Achievement is essential for career advancement, but how you acknowledge and leverage your success at work can add to your good reputation, or it can turn co-workers off. In addition, no one really likes a braggart. So how can you get the recognition you deserve within acceptable parameters? The following tips may be useful:
1. Individual performance is critical and it will form the basis of your annual evaluation. While you may prefer working solo, teamwork is essential in most places. Do your full share as part of the team and give credit to the team effort, especially if you are the team leader. However, this doesn’t mean you should not accept credit or, as appropriate, acknowledge your own work on the team.
2. You may be considered a rising star due to some clever problem solving on your part or the extra effort you put in to achieve a goal. Perhaps your success was noted by your boss and recognized at a staff meeting. When something like this happens, be gracious about the recognition. Don’t be embarrassed or try to downplay your achievement. At the same time, avoid bragging about it to others or bringing it up at every opportunity.
3. Build on your success and avoid resting on your laurels. You may think you should be able to coast for awhile at the completion of a major and successful project, but using your previous hard work as an excuse for a temporary slow down can quickly wipe out the past achievement. Worse yet, your boss may see your work as uneven.
4. While some competition with co-workers is to be expected, try not to appear overly competitive. You don’t always have to be the team leader or the first person to volunteer for an assignment. Also avoid trying to make yourself look better by being critical of your colleagues. This frequently backfires.
5. Do keep a fairly detailed list of your accomplishments and achievements. This will come in handy for your annual evaluation and will help you keep your resume updated. Again, give yourself credit for the work done, but be accurate and don’t overstate your role or the outcome.
6. Your workplace may encourage community involvement. If you are elected to a board position for a community agency or you receive an award of some type, let the Public Relations office and your boss know about your achievement. It is usually acceptable to display a plaque or an award of some type in your office, but you may want to avoid the appearance of a trophy wall.
7. Sometimes you may feel your work is unappreciated, or feel that your work is not being recognized. If this is the case you will have to speak up and take a bit more credit. This can be done professionally, without appearing to brag. One of the best places to start is during your evaluation. If there are errors or omissions in your boss’s evaluation, respectfully point them out.
It is understandable that you want to be acknowledged and rewarded for your hard work, and you deserve credit that is due to you. Nothing diminishes your reputation faster, however, than bragging about your efforts and success. Most of the time your hard work will simply speak for itself.