Why being a team player doesn’t get you the promotion

All my life I’ve been a team player. I help others. I do the work no one else wants to do. I always ask “what can I do to help you”. But I’m always short of receiving the recognition or credit for all the work I do.

I’m not asking for a pity “thank you” or fake award. I just want to be noticed. The problem is that I am not making myself visible. I’m not taking the credit for my work. I’m not saying to the big wigs “hey, look at all this work I’m doing”. Instead, I’m doing the work for my colleagues and not getting noticed.

If you want to get recognized for the work you do:

  1. Talk about your accomplishments. Tell others what you have done and the impact your work has made. If you don’t remind people, they won’t remember.
  2. Be available. Again, if you’re not out and about and if you don’t let people know that you’re around, they will forget about your name when it comes time to make nominations for that new job or promotion.
  3. If you do the work, make it known. Take credit for the work that you do. That’s great if you help out a colleague but make sure your supervisor, the CEO, the director, your boss, whoever… make sure they know. Your colleague is not the person who is going to promote you, your boss is.

Qualities that matter less when it comes to being recognized:

  1. Likability. You don’t have to be liked to get promoted or recognized. I spend a lot of time bonding with colleagues and making sure we “get along”. But in the end, if the results and the work aren’t shown, your boss does not care.
  2. The amount of work you do. The amount of work you do does not equal to how deserving you are of a promotion. That’s right, sometimes the people who do less, contribute less and even care less will get that promotion. As long as they have one key project that they excelled at, it will mask all their other downfalls.
  3. Managements skills. Your bosses boss doesn’t care if your boss stinks at being your manager. All they care about results. You can even be a terrible manager, but if the work is getting done… the poor managements skills get overlooked.
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