Claim your success, you are worth it!

Published on Jan 22, 2018
By Terry / Senior System Design Engineer

 Just like that. Reach out and take it.

As easy as it may sound many people, especially the technical professionals I encounter daily, are not like that. Each of them has a great set of qualities, quite diverse and unique, but in general they tend to be modest and assume their successes in work as ‘normal’. A shame really, because if you are good at something why not make it known? If you contributed something that is of real value (to you, your company, a customer), is it that strange to stand still for a little while? To take a moment, to be proud of what has been accomplished? To just say out loud that has been your doing that made this little piece of success?

At that point most people will stop. They tend to keep their successes for themselves – maybe even skip the moment and continue with the daily routine. The moment then is lost and any attempt to get it back will always feel like a forced attempt, better just to avoid it all.

I’ve always wondered why so few people claim their success. The ones that do always seem to have their act together and reach much higher goals in their lives. Everything seems to work out, almost like magic. I reckon it is a bit of a balancing act: if you are good at something, but never tell anyone, no one will know. If you shout out you are amazing, but really you are not, it will be a lie. If you are a bit of both (and I think we all are) it can be a key to success. I found it is a skill that can be learned – with a little patience and tact, let me share some examples:

Example 1: you are in team and finishing up an important milestone. In that milestone is a key element you created/implemented and without it the product would not function as well as it does now. There will be demo/presentation about this milestone, so how to claim your success here? First up will be to take action, propose you do the demonstration. This gives a bigger influence in the wording and focus of the demonstration. Make sure you give credit where it is due, meaning the team members for their contribution. Work up to the finale, show the product in its best shape (given the milestone status). Make sure that your key element gets it share of attention too: the product works so well because of it and you are happy to have contributed this to the product. Do not go overboard here, not too many details or much more attention than the contributions of the other team members, yet enough to highlight this as the main element in the milestone, one that you contributed.

Example 2: you stuck out your neck and made a process improvement that is valued among your colleagues and/or managers. There are bound to be meetings where this process improvement can be of use too. Be sure to propose it as an idea, your idea, to bring more value to the product/company by using this idea. The thing is to not only get attention to this good idea, but also to the fact is has been your idea. Make sure that the value it has in other projects/areas is known – just to be sure it is known as added value.

Example 3: you created something that you feel add some value to others. A way of working that saves time, a tool or application to automate a chore and give more insight, a series of articles to explain certain complex concepts. Instead of keeping this to your own, why not publish them? Share them with others. Do have them reviewed for content and style first to be sure it sends the message across in the way you intent. Then think on how to publish them, under your name directly (LinkedIn, a personal blog), or via your company. Either way it will reach people and they will know it was you who presented this value to them.

I always try to give credit where credit is due. Nothing special, but when someone does something out of the ordinary and really achieved something (big or small) it should be valued, maybe even celebrated as such. It can be ignored all too easily: colleagues are busy, project managers just want everything done in time, so much to do and so little time. Stand up I say, think – hey, wait a minute, this is something where I put some real effort in, something that adds value and I will be recognized for it. It is not an attempt to diminish the work of others, it is intended to claim the rewards of the achievement that you accomplished. It was you who made this piece of success and you will enjoy it (for a while).

Face it, to bask in the glory of success sure feels good, to claim some for your own will boost your self-confidence. It will improve your mood, adds to your productivity and creativity. When you try to help others to do the same it can boost your reputation as constructive co-worker, all by just claiming your own success.