A version of this article, entitled “To Get Ahead in Your Career, Share the Credit, Says Career Coach and Award-Winning Author Tamara S. Raymond,” appeared recently in over 130 media outlets and online publications consisting of newspapers; broadcast media and local tv stations; and financial, business and multicultural news services. They include local NBC, Fox and The CW affiliates; Yahoo! Finance; Dow Jones’ MarketWatch; Latin Business Today; and Ask.com, to name a few.
To advance in your profession, you need to outshine others, win top prizes, and exceed expectations. “In addition to these things, you need to share credit with others to go far in your career,” says career coach Tamara S. Raymond, author of the award-winning book Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career and creator of the newly released course Careering for Youth: The Online Coaching Edition.
“Most people don’t like credit hogs, even if they really do deserve the lion’s share of the credit for a particular achievement,” says Raymond. And, it’s partly because credit hogs are unappreciated that they should make sure to acknowledge others’ contributions”
“This is about politics, which you must navigate correctly to succeed in the workplace. It’s also about recognizing the real role others may have played in your accomplishments,” Raymond states.
So, when you’re giving that wonderful speech after winning a prize, thank your boss (after all, he or she may have hired you, which gave you the opportunity to do the award-winning work in the first place) and your coworkers (who may not have contributed to the award-winning project, but may be a supportive band of people who keep you positive and on task every day).
Sharing credit not only puts you in the good graces of your colleagues, according to Raymond, and it also:
- Improves the work environment. You may be the best worker on the job, but your humility tempers the work environment, lessening the chances that colleagues will feel threatened by you. This breeds a healthier workplace, where people feel comfortable doing their jobs without feeling the need to sabotage others to shine or succeed.
- Leads to strong relationships with coworkers. Crediting others shows that you appreciate them. When people feel appreciated, they are likely to do more for, and with, you. This can lead to team efforts that result in strong work results.
- Shows that you’re confident. Crediting others shows that you’re confident in yourself and the job you do. It’s a sign of strength, which good bosses and workplaces appreciate and reward in various ways.
- Raises your profile on the job; shows that you’re a leader. Real leaders know they can’t do things alone, and they constantly recognize others’ contributions. So, even if you’re not the boss, when you credit others, you’re showing your leadership skills—and this, coupled with the excellent job you’re doing, could put you on the promotion track to a leadership position.
- Shows that you’re a team player. Even if you deserve 100 percent of the credit for a particular accomplishment, crediting others shows that you’re putting your work team before your ego. This is always desired in the workplace.
- Helps with networking and better job opportunities. Colleagues remember the person who praised their work; and when those colleagues move on to other companies and leadership positions, they may think back fondly to when you praised them on the job and bring your name up for a great job opening. They’ll be thinking about how you were a great team player, contributed to a healthy work environment, and were an outstanding performer. Who doesn’t want a professional like that in their workplace?
“To get ahead at work,” Raymond says, “you may be the brightest shining star, but you don’t have to act like it. Your work will speak for you. Your humility and sharing the stage with colleagues will help you go further in your career than if you hog the limelight. Keep this in mind each day on the job, Raymond says, and make sure to highlight your coworkers’ accomplishments. If you do this, it’ll be another day of doing careering right.”