Takes Your Credit

What To Do When Someone Takes Your Credit

It’s always a little awkward when someone takes credit for your achievement. Being part of the team doesn’t always mean being part of the process, and it can rub you the wrong way when someone jumps in the limelight but wasn’t there originally in the crossfire.

This idea can take a lot of different shapes and forms. Maybe you have an arm-chair boss who only swoops in to accept the award, but you and your co-workers have been drowning in issues that the boss never attempts to resolve.

Travis Greenberg, a senior anthropology student, has experienced this phenomena in his own life.

“It goes back to something as seemingly inconsequential as being on a kid’s sports team,” Greenberg said. “You work hard every day in practice and you’re the main driving force behind the wins of your team’s games. But then the award ceremony rolls around, and your coach who never even showed himself during the season is giving a thumbs-up for the photo-op. You could see, on an adult scale, how this could happen in the workplace.”

Your first reaction might be to confront that person out of anger, but experts say that isn’t such a good idea. Karen Dillon, author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics, gave statements to hbr.org in relation to this idea.

“You look petulant, like a kid who’s folded her arms and is pouting,” says Dillon in regards to letting your emotions get the best of you.

Immediately confronting the person while you’re in an angry state won’t solve anything. The truth is, there’s no sure-fire way to go about it. If someone takes credit for something tangible such as an invention, then that’s grounds for a serious intervention. However, if someone takes credit for a group’s success, that allows them to shroud themselves in the group’s efforts to mask their lack of participation in the success.

In my own personal experience, I try to just take it on the chin. After all, taking credit for something undeserved is a sign of someone’s insecurities with their own achievements. It’s a method to protect and shield their own ego from the truth. They may seem happy accepting that award that you put in the work for, but seeing it hung up on their wall will always give them a feeling of dissatisfaction.

You, the hard worker, will always reap that satisfaction. Your work ethic will provide far further and larger gains in life then their parasitic attitude ever could. As they prioritize short term gains, you’re honing your skills and moving on to the next level.

It’s beyond tempting to have a conversation with the person and confront them about them taking your thunder away. However, realizing deep down they already know the truth, is mission accomplished enough. Moving on and living a good life that is distant from those negative forces is the best and most mature step you can take.


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