Getting credit for your work isn’t about affirmation and tingly feelings. It’s about being seen by your peers and superiors to facilitate your corporate climb. It is crucial. If you’ve been in a situation where you felt you weren’t given the credit you deserved on an assignment or project, it can feel like a lost opportunity, and it is one. Even though this can happen inadvertently when your manager or team lead is busy, your career can’t afford it. If you’re working for the CIA or your boss represents a high-profile client then you probably work on a strictly need-to-know basis. For the rest of us common folks, here are the five best ways to get seen once your work is handed over.
Offer to deliver the report directly to the client.
You: “What is Client A’s email? I’ve finished the report and am ready to send it to them. I’ll be sure to copy you for any follow ups.”
You need to be seen whether the client is internal or external. Offer to hand over the deliverable to the client whether it requires sending an email or hopping in a taxi. The more you are seen, the more exposure you will have and exposure is crucial to your career growth. Plus, you handling this last step will be less work for your boss and they will appreciate you for it
Ask to ride along or be added to the email thread.
You: “Feel free to CC me in case the Client has any follow up questions or requests a revision.”
I would burst into tearsss if my direct report said this to me! If want to be added to the email so you can follow up directly then that means you are essentially asking to own the project you just completed for your boss. As a manager, I am winning and I love what I am hearing! There will be less work for me if you can respond to follow-up questions without me having to reach out to you separately.
Set up a recurring meeting with your boss.
You: “I would really love to get regular feedback on the outcomes of all my deliverables. Can we set up a weekly meeting so that I can make sure I’m turning these requests around with the best possible accuracy and tailoring?”
Listen, not every boss or team leader has time for a recurring meeting and in some industries, this might even be inappropriate. Be humble and sincere and if you can get some one-on-one time, no matter the frequency, be thankful. Recurring meetings will allow you the space to build trust with your manager and more trust equals more exposure. Also, listen out for name dropping during these meetings to start building your internal and external network. Trust me, you will need it later on.
Follow up with your boss after the deliverable is completed.
You: “Hey, whatever happened with that assignment last week? Did the Client find it useful? Are there any follow-up questions or feedback for improvements for next time?”
Your boss is a busy person and won’t always have time to discuss with you the quality of your work. However, reaching out to your boss to discuss completed projects will obligate your boss to provide you with specific feedback. This will stop your work from disappearing into a black hole. Showing this kind of initiative may also provide you the opportunity to be seen by the client on the next job assignment.
Reach out to the client directly…WHEN APPROPRIATE.
You: (In the kitchen at lunch) “Hey, did you get everything you needed the other day for your meeting? I noticed that Product A sales have been declining over the past 6 months. I’ll keep an eye on Initiative Y and let you know if there is a boost in Sales.”
Don’t be awkward. Be relevant, appropriate, and use your judgment. Everybody can recognize a brown noser from a mile away so unless you have some valuable insight to provide, please don’t bring up the report from last week. It will be transparent that you are only trying to let the person know you are the one that produced it. Keep it short and sweet and if the client wants to talk more about it then let them lead. Clients love the source and once they’ve found one with the insight they won’t want to let you go.
You were hired to help your manager and nothing spells out H-E-L-P like the 5 actions above. If your boss isn’t receptive to letting you shine then he or she either 1) Doesn’t trust you or 2) Isn’t interested in your career growth. If this is the case then it might be time for you to move on or make an intracompany move.
What steps have you taken to gain exposure and respectfully get credit where credit is due?
Photo Credit: thebalance.com