We’ve all had this happen to us at one point or another. You pull an all-nighter to finish a presentation; share an idea with your boss and then hear him repeat it in a client meeting. To succeed at work, you not only need to work hard but also get the credit due to you. What do you do when your boss takes credit for all your work?
I’m a part-time junior copywriter in a media agency where I easily work on 10-15 projects per week. I have a boss that always takes credits on work that I did. In 7 months of working with the company, I’ve never once received proper credit for all of my hard work.
Problem is, my boss doesn’t leave a paper trail when he assigns work to me. There’s no way of showing that he is stealing credit on projects or work that I did. When a creative gets appreciated, he will plaster his name all over it and clam it his to the client.
On the first couple of projects, I didn’t notice his behavior, only after working there for a few months I see a trend.
To be honest, I love working at this company. It’s when I don’t get my due recognition that I feel dejected. Why work hard if the boss is just going to steal my ideas? While writing this email to you I realized that from the 100+ projects, my name is in neither one of them!
I guess I could speak to the HR, but I may be risking my employment status here as there’s no paper trail. What do you think I should do?
In my first role as an intern, I would eagerly discuss plausible solutions with the senior executives. Most of the time, my bosses claimed all the good ideas and plans when they were praised in a meeting. Unfortunately for me, I would be held accountable for the bad ideas and mistakes. It helped me learn to document my work, especially important ideas and projects. Soon after, I started finding myself in a position where I would have to provide more information or show I came up with the idea.
In your situation, we don’t know what would work. So here’s what you need to do:
Learn setting limits: You’re not an ideas goose that needs to lay one golden idea every day. Stop accepting projects and assignments unless they’ve been sent to you via an email. By accepting assignments without a paper trail, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You’re still losing productivity, credibility, and focus.
Discuss the issue with co-workers: Address the situation to the coworkers who are close to you and ask them if they’ve been subjected to such instance before. Try to find the reason. Take suggestions from your coworkers on how to handle such a situation.
Contact your HR Department: As mentioned above, contact HR if everything else fails. Remember, talking to them won’t mean that their decision might arrive in your favor.
Leave: If your boss is still taking credit for your work, it’s high time you leave. This company is not the right fit for you. Not only you’ll waste your time on projects and assignments you’ll never get due credit for, but you’ll be emotionally drained and your productivity will eventually start declining. I hope you find my answer satisfactory and take the right decision ahead. Good luck!
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