Picture this. You have spent weeks preparing a promotion dependent presentation for management. You skipped meals, stayed up late, put aside your personal time, and even became snappy with your loved ones, all with the goal of an excellent delivery. When it’s time to present, you feel confident in your thorough research and diligence. When you open your mouth to dazzle management, you hear a colleague presenting your laborious project as their own work. What to do? What to do?
Stay calm and apply these five tips when a colleague is taking credit for your hard-earned contributions at work:
1. Copyright: Keep a record of all your original work. Send it to yourself as an email to have a timestamp and have a backup hard copy. Doing this will provide proof if your credibility is disputed.
2. Confront: Have a conversation with the colleague in private. Address their conduct and not their character. Start your conversation assuming the colleague did not intentionally steal your spotlight. Plan on how the colleague can rectify their actions.
3. Collaborate: Alert management in a professional and teaming manner. Present the colleague’s behavior, your work, and that you addressed the issue directly with the colleague. If the matter continues or is not resolved by your colleague and management, collaborate with HR to devise a solution. Don’t rule out consulting with legal authorities and your profession’s licensing board.
4. Celebrate: You work is noteworthy and people often imitate greatness. Record in Work Journal. A Place to Record How Awesome You Are © the details on what took place. You are gathering what makes you a subject matter expert and thought influencer; this intel will make it easier to negotiate your dream salary.
5. Consider: Ask yourself if you want to stay in an environment where talent thieves and professional plagiarism can thrive. If the answer is no, its time to plan your next best career move. If the answer is yes, consider transferring to another department.