When Does Getting Credit Matter?

I have noticed throughout my day job and the blogosphere that there are many people wanting various forms of credit. Credit for starting a trend, credit for an idea, or credit just because.

There are many small trivial things I do that some people find really helpful. However, it irks me when someone comes up to me and says, “Hey, do this for me and I’ll give you credit for it.” Is credit really justification for doing a particular task or thing? I’d much rather do something because I want to rather than what rewards I hope to gain from doing the task.

Sometimes when people tell me they’ll give me credit for a task, it’s because:

  • The task isn’t really that great.
  • The person isn’t likable and wants to get things done.
  • The person wants the perception that he/she is helping you out.

As much as I despise the credit game, there are some points when I think it matters.

When Others Can Take Credit From You

Say for example that you have created a logo for a friend. Your friend says, “Hey, thank you.” When other people ask your friend who designed the logo, your friend says, “Oh, I had that contracted out.”

Not cool. It’s either time to lose a friend, or to speak up and say, “I was the one who created the logo. Are you looking for one yourself?”

When Getting Credit Helps You

There are other times when taking credit may benefit you if you have proof in a tangible form. For example, let’s say you have helped increase sales on a particular product. As a result, your sales manager gave you a certificate stating that you were the lead salesperson for a particular month. Would you toss that certificate?

The certificate may be meaningless to an extent, but it may help you if you are looking for another job. It’s one thing to say to someone, “I increased sales.” It’s another thing to say, “I’ve increased sales, and I was awarded the top salesperson for May. Here, take a look at this certificate.”


I often take the humble approach when it comes to taking credit for things. However, it irks me when others will take credit for my ideas, or not give proper credit to me for helping with their success.

I’ve struggled with whether to take credit for certain things, and I am not out to make a name for myself. Perhaps it’s about time to be more proactive, no?

Please weigh in with any thoughts on the matter. Thank you for reading.

7 thoughts on “When Does Getting Credit Matter?”

  1. The "Thank you for reading" trend was started by me. Please give due credit somewhere, linking back to my site.

    I am guessing it depends on many people. Some people want credit to get attention and nothing more, while others do it to get attention so that their work can get more exposure or that they can find more customers or suitable clients for something.

    Credit in a tangible form can be something online also, like plugin urls. Many excellent plugins, like your WP Ajax Edit Plugin, have the website of their authors listed, because getting credit can be a good way to let others know who started something, even if something was started simply to share with others and to not advertise through.

    Taking away someone's credit by not crediting them on purpose is a different case, however. Like the example you shared, it can be a thing that hurts someone for no reason other than for someone to show that the work they got or the idea they are using comes from professional sources that are available only to them.

    For example, I do a lot of different things on my site, like link to anyone I visit regularly without asking for a link back, or answer and address comments and commentors in special ways. Now, after a while, more and more people are acting similarly on their own blogs. Similarly, you (Ronald) and I along with Simonne and others have been trying to let bloggers know, through RA Project, that they should appreciate readers. This is a new concept for majority of the bloggers, and now many prominent bloggers are starting to use the exact examples written on the RA Project, yet they do not give any credit and pass on the ideas as their own.

    Such "behavioral traits", should one ask for credit? It depends. If it is related to work or promoting your talents, then yes, one can ask for credit or at least advertise on their own site the trend they started. However, if it is simply a behavioral trait that revolves around pleasure or reasons other than promoting certain skills, others can simply take and use whatever they notice because online there is a stereotype going around that anything on a non-professional or a non-corporate site is up for grabs.

  2. Give credit when credit is due.
    I credit Bes for saying many things that were on my mind in his detailed comment above, so I won't be repeating what he just said and paraphrasing it like many other bloggers do and teach others to do.

    The only thing I have to add is that Ronald, you are sometimes overly humble and when I thank you and give you credit for smth you did for me, don't blush and accept my appreciation 🙂

  3. Bes,
    Perhaps we should write a little more about this credit thing on RA Project.

    I accept your appreciation. Now for my real reaction. Aw shucks 😳

  4. "The “Thank you for reading” trend was started by me. Please give due credit somewhere, linking back to my site." I hope that wasn't serious, lol. I thought it was at first.

    I agree with Bes, if it is for a talent, or even amount of work one has done, credit should be given. Just a small example, it upsets me when at my part-time work, I do a lot of work. It's frustrating, repetitive work, such as shelving or pricing. I do a lot of it, sometimes twice the amount another employee will do, but the other employee I always work with (who is actually quite slack) almost always takes the credit for my work.

    If it is simply to make one feel better or having a 'name' so to speak… I don't think it should be a big deal. This sounds like a shallow topic, but (me being still just a young'n, and in the high school environment) there are some people who are credit-hogs. They want all the credit for 'starting a trend' or a catchy phrase that 'they made up'. Really, it makes no difference but they will fight to the end for that title.

  5. Ronald,

    I think credit should be given where appropriate. If it irks you when others take credit for your work, then you should speak up for your rights. In cases when you really don't care, you can just let it be. Anyway, you can create again something as good as the other thing you were not credited for. At least for me this works. I don't mind if others take credit for my work, because I don't care so much for recognition. Knowing that it was my accomplishment is enough for me. This does not mean that I won't make myself a very bad opinion about the person who did that.

    And when somebody is giving you credit, the most rewarding behaviour for that person would be a smile and a "thank you".

  6. Jess,
    Bes is always a little silly on this site 🙂

    There are some times I could care less whether I get credit or not for something. But it does irk me every time when someone takes credit for something I probably could have cared less about. There are times on the Internet or offline that I'll tell somebody something and they'll say, "That's a great idea. I'll credit you for it." I shrug and say,"No that's fine. I don't need credit for that." But when that same person turns around and says, "That was my idea", that's when I get peeved.

  7. Getting credit for your work is important. It helps define who you are and what you are about after all. It really upsets me when I see people taking credit for someone else’s work. For some reason people think that normal rules for taking credit don’t apply online.

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