Teamwork may be important, but your own professional development depends on you getting the credit for your good ideas. But how do you do that without it being awkward?
Any candidate going for a new role will want to highlight their ability to work as part of a team. With agile and collaborative working becoming so popular across many industries, it's easy to see why this would be such a major factor for employers. But what about when you need to stand on your own?
Allowing the team to take credit for your good ideas, can lead to a lot of frustration and could even hold you back when trying to achieve your own professional development goals.
So, how do you take credit for your own good ideas without isolating yourself from the team?
The most effective way of ensuring you get credit when it matters is by keeping a note of what you've achieved. It can be difficult to remember the details or your contribution to a certain project or idea, especially if you're not being asked about it until months after. Most professionals are happy to give credit where it's due, so note down key colleagues who were involved, as well as your role. Giving names of people who can support your involvement will ensure there is more substance to your claims.
Take the lead
If you have a good idea that is being taken further, then try and assert yourself as the one leading its development. There may be a point where you have to hand it over to those who can ensure its practical application but until then, make sure yours is the voice being heard when telling people about the idea. If you let a colleague take your idea to other colleagues, then you'll find that people start assuming it's their idea and not yours.
Good managers should pass on the credit, but you can never be too sure. If it is your manager who takes the project off you, make sure you keep asking them about its progress and advertise your availability to help out, if and when it's needed.
For more introverted professionals, it can be difficult to speak up in a room of your peers and much easier to drop someone an email after. However, this can often lead to blurred lines over whose idea it was in the first place. Try to develop your confidence when speaking in public, especially during team brainstorms. This is where most creative ideas happen and you need to be able to stand up for your contribution.
Do your research
One of the best ways to give yourself confidence about your own ability and ensure others see your talents is to make sure you are keyed into industry developments and insight. Being able to present this during discussions will instantly make others see you as a serious professional who wants to drive new ideas in the company.
It might be looking into what your competitors are doing or how industry leaders are overcoming certain obstacles, but taking this objective view of how your company stands compared to others is a contribution most professionals will value.
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