What to Do When You Don’t Get the Credit You Deserve at Work

Are you tired of not getting the credit you deserve at work? Here’s how you can make it easier for others to see your value – without resorting to humble bragging or blatant self promotion.

Several years ago, when I missed out on a promotion, my boss told me in a matter-of-fact manner that it was because senior management thought my contributions to the business were his, not mine. As you can imagine, I was pretty discouraged, to say the least. 

But, we’ve all been there right? It’s a real downer when you don’t get the credit you deserve at work. And those who quietly excel behind the scenes seem to get burned the most, rarely getting much credit for their hard work. You don’t want to boast, but relying on others to give you proper credit for a successful project isn’t usually the answer either.

Blame Game Doesn’t Help

It’s understandable to feel frustrated when your hard work isn’t acknowledged and rewarded. Longer term, career setbacks can easily turn a top performer into a long-suffering employee who blames others for their misfortune.

I’ll admit it, I initially blamed my boss for my predicament. He made it sound like it was my personal problem to deal with, whereas I saw him as a big part of the problem. However, we all know that playing the blame game isn’t the best way to reach our career goals. 

What’s important is to take responsibility for your situation and do something about it, even when it doesn’t seem fair. Yet, figuring out how you’re going to “do something about it” can present a big challenge.

Inaction Won’t Help Either

What comes to mind when you ask yourself how you can get the credit you deserve at work?

If you’re like me, you likely think about actions like tooting your own horn, boastful self-promotion, or worse, humble bragging. Yet the idea of doing things like this probably makes you cringe – because that’s just not who you are, right?

When you view cringey behaviors like this as your only way forward, it can literally block you from doing anything to advance your career path.

Maybe you start telling yourself, “If that’s what it takes to get credit for my hard work, I’m not doing it!” – which then means you’re probably never going to get the credit you deserve at work! And, you’ll find yourself stuck in a career funk.

So, try a different approach. What I’m talking about, based on my own experience, is getting noticed in a way that suits your style.

Try a New Approach to Get the Credit You Deserve

Here’s the deal: Your hard work doesn’t always speak for itself. Sure, management should pay closer attention. But let’s face it, leadership can easily get swamped with their own workload, making it tough to keep tabs on everyone’s performance.

So, rather than resigning yourself to being a team player and waiting for others to notice your successful projects, make it your mission to help them see your potential and promotability. You owe it to yourself to help management see the light.

Instead of asking, “How can I get more credit for my work?” think about how you can make it easier for others to see the value you bring to the business. 

By simply thinking about your situation from a new perspective, it can open your mind up to many new solutions you hadn’t previously considered. When you ask a different question, you get different answers – ones that can align better with actions you feel good about taking.

By considering how you can make it easier for management to see your potential, you’ll become instantly empowered to take more meaningful actions — and amazing things can result.

Get Noticed Your Way

A new perspective can give you the freedom to come up with a bunch of new ways to get credit for your work while maintaining your integrity and feeling good about yourself. Because there’s always more than one way forward.

For me, this change in thinking helped me break free from the idea that “getting the credit you deserve” meant shameless showboating with senior management. Instead, I adopted a mindset where I simply needed to talk more about what I was working on, with more people, to make my results even better.

Here are a few examples to spark your creativity:

Example 1 – Instead of making sure others know you developed the business plan, maybe setup regular check-ins to share your plan with several higher-ups and peers for feedback to make it even better. Leaders will welcome the chance to share valuable insights, you’ll gain more buy-in for your work, and presto, you’ll naturally be associated with your awesome work.

Example 2 – Instead of bragging about your work, consider stepping up to lead a task force or committee with regular meetings to give updates to the management team. It can also be a good idea to share insights about the competition and your thoughts on what it means for the business on a regular basis.

Example 3 – If you know senior managers are active on social channels, like LinkedIn, use that platform to share your thoughts about industry trends and reinforce your expertise and engagement in the business.

The idea is to do these kinds of things as part of your everyday responsibilities, so you can get noticed without coming across as a self-promoter who’s screaming for attention.

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More Than One Way Forward

The bottom line is, you can be yourself and still get the credit you deserve.

You have the freedom to choose how to take action in a way that feels right for you. I’m sure if you think about it, you’ll come up with plenty of ways to let upper management see how brilliant you are, in a way that suits your style. 

Remember, there’s always more than one way forward – so next time you don’t get the credit you deserve, try a new approach to get noticed in your own unique way.



About Author

Alison started her 20+ year career as an admin assistant and eventually advanced to a CMO role. But, as a quiet introvert, she was often overlooked for promotions. And in 2012, while stuck in middle management, Alison made a goal to use her corporate career to achieve financial freedom and retire in her 40s. You can read more about her story here.



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