Congratulations! You’ve delivered a successful project or projects, and your manager has rewarded you with recognition. Enjoy what you’ve earned, but resist the urge to kick back and wait for a parade in your honor. Once you’ve gotten recognition, your work has only begun. Here’s how to nurture it until it grows into a promotion.


It’s a rare workplace indeed that follows a first job well done with instant promotion. Don’t expect to be vaulted up the ladder after a single successful project, or even a quarter’s worth. If recognition is the short game, promotion is the long. Continued overachievement, open communication, and self-advocacy must be part of your playbook even after the first glow of validation.

That said, don’t be afraid to set timelines with your manager. Work with them to document a plan for advancement that satisfies both your needs, and be sure to set mutually agreed-upon milestones and check-ins along the way.


As I mentioned earlier, organizations recognize achievement in different ways. Depending on the size of the company, senior titles may come along more quickly than increased compensation. Advancement may mean a larger group of people for you to manage. Understand how and when your organization recognizes achievement and manage your expectations accordingly. This will help you avoid disappointment and burnout.


Here’s another one I’ve already discussed, but it remains as important on day 671 as it does on Day One. The more recognition you earn and the higher you advance, the more difficult it may be to remember to give credit where it’s due. But remember, those you take credit from now may be the ones tasked with doling out rewards later. Teams work better when each member feels valued. So stay transparent about who did what and when. This act alone will help you shine.

Before we close this discussion, let’s address one big, glowing caveat: the importance of good work for good work’s sake. Yes, recognition is important for getting promoted and growing your career and personal brand. But it shouldn’t be the driving force behind your desire to do great work. It’s an outcome, not a reason. Take pride in your own accomplishments, even if they go unnoticed, and don’t lose heart if you’re not getting the recognition you feel you deserve. Take action, but remember that you’re the manager of your own self-worth.

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