If you want to succeed, it’s essential that you protect your brand and online reputation. You want to be known for who you are and what you stand for. You want to be given credit for your accomplishments.
When your credit is taken
But what if you find yourself in a situation where someone else takes all the credit for your hard work? You work your behind off in a project, or you have an excellent idea that you shared with your manager, only to have them to take all the limelight. What do you do? How can you avoid these situations?
1. Be assertive
Don’t let people push you around, or take credit for all the work you’ve done. Assert yourself and let others know what you’ve accomplished. If someone takes credit for your work, tell that person how you feel. It doesn’t need to be combative but it can be firm and an informative discussion.
Ignoring the issue will only encourage people do it again and again. One of my favorite sayings is, “you teach people how to treat you.” How you act, engage and respond all communicates what you approve or disapprove of.
Document your accomplishments with third party acknowledgement of even letters from others regarding a particular accomplishment and make a copy of that an ask that, that be included in your personnel records.
2. Get support
If someone tries to steal your idea and passes it off as his own, it’s important that you get support from others so you can be given the credit due to you. If confronting the person doesn’t solve the problem, then you can go to your supervisor or someone you trust to get the support you need.
3. Learn from your mistake
Sometimes, the credit for your work has already been given to someone else, and it is too late for you to claim what is your rightful due. It could appear that you’re being petty. Or worse yet, it could damage your brand reputation if you bring up something that’s already considered “in the past.” The important thing is to accept what happened, learn from your mistake, and focus on the future.
You may be surprised but I encourage building a strong network all the way through – before, during, and even after a career position or challenge. It’s that network and that third party validation that will provide the credible voice should someone rob you of credit that is yours.
A third party can subtly clarify or discuss it in a way that comes across as informative, and edifies you at the same time.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.