Deanna Hartley, CareerBuilder writer
Having 99 problems at work is nothing new — but what do you do if your boss is a problem? Specifically, what if your boss keeps taking credit for work that you have put your blood, sweat and tears to create? This can be a tough spot to find yourself in, but the good news is there may be a few things you can do about it.
Here are 8 tips to get started:
Avoid the temptation to vent to your co-workers. The first and probably most important point is to avoid circulating this type of information to everyone in the office. You don’t want to be known as the person who starts the gossip chain; this will only cause your co-workers to see you as someone who is untrustworthy. Plus, it could always come back to bite you if word ever got back to your boss.
If you must vent, discuss it with loved ones only. You know who your support system is — it might be your parents or siblings or significant other. These are the people who have your back no matter what, and can listen patiently as you voice your frustrations and get it off your chest while maintaining professionalism at work.
Pick your battles — is this one worth fighting? There is bound to be friction and discontent at varying degrees in the workplace, but you simply cannot take up every cause and fight every battle. That’s why you need to evaluate whether this is a cause you want to take up or if it’s something you’re better off letting it go. You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, but at the same time you also don’t want to be a doormat.
Seek the counsel of a mentor. Instead of venting to your co-workers — which may make you feel better in the short term, but won’t get rid of the problem — schedule a time to chat with your mentor or someone you turn to for sage professional advice to find a more realistic and practical solution.
Attempt to have a direct conversation with your boss about it. There is obviously a delicate balance between being candid with your boss about your struggles and not overstepping your boundaries, but don’t let your resentment build up and overflow. If you notice a repeated pattern of your boss taking credit for your work, the first thing you owe him or her is to raise the topic in a calm manner. You don’t need to rehearse the entire conversation you’re planning to have with your boss, but it would behoove you to take a step back and quietly reflect on the point you want to get across — and the desired action you’re hoping to achieve by having said conversation.
Keep track of your ideas in writing. This may take some extra work on the back end, but try to keep a log of ideas and projects you have created or led, and document the steps as much as possible in writing. This may come in handy at a later date if you ever needed to prove it.
Use other opportunities to get your name out there. Look for speaking opportunities, guest blogger slots and take every chance you get to be a team lead on projects. Try to become involved in inter-departmental activities and meetings wherever it makes sense. If you get your name out there independently, nobody can really steal all your credit.
Worst case scenario: Request to be transferred. Your last resort — assuming you’ve tried all of the above steps and you still believe your boss is intentionally taking credit for your work and undermining your professional credibility for his or her own benefit — is to take the matter to a higher power within the organization and request to be transferred to a different team or ask to report to a different manager.
Having trouble getting along not just with your boss, but with everyone in the office? You might want to consider these 15 jobs for people who don’t like people.