Four Ways To Make Sure Your Hard Work Is Recognized and Rewarded

 

Four Ways To Make Sure Your Hard Work Is Recognized and Rewarded


When we begin our careers, as women, we often tend to believe that working hard is the only criteria for making it to the top. Surely all that hard work will be instantly noticed and rewarded- right? In reality, of course, it takes more. Here are four simple ways to rise to the top of your career and make sure your hard work is recognized and rewarded. 

Getting Visibility For Your Accomplishments  

The truth is, not even you can remember all the brilliant things you have accomplished throughout the course of a year.  So you really can’t expect your boss (or your broader organization) to recall any or all of those accomplishments either. In order to track all you have done, you need to make it a habit to list your key accomplishments on a weekly or monthly basis.  Keep the list on your phone or in a file that can be easily accessed even when you’re at your busiest so you have no excuse.

Every few months, you should make it your job to broadcast your successes. Remind your boss of what you accomplished on a regular monthly or quarterly basis in your one-on-one meetings.  While highlighting these goals, make sure to include everyone who helped in accomplishing every success you recorded. It is your job to keep your boss armed with information about your key contributions so they can speak to them at a moment’s notice, even if you’re not there.

At year-end, or during your firm’s review process, you can easily hit on your top accomplishments for the year by referencing the list you’ve kept.  You will also be able to pick the top contributions and speak confidently about them at any time. By being confident discussing your successes it will help others to remember and appreciate your accomplishments.

Mentoring and Sponsorship

We hear a lot about mentors and sponsors and for good reason- THEY ARE IMPORTANT. When beginning your career or a new job, you need to find a good mentor.   Then find another that maybe isn’t in the same company as you. Mentors are critical in supporting your success both internally and externally.  But, mentorship shouldn’t mean relying solely on your mentor to guide your career path. Rather a mentorship is an equal relationship where you are also responsible for making the mentoring work.  For every meeting with your mentor, you need to come prepared with questions or concerns as well as possible solutions. While meeting with your mentor you should be asking for guidance around your career path or events that happened on the job. These meetings are the time for reviewing various events, understanding them and ultimately growing from them. 

As you progress in your career, you will also need a good sponsor. The difference between a mentor and a sponsor is your sponsor will work in your organization and has the political capital to help you advance. Your sponsor knows the “unwritten rules” for advancement and will help you achieve them. You should also be able to clearly state what success means to you so your mentor and sponsor can support you even when you’re not in the room.  This is critically important if you’re a woman working in a male-dominated industry or firm. Take the time to seek out senior women to learn how they’ve succeeded, but also seek out men who have shown support (or ask a likely supporter – he may be looking for an opportunity to show how he can help!). By finding a few different mentors and sponsors to learn from and grow with, you will be able to navigate obstacles and your career path with a variety of opinions and views. 

Peer Networking-part of your “Board of Directors”

As important as having a mentor is, you also need a peer network. Every woman should have a “board of directors” or a “squad” or “tribe”. This is a group of people who you learn from, support you and also advise you. You should make it a goal to find people who have successfully navigated your organization at your level, connect with them, and have them on your “board”. The goal is to learn from their methods and experience and see what works and what didn’t. Outside of your organization, it would also be wise to network with other women to share best practices and connect on any learnings they may know or have experienced. 

You never know when your former peer will become your boss or take a job at a firm where she can continue to support your career in addition to helping you grow in your current role.

Presence

Presence is hard to define but easy to spot.  Work on yours.  

You need to show up like you belong (because you do!) and speak with confidence.  Do your homework so you are informed and always share your ideas and opinions. If you continue to pretend you are comfortable in an uncomfortable room, you will eventually become comfortable (remember the mind is a powerful thing!).  

This technique of self-assurance is something that men tend to do naturally but is often difficult for women because we don’t want to come off as fake or god forbid someone sees through it. It is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for all of us as women, to exude confidence that we may not necessarily have but can build.  If we act like we, and our contributions, matter, we and they will.  

As women, we tend to take a step back from flaunting our successes for fear of appearing arrogant, but the reality is if we don’t speak up, no one else will. There is no one else who cares more about your success and career than you! By doing these four simple actions, you will ensure that your hard work is not only being recognized but also rewarded. Our successes are something to be proud of and evidence that we can accomplish just as much as our male counterparts. For more information on how to ask for what you want, head on over to the BAX Blog.