Today’s women-helping-women movement is all about collaboration, not competition. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take credit for your work. In fact today it’s more important than ever to know your value and to give credit where credit is due—and that includes yourself.
A recent article at DailyWorth.com addresses this very thing and while your workplace might have evolved to a point that it runs collaboration, when it comes time to dole out raises or promotions, it’s not your whole team being judged — it’s you. If you continually let someone else take credit for your accomplishments, it will be tough to get ahead.
You Could Give Away Hundreds of Thousands in Lifetime Earnings
Yes, it’s partially about the money, but getting credit for your work is also important in pushing back against sexism and other forms of prejudice that can hold you back. As a recent post TheMuse.com points out, when someone speaks over you, constantly interrupts you, ignores you, or, worse, takes credit for your ideas, it can be difficult to speak up for yourself. You should speak up for yourself anyway, of course. But it’s much easier to speak up for other women. And some of them will return the favor. Of course, this isn’t limited to standing up for women. You can stand up for everyone who commonly gets spoken over.
The stakes are so high that making sure you are getting credit for your work requires constant vigilance. The question is how to do that without appearing too self-serving.
In practice, it’s always a good idea to create a paper trail, whether through emails, putting your research in a document you send out, or writing recaps of what was discussed in a meeting that just happened. It doesn’t appear overt to tag work documents with your my name and the date, similar to the way you put a header on your school papers. In fact it actually comes across as very organized. The writer at DailyWorth even provides a workaround when documents aren’t part of the flow and suggests that you take it upon yourself to create documentation for any new procedures that have been added to the workflow.
To Get More Credit, Ask For More Responsibility
If you have trouble sorting out the aspects of a group project for which to claim credit, it could be because the tasks were not assigned very clearly from the start. When the project begins, push to have specific people responsible for specific tasks. Set yourself up during the delegation phase. If you want more credit in the end, ask for more and bigger tasks in the beginning.
Bottom line, we’ve all seen co-workers steal each other’s credit regardless of gender. As women, it’s important to retain your voice and not let ambitious co-workers or authority figures intimidate and undermine you, or take credit for your work. Keeping track of and quantifying your accomplishments can not only be helpful when it comes time to make a case for a raise, it can keep you motivated as you work, and get you closer to your goals with each and every project!