute even though he or she did minimal work. In truth, you were the one who did almost all of the work over a long period of time, but they were able to get credit at the very end. The second type is someone who takes more credit even though they didn’t do any more of the work than you. They are basically better at taking credit than you are.

People who steal credit can create the perception that they did all the work and are the geniuses behind a project when this isn’t the truth. The problem is that perception becomes the reality among decision-makers and it’s difficult to change perception once it has been established.

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Seven Ways to Get Credit for Your Work

  1. Be pro-active in exerting your influence. There’s a difference between bragging and keeping others informed of your contributions. People are often too passive and timid to share themselves, their impact and accomplishments. This leaves the door open for others to take credit when it’s actually yours.
  2. Project yourself as an authority and someone in the know. Trust yourself, your knowledge and what you know so you can share it openly with others. People will respect this knowledge capital and will come to rely on your wisdom, advice and input. This involvement will help you be a key catalyst to the success of a project. Just make sure you are involved and get credit for your contributions.
  3. Let others know what you have done. Share what you have done to make the project a success. Not just the bottom line results, but your ideas and what you did every step of the way to make it a success. If you remain silent, others will step in and claim responsibility for your work.
  4. Make your contribution completely visible. Look for opportunities to present your ideas so others will appreciate what you know and the work you have done. This type of visibility directly impacts how others are viewing you and your value to the organization.
  5. Seek out projects you can own. They can be small or big. The key is you completely own it so that your name can be on it. You’re the one responsible, the one in charge. Even if the responsibility seems too great and you fear you might fail, get out of your comfort zone and take ownership.
  6. Don’t hide behind the scenes. Often, the safest place to be is behind the scenes because if a project fails your name won’t be attached to it. However, you want to be on the forefront so you can create your own success.
  7. Encourage your supervisor to give you projects you can own. This will help you grow in your job, gain experience, assume more responsibility and position yourself for additional leadership opportunities.

Take action now! Identify one or two upcoming projects and develop strategies to assume ownership of them. Once you begin the work, don’t hesitate to give others a progress report. And when you are successful — and you will be — take credit where credit is due.