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No, Your Work Doesn't Speak for Itself

As uncomfortable as it may be, it's time to grab the spotlight and get the recognition you deserve.

Humility is a great quality to have; it allows us to share the credit, recognise other people's contributions and control our egos. Unfortunately, it also means our own achievements could be taking a back seat - or perhaps not getting noticed at all.

Don't let your excellence get lost in the clutter.

Don't assume that your manager sees the details. Managers hire good people so that they can focus on strategic planning and results. They're often focused on what is three, six or 12 months ahead and can sometimes take for granted that things are getting done.

  • Suggest scheduling regular one-on-one meetings, and use them to talk about what you've achieved since the last check-in.

Make time for the past and the future.

As a manager, I regularly had one-on-one meetings with my team; it was a time to touch base as people as well as workers. My goal was to give them support and remove obstacles that were hindering what they were trying to accomplish. I admit, the focus was usually on the future rather than reviewing the past. However, these meetings are a platform for employees, not for managers.

  • Even if your manager tries to control the agenda, you can steer the conversation with "I'd like to share with you..." and "I have great news about..." or "You'll be pleased to hear..."

The spotlight is for everyone, regardless of hierarchy.

The higher your manager is in the hierarchy, the more likely they're focused on the "big picture" and spend less time doing actual people-management. These people are often looking for reasons to celebrate but are time-poor in finding out what successes have recently been had.

  • Whether a front-line employee or a senior executive, both you and your manager can benefit from your achievements.

Don't mistake promoting yourself with bragging.

Your victories affect your manager, your team and your organisation. Something you've done today may be a game-changer for everyone tomorrow. There's nothing wrong with advertising the benefit of your idea or the value you brought to a project as long as it is done respectfully.

  • Take credit for your work but don't let it take over your personality.