“Women work hard and achieve the desired results—and men get the credit,” wrote Rosalind C. Barnett, Ph.D., and Caryl Rivers in a recent article for Psychology Today. Lack of recognition is one of eight major obstacles women face in the workplace.
So, how do you keep this from happening—how do you get credit for your contributions, ideas and hard work? How do you stay visible and toot your own horn, even when it makes you uncomfortable?
From a young age, women are taught to be humble. Bragging is a no-no. But at work it’s important that your contributions are visible, that co-workers and supervisors know about your accomplishments.
To do this, you must be proactive, minimizing the opportunities for someone else to steal your thunder. Here are a couple suggestions:
#1: Consistently share your ideas in public, suggests huffingtonpost.com. Imagine an idea is budding …. You haven’t thought it through completely, might not be feeling 100 percent confident in its viability, so rather than speak up in a meeting, you bounce it off someone else in private. Thanks to your expert salesmanship, your valid idea or wise opinion takes hold, gains momentum, and soon (albeit unintentionally) no one remembers where it came from—except you.
The next thing you know, your insight is being presented in a meeting—by someone else.
Instead, think your idea through on your own. Do a little leg work so you’re more certain of its viability. Then confidently unveil your gem in the meeting.
Also, consistently mark major accomplishments by attaching your name to them, suggests beleaderly.com. You could do this in a meeting by simply mentioning your work: “Team, I just completed the financial modeling for this quarter and have begun work on next quarter. If you have questions or would like to discuss the results or methodology, please let me know.”
#2: Talk with your boss often, suggests businessinsider.com. Share the facts about your accomplishments on a regular basis, rather than saving up for an annual review. (Be sure to give credit if there were others involved.) And if he or she compliments your work, accept it gracefully without brushing it off or minimizing its importance.
Making yourself and your contributions more visible minimizes the opportunity for someone else to take credit for your work or to omit your name when discussing a team project. However, if it still happens, don’t sit back and watch. Speak up.
- With a smile, calmly set the record straight, even if you are uncomfortable and have to interrupt to do so, suggests beleaderly.com. They further advise that you allow the offender to save face publicly by mentioning that the work was a collaborative effort. If you have additional information on the topic, look for opportunities to demonstrate your involvement by contributing at the right moments.
- Follow up calmly with the individual in private. Acknowledge the good work your co-worker does, but be clear that you want credit for your work, and that you will speak up if it happens again.
- If the co-worker continues to take credit for your work after repeated discussions, you may need to involve your boss. Be sure you’ve done everything to handle the situation on your own before you take this step.
Whether you’re a man or woman, get credit for your contributions at work. First, be preemptive in mentioning your accomplishments—warding off the opportunities for someone else to do so. But if despite these proactive measures, someone takes credit for your ideas or effort don’t stand by. Speak up and set the record straight. Nicely and privately discuss the situation with the credit thief.