Getting the Recognition You Deserve

Sections of this topic

    You stay late at work, never miss deadlines, never show up late and your work is top notch. You’d think that by doing all of this, you would, at least once in a while, get thanks and recognition from your boss.

    Unfortunately, your boss is busy dealing with a the latest crisis. As a result, she forgets to show any gratitude to you and the other high performers.

    Working hard and getting ignored by your boss can be rough. That’s why you sometimes have to take matters into your own hands. Boasting of your own accomplishments can feel awkward. But look at it this way: If your boss doesn’t notice your hard work, and you don’t point it out to her, then how will she know you’re ready for that promotion or if you can handle that huge-but-fascinating project?

    Things don’t have to be like that. Here’s how to build your reputation and get the recognition you deserve without looking like an attention seeker.

    Step One: Decide What You Want

    There are many types of recognition, so decide what type you want because everyone wants something different. Companies often thank staff with awards, certificates, or bonuses. However, people often just want simple thank you. So, what exactly are you looking for? Do you want a simple “thank you” or an employee of the month designation or a bonus or

    Step Two: Define Why You Deserve Praise

    Don’t walk into your boss’s office with no advance preparation to say what a great job you’ve been doing. Rather make a list of the accomplishments you’d like to discuss. Beside each one, list the value that accomplishment has brought to the company. Be sure to make yourself look good, but also share credit where credit is due.

    Step Three: Praise Yourself and Others

    This is where you’ve got to get creative. You know your boss and your business environment, so think of ways to let her know of your value. Point out some of your key accomplishments from the list you developed. Emphasize the importance of these accomplishments and how you and your co-workers could be recognized for this.

    If this type of self promotion feels a little too much like bragging, then think of ways to let your boss know what you’re doing without being so obvious or bold. For example, send your boss an email every time you win a new account or when you’re finally able to please your company’s worst customer. These little “progress reports” keep your actions in the open in a delicate, not-too-obvious way.

    Career Success Tip:

    Although not everyone is comfortable talking about their accomplishments, you might harm yourself if you don’t speak up. If your boss doesn’t see the great work you’ve been doing, she might give that promotion or special project to someone else without knowing any better. It’s up to you to prove that you can handle the added responsibility and to do that, your boss has to know what you’ve already done. Also see My Success Portfolio and Build Your Reputation and Your Career.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?

    • For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
    • Start with the Career Success System.
    • Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
    • Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
    • Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
    • Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.