I have been working in the marketing department of a telecommunications firm for the last four years. During this period I have gained a lot of experience and I enjoy doing my work. Moreover, not only do I finish my work on time and meet the deadlines, I am always prepared to pitch in whenever some extra hand is needed. I have a creative approach towards work and have proved to be very effective in problem solving. My problem is that whenever I come up with a great idea for a campaign, my boss presents it to the superiors and takes all the credit for it rather than acknowledging my contribution. Not only this, I have been regularly putting in extra hours at work, but instead of recognizing my hard work, my boss totally ignores my efforts. I agree that there is nothing wrong with doing extra work and taking initiative, but what are you suppose to do when your immediate boss passes your hard work as his own, rather than at least acknowledging that he was unable to accomplish that task on his own. Watching my boss constantly taking credit for all my hard work is discouraging and I think that I might be losing my motivation. I do not know how to deal with this situation. Should I talk to the boss or should I go to his superiors and tell them about his misconduct? May be I should just leave the job and look for a new one. I am totally confused and need help, please guide me to the right choice.
It is totally understandable how frustrated and anguished you must be feeling, since your superior is taking credit for your hard work, but you have to deal with the situation delicately. First of all, going behind your superior's back and complaining to his bosses is a bad idea since your boss is bound to find out sooner or later and when he does, in all probability he will make the situation even worse. Moreover, the superiors might get the impression that you are not being a team player and want solo credit rather than sharing it with everyone. As far as leaving the job is concerned, it is a rather extreme option that should only be considered after you have exhausted all other options. Here are a few tricks you can try that might help with the situation so that you can stay at the job you love so much.
- You should try to talk to the boss in order to find out why he has been doing this. However, keep in mind that while doing so you should be calm and your tone should not be confrontational. The best solution is to go through the back door and ask the boss for feedback on your ideas. You can also ask him if what the superiors thought of the ideas that you had punched in. This way the boss will get the idea that you expect to get acknowledgment for your efforts.
- You must keep in mind that it is in your job description to work for the manager i.e., your boss. So even if you are not getting direct credit for your hard work, you can always imply that you expect that the boss will keep in mind his input on the projects and will remember him whenever the time for a bonus or a promotion comes.
- Another way to get credit for your work is to keep your ideas to yourself and only speak up when you are in a meeting or there are other people around who are listening to what you have to say. This way your boss will not be able to pass your ideas as his own and even if he does so, a lot of people will know that he is taking credit for your hard work. In the end, the manager will come off looking bad and sooner or later the upper management will find out the truth.