“I hope someone notices my good work” is not a career progression strategy


careerThere is no substitute for skill and hard work. Both of these are an absolute must to get ahead and stay ahead in your career.  At the same time there are enough and more people who work really hard but never get ahead.

They put in the effort and hope that someone will notice their work. They are occasionally recognized because their efforts lead to business results. But they also have a whole load of achievements, strengths, and skills that nobody knows about.

This is because hard work can often go unnoticed. Unfortunately hoping someone notices your good work is NOT a career progression strategy.

Having said that there are a large number of people who are very uncomfortable in talking about their achievements. They may feel unappreciated and disrespected but will still not make the effort to communicate about their achievements.

The most common reasons for not communicating achievements are the following beliefs:

  1. If I do good work it should be recognized. That’s my manager’s job after all!
  2. I don’t like to brag about myself and blow my trumpet.
  3. I’m too busy to spend time on talking about my work.

All of the above are limiting beliefs that we carry about ourselves and can get in the way of your success.

FACT: Bragging is defined as “excessively” proud and boastful talk about one’s achievements or possessions. IF you speak about your achievements it is called communicating. It becomes bragging only when you do it “excessively”. In the words of Walt Whitman “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.

Not talking about your work can be detrimental to your career because:

  1. You lose control on your career progress: You are now dependent on the skill and interest of another person to recognize your efforts and set up your success. Now if this person(s) is busy or not observant enough you lose control of your growth, career opportunities and success
  2. Limited opportunities: If people are around you are not aware of your capabilities you could potentially lose out on opportunities because nobody knows about it. Besides if someone could benefit from your skill you are actually depriving them of the help you could provide.

This behavior is also not useful to your organization because your organization loses the benefit of your work. They can’t use what they don’t know about.

How to make sure that your achievement are noticed without feeling like you are bragging

  1. Make a note of your wins: Ensure that you track your wins. Document them so that when you need to speak about them you know what they are. A good place to do this is in your appraisal.
  2. Have a communication plan: Look for ways to communicate your contributions. This could be in newsletter, meetings, and reviews.
  3. Share credit with the teams involved. Sharing the credit with those who have contributed to your success, not only projects your brand but also creates good will as an added bonus.
  4. Contribute where you can add value: Sharing your expertise with teams outside your business is a great way to build credibility and network

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