Rowena Morais recently wrote a blog post, “Feeling Under-Appreciated? Here’s How You Can Make It Better,” where she discusses feeling under-appreciated when you have done good work and you’re not getting the recognition you feel you deserve. When this happens, regret or perhaps anger or disappointment may engulf you.
Even though you can’t control how people react or respond to you, you can control your reactions and how you deal with others’ responses, attention or inattention to you. You should always remember that you are in control of your emotions and the best thing you can do is to learn coping mechanisms that are productive or helpful to yourself in some way. Many times there is a situation where you are more capable, more dedicated, more logical and have more experience, but someone else is in the right place at the right time and they end up making more money than you and getting all the recognition.
A recent example from my life
My supervisor has tried several times over a period of a couple of years to get a personnel action through for me which would have enhanced my work situation. With numerous rules and regulations in place and an unhelpful HR office, the action never happened.
Recognize the Situation
So what do you do in a situation like this? Do you leave that company or switch to a different work group? Morais says, that “the aim here is to get past just being purely led by emotion” and let your decision be guided by facts.
Don’t Take on More
Morais says that “if you are doing the work because you are craving recognition,” you need to “come to terms that it is not happening.” You need to find out why you are staying in the same situation. It’s vital to understand what motivates you at work! I have frequently found that what I’m thinking in meetings matches exactly what my boss is thinking and then he actually verbalizes it. On occasion I speak my mind to my manager and receive total agreement. Motivation from within! I’m in tune and see the true picture!
Promote Your Brand and Your Work
Because, as Morais states, “successful people do not get anywhere simply doing good work and letting it shine through or waiting for it to be discovered,” you have to shout your own praise. Let people know when you do good work. Be brazen but kind, confident and articulate. Here is one thing that I do that makes a difference:
I like to track accomplishments during the year so that I can either give them in writing at performance review time, or discuss in my annual review. When you do this, you help yourself to remember the good you have done and will improve your performance review.
How do you ensure your supervisor knows of all the accomplishments? Don’t be shy; advertise your abilities and greatness! I pushed management to see my work and abilities and demanded harder projects over the past 23 years.
Morais is right when she says that, “We don’t always have to say yes to every project, every email and every offer in the time frame dictated to us. We simply cannot live our life at the demands and whims of those around us.” You know your work schedule and should have your work prioritized. When a manager wants something from you and has not given you a deadline, be sure to find out when they expect it. If that timeframe is difficult, offer an alternative and explain why. You don’t want to be pushed around; neither do you want to be seen as difficult with deadlines (sometimes management needs to change the priorities).
Find a Way to Renew and Regenerate
Morais writes “Balance is key to achieving what we set out to do, and balance means different things to different people.” She is correct in saying that it’s important that you find a balance that works for you and don’t worry about others at work. “Stop, pause, reflect.” Always remember that a job is a means to an end. You do the job to pay the rent, buy the groceries and handle your bills. It’s great if you are over-the-moon for your job. The important thing is that you cannot let everyone dictate your life and priorities. Always present is the need to have time and space for you to rejuvenate. When you do this, you will be more fulfilled at work and outside of work, and will always readily be able to reach that center of calm in the middle of a work-storm!
So – I didn’t leave my work unit. My supervisor has my back and has proven that to me even though he wasn’t able to successfully maneuver the HR personnel obstacle course. I’m sure that like me, you see others with less experience and business acumen making more money or getting opportunities and public recognition that you aren’t. I am OK with that because I have de-stressed myself and my biggest benefit is working from home. I “recognize the situation” and concentrate on my perks: no commute, no angry peers in my face, no annoying co-workers’ habits or loud voices to deal with. I still look for opportunities and challenges but I have more control over them!
How do you renew yourself? How do you promote yourself at work? What can you do today to increase your comfort level and feel appreciated at work? What is in your control?