Five Lessons to Help You Get Recognition at Work

The first decade of twentieth century was crucial in both science and invention: Albert Einstein had presented his ground-breaking theories of relativity, and Wright Brothers had invented the airplane. Nonetheless, people didn’t acknowledge those achievements as we hail them today. Einstein had to struggle for a modest employment opportunity as a science teacher for several years. Likewise, both authorities and public thought Wright Brothers were crooks; even press labelled them as liars rather than “Flyers”.

Even Though Einstein’s theories brought him subsequent fame, he had to wait till 1921 for wining a Nobel Prize. And that too for his non-glamorous paper on photoelectric effect; ironically, there was no mention of relativity. This was partly because the concept of relativity remained esoteric for several years afterwards. Similarly, Wright Brothers couldn’t convince the US Army of their achievements; it was after their successful flight demonstrations in France, that they won the worldwide recognition as the inventors of airplane.

As a professional, you might encounter a situation where you put all your efforts into a difficult assignment; overcoming all obstacles and challenges, you make it happen. Contrary to your expectations, nobody seems to notice what you have achieved. Obviously, this is frustrating. Conversely, there could be times when you perform certain tasks quite unambitiously, and the results are positively perceived, and you get rewarded.

While you may not be able to control the outcome of your actions, you can try to enhance your odds of being recognized at your work. The following five lessons are intended to make it easy for you to get recognition for your work:

Lesson One: Be Realistic

The first thing you need to do is to do some self-reflection: have you really achieved something awesome? How does your achievement fit in the grand scheme of things? It may seem important to you, but not to your boss. How impactful is the accomplishment for the organization? A candid answer to these questions will help you set your expectations right.  

Lesson Two: Keep Your Boss in Loop

One simple step to enhance your chances of being applauded at work is to keep your boss in loop on daily basis. But before doing this, you need to understand his management style; some bosses like to be updated, some don’t, some are too busy. Try to find a perfect balance where you can provide a progress update without being a nuisance. Lunchtime discussions or annual dinners could be a good opportunity. You may even find a chance to travel with him or her.

Lesson Three: Keep Other Team Members Informed

In case your boss is too busy for a daily update, keep your peers informed about the progress of your assignments. This will enhance your group visibility as your associates are likely to mention you and your achievements during informal discussions. In some organizations, bosses take feedback from your peers and if your colleagues don’t know anything, you will lose an opportunity to be recognized. However, while informing your colleagues, try not to be boastful.

Lesson Four: Recognize Others

You might be working in an organization where recognition is non-existent; nevertheless, you could be the harbinger of a cultural revolution. In order to promote a culture of recognition, start recognizing others’ achievements. Once the culture of recognition takes its roots, people will start acknowledging your achievements in return.  In this way, you can bring about a long-term change in your organization.

Lesson Five: Consider Moving On

What if you don’t succeed in gaining the recognition you deserve, despite all positive efforts. When confronted with such circumstances, some people get discouraged and start underperforming, while continuously blaming bosses and organizational culture for the situation. Do not frown, do not lose hope; keep your performance level high.  And if you are hopeless about the situation, instead of staying with the organization as a demotivated, underperforming member, consider moving on. The world is full of opportunities; sky is the limit.

4 thoughts on “Five Lessons to Help You Get Recognition at Work

  1. Pingback: Five Professional Lessons From Einstein’s Scientific Career | Five Lessons

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