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What to Do When Your Coworker (or Boss) Keeps Taking Credit for Your Work

What to do When a Coworker (or Your Boss) Keeps Taking Credit for Your Work

At a recent party, a friend pulled me aside to chat about the Daily Agenda newsletter. It wasn’t to give props but to ask me to find resources to help with a situation at her job.

It seems a coworker is taking all the credit for her work.

As Karen Dillon, author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics writes: “in the real world, it matters who gets credit.” Promotions, raises, assignments, and future opportunities all depend on it.

Examples include:

  • The person who takes an idea you’ve discussed and presents it in a meeting as their own.
  • The person who accepts praise for your work.
  • The person who overtly claims your contributions as theirs.

Of course, sometimes coworkers take credit by accident. It isn’t necessarily malicious. And our modern collaborative approach to work can obscure who contributed what or when to a project.

It’s even trickier when a boss or manager takes all the credit for an employee or team’s performance. This should be expected, but again, sometimes it goes too far.

Don’t downplay it when someone consistently oversteps or overtly claims credit for your work. It’s in your professional interest to prepare a thoughtful yet proactive response. Here are four helpful links we like on how to do this:

  1. How to Respond When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work (don’t miss this one)
  2. What Should I Do When My Boss Takes Credit for my Ideas
  3. 5 Awesome Comebacks When Your Boss Takes Credit for Your Work
  4. What to Do When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work

Also, keep in mind that credit is stolen more often from women.

According to a Business Insider article:

“Women are less likely to get credit in group projects. When men and women work together, the men are more likely to get the credit — even if she did the bulk of the work and he’s junior, says Rivers. It may be a combination of men being assumed more competent and women not actively taking credit for their work.


Edward Shepard

I’m a writer and producer who loves gathering people around the digital campfire to share unforgettable stories, well told.

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