Credit, kudos, cash—whatever you call it and whatever your mark of career success, be sure you get it when you deserve it. Here are some ways to make sure you never feel like you’ve been overlooked by your company.
Stay on your boss’ radar
Part of getting credit for work is letting your boss know that you’re doing a good job—constantly. Send him updates, be the face of any project presentation, even ask for his input when appropriate. Rather than having to ask for it, you will be given unsolicited kudos for the things you do, because your role in them is plain to see. Especially if your superior has many employees working underneath him, letting your achievements stand out makes it that much easier to stand up and be counted when it’s time to ask for a promotion.
Engage your coworkers
If you’re worried that standing out will make you like a suck up, be sure to loop your coworkers in as you work on a project. Demonstrate that while you can be responsible for your own work, their input is valuable (just make sure you mention them when praise is being passed around). This will build team spirit so they’ll be more likely to back you up, and they’ll see you in action, so they will never grumble behind your back because they’ll see firsthand how much work you’ve put into any given task. Oh, and if everybody knows it was your idea first, it decreases the chances that someone else will put their name on it.
What to do if a peer takes the credit
It’s easy to fly off the handle, but the best thing to do with a coworker or peer takes your work and passes it off as their own is to remain calm. It’s important to know that not all things are as they seem, so pull them aside in private and have a chat. If it turns out what they did was on purpose, they know that you know and you can escalate it to the next level of management if necessary (again, in private). Choose your words carefully, and don’t accuse anyone of anything—let the facts speak for themselves, which you can present because you documented your work process or used a time-stamped cloud service that records the authorship of that report.
What to do if a higher up takes the credit
However, things get tricky when your boss has a boss of their own that they have to impress. If your boss leaves you off a team list or completely takes over your project, have a private word with them to see if it’s a mistake. If not, chances are they were hoping you’d never notice and this talk is all that’s needed to prevent future occurrences. If they’re suitably apologetic, make sure to clearly let them know how you expect the situation to be rectified, whether that includes a chance to present your ideas yourself or them letting the office know how they couldn’t have done it without your help. If it keeps on happening, check in with a higher up that you trust, not to seek justice, but to see how the company handles these situations. If you documented your work process, you’ll have ammunition if it comes to it.