Learning to take credit for your good work.

Learning to take credit for a job well done seems simple enough, but most women continue to make this career mistake by consistently sharing credit with their team or colleagues. People don’t get promoted because they’re awesome team players; they get promoted because they have leadership qualities.

Women tend not to take credit for things because of two main reasons.

  1. They believe their good work should speak for itself. They honestly believe that others will simply notice the work they’ve done and congratulate them. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD.

Women are regularly passed over for promotions in all types of careers because they simply thought they would get noticed, and they didn’t realize that getting noticed is part of the game. And you need to play the game. You need to let everyone know about your accomplishments, targets reached, profit earned, money saved, increased enrolments, or commendations received –because no one will do this for you!

Being “nice” or “compliant” or “helpful” may be useful in grade school but it certainly doesn’t get you to the top leadership positions in the work world.

There is no one watching you in the wings waiting to swoop down and congratulate you on your work and sing your praises to management. Management doesn’t know who you are until you give them a reason to. SO, sing your own praises.

I’ve had women in my class who have accomplished major feats (published their writing, won academic awards, won volunteer and community service awards, got on the dean’s list, etc. and they never wanted me to tell the class or other professors of their success). They felt shy or humble about their achievements. Some of them didn’t even think it was important to put this information down on their cover letters or resumes!  –This must stop.

  1. Secondly, women don’t take full credit for their work because don’t want to seem cocky or full of themselves. We’re so worried about coming off the wrong way, that we’ve internalized these childhood cultural ideas about what it means to be a woman (i.e. women are nurturers, care givers, helpers, cooperative), instead of seeing ourselves as confident and capable and driven.

Collectively, we must become more comfortable with taking credit for our good work. We must recognize there is no shame in this, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, you should be embarrassed if you missed an opportunity to tell others about your accomplishments.


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