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Ask for the recognition you deserve

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No one likes a braggart, right? But when it comes to getting the recognition you deserve, you can’t afford not to take credit for your work, even if it means seeking out credit.

“Nobody should expect a pat on the back for everything done well, but sometimes it’s advisable to ask for recognition when it’s not offered,” say Tory Johnson and Robyn Freedman Spizman, authors of Take This Book to Work.

Getting recognition—and using it wisely—is key to managing your career and receiving raises. Here’s how Johnson and Spizman suggest you do it:

Never downplay recognition when it’s offered. Example: You successfully pull off organizing a shareholders meeting. Your boss comes to pay his compliments, saying, “Excellent job. The event came off without a hitch.”

This is no time to be shy and say, “Oh, just doing my job.” Instead, say, “I appreciate your recognition of my efforts. A lot of work went into planning this event. I’m delighted that all the preparation paid off for everyone.”

Ask your boss for good words after you’ve made a clear-cut contribution, if he doesn’t offer them.

In the previous example, if the boss hadn’t come to pay his compliments, you might go to him and say, “I was thrilled to play an important role in such a successful event. It would mean a lot to me if you included my contribution in your weekly report to the CEO.”

That documents your contribution, and makes it known to key decision-makers.

Tread carefully around a boss who is hesitant to give credit. Rephrase your request for credit by giving him credit, as well. Say, “Because of the direction and support you gave me, I was able to achieve this. I’m hoping you’ll find an opportunity to share that with the CEO.”

Keep a success journal. What to include in it? Specific accomplishments, along with the names of anyone who can vouch for them and notes of thanks from colleagues or clients. It will all come in handy at review time.

Put your company newsletter to work for you. When you achieve something—whether it’s an association award or first place in a 5K charity fundraiser—contact the editor and say, “I know our newsletter celebrates employee successes, so I have a news item for you to consider.”

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