How to Get Credit for the Work You Do
Now, the next thing I wanna talk about is how to get credit for all the work you do. This is the number one issue people face in the workplace. People will tell you, when they get really honest, their real frustration is I don't get credit for all the work I'm doing. I feel like I'm doing a good job, but I'm not getting ahead. I think people can relate to that feeling. So, I'm gonna change your life right now. In the next 10 minutes, I'm gonna change your life because I can tell you how to get credit for a project four times instead of zero. Four times. This is a multiplying effect, okay? So, here's what we're gonna talk about. How's it going and I don't trust you. So, this is about code words in the workplace, and people can go their entire career and not understand that there's codewords in the workplace, so I'm gonna kinda lift the veil here for you. When your boss says to you how's it going, what they actually mean is I don't trust you. How's it going, I don't trust you. Kind of sc...
ary, right? You're like wait a minute, I thought my boss was so nice. My boss this morning just walked over to my desk and said how's it going, but what they were actually saying to you is I don't trust you. So, let's just kind of unpack that a little bit. Here's what most people think happens on a project. Your boss gives you something to do, you go away and do it, and then you turn in the project. That's what most people think happens on a project. One, two, three. What actually happens on a project is your boss gives you project, then a day goes by, maybe two, and your boss comes by your desk and goes, hey, how's it goin? And you're like, oh, great. You know, I had a great weekend, it was super fun. The weather was great, we were outside with friends, it was super. I have the nicest boss. And then you keep doing some work and then an hour later or a day later your boss comes by and goes, hey, how's it goin? And you're like, oh, good, good. Great day, great day, it was fun. Good meeting earlier, thanks. And you're sittin there going I have the nicest boss. They're always asking after me, they're always checking in on me, asking how I'm doing. And then you keep doing the work and you turn in the project. Now, I hope you see the difference there because what's happening is the boss walks away from that project and the boss walks this way and goes I'm such a good boss. I was checking in on that person. That project never would've gotten done if I hadn't checked in and made sure that they were making progress, and meanwhile, you're walking this way out of a project going why didn't I get credit for any of the work I'm doing? I'm doing all the work, I'm turning it in on time. You might even be turning it in early, but you're not getting the credit. And the reason is you haven't considered the boss' experience of how the project gets done. You've gotta get out of your own head and take responsibility and think about the other person's journey for getting this project done 'cause I have a little secret for you, bosses are human beings too. Shocker, but it's true, and bosses are human beings and they get nervous, and they're worried about impressing their boss and they're worried about turning the reports in on time and they're worried whether things are gonna go well or if things are gonna go poorly and they're worried about their own promotion. And so, they're worried about things and you need to recognize that. And you need to recognize when the boss comes around and says how's it going, what they're actually saying is, hey, I'm a little bit nervous on this project. Could you give me an update? My boss gave me some tough feedback and so my ass is really on the line right now. So, I wanna make sure that this is going well. Now, maybe the boss doesn't have all of those words at their disposal to say that, so instead, what they're doing is trying to get close to you and be like how's it going? I hope you secretly can read my mind that I really am nervous and I don't think you're gonna do a good job on this 'cause your last project didn't go very well and it kinda hung me out to dry, right? And their all of that is wrapped up in this catch phrase of how's it goin? So, it's pretty scary when you think about that, but it... I want it to be a rhythm, I want you to hear how's it going, I want you to be like wait a minute, Justin told me this means something. What do I do, okay. I missed the chance to update my boss. Okay, when they ask how's it going, I'm gonna respond by giving them an update on the project or, if I miss that, I'll realize they weren't asking me how's it going, they were wondering how the project's going and they didn't know how to put words around it. So, I'm gonna send them a quick email and give them an update. How's it going is a dangerous codeword in the workplace. So, I wanna tell you how to fix this situation. Here's what you do. Your boss give you a project, you go back to your desk, and before 5:00 p.m. the end of the day, shoot an email to your boss and say hey boss, really excited about this project. I plan on checking in with you on Wednesday, I'll send you a rough draft on Thursday, and we'll have it all done by Friday, really excited. I've done no work, I've literally done nothing. All I've done is send this email, and already, I've gotten one credit for this project. I've literally done nothing and the boss is like whoa, Justin's organized, he's got a plan. Okay, I feel pretty good about this. I've gotten credit for this project one time and I've done nothing. All I did was play back to the boss I'm organized, you can trust me. Now, I alluded in that email to say I'm gonna check in with you on Wednesday. So, it gets to Wednesday, I take that email, I forward it back to my boss, and I go hey boss, just wanted to let you know the project is going great. I spoke with Carly, she gave me some good insights, and we're on track to send you a rough draft tomorrow. I literally may have done no work. At this point, I could have done no work. I just sent that email and already the boss is like whoa, Justin, gettin' stuff done. Oh, he can play nice with other people? Oh, look, he's talking to Carly. I wasn't sure if they liked each other, but sounds like they're gettin' stuff done. Wow, Justin's someone who works well with other people and he's organized and I feel calm that things are still on track. But then I may have done no work and already the boss, two times, is like mm, I like working with Justin. This is good, this is steady. So, now I get to Thursday and what I always try and prescribe is by 5:00 p.m. the day before something's due, you send a pre-read to the boss and you say hey boss, wanted to send you a pre-read. Here's the completed form, or you know what? It's 75% of the way there. I'm gonna finish it up in the next hour. We'll be ready for tomorrow, whatever the case may be. You also can say things like hey, I want you to pay attention to this one topic 'cause I know it's something you're not sure about. I'd love any insights from you before we get in the meeting tomorrow, and I send off that email. Now, I preempted all of the nervousness from my boss of what's gonna happen tomorrow? What is this document or this form or this presentation gonna look like? 'Cause I've said here's the pre-read and I've sent context around it. I've given myself a little room to say I'm still improving things and I've also prescribed specific things I want them to look at because this is a secret weapon, but all of a sudden, look what happened. Three times I've gotten credit for the project and I still haven't even turned it in. Compare that to the other person who's sitting there getting no credit for their project. I've gotten credit three times and I haven't even turned in the final work, and then you get to Friday and you turn in the final project. So, now I got credit for the project four times and meanwhile, you're sitting there. At best, you're getting credit one time. Think about the difference when you multiply that times 10 projects you do every week or 10 projects every day. All of a sudden, I'm getting credit 40 times a week and you're getting credit 10 times maybe. Think about how that adds up over time. Now, when the boss has the cool project or the cool traveling trip or the next promotion, who are they gonna give it to? You might be smarter than me, you might be better at your job than me, but if I'm reliable and helping my boss have a good experience of the project, that's bonus points. So, that's what I want you to think about. When you hear someone say how's it going, I want you to think you've missed a chance for an update. This is how to maximize getting credit for all your work so you can get on with your life, okay? And this is the difference between getting promoted next month or 11 months from now. I promise, this puts you on the fast track, okay? So, pay attention to that. You're never gonna hear that phrase again in the same way.