Unappreciated at work? Fix it or look elsewhere

Friday, August 5, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 32

A common issue faced by many employees is the feeling that they’re not appreciated.

There’s a general sense of not feeling recognized, or being overlooked for promotions and raises.

It can be overwhelming, disappointing and demotivating, to say the least.

If you find yourself in this situation, what can you do about it? How can you change the course of your career?

First, take an honest look at your performance. If you have a tendency to come in late or to miss deadlines, work to correct these issues:

-- Make an effort to connect to your peers and management more.

-- Consider setting up weekly check-in meetings with your boss.

-- Have lunch with your co-workers.

But, if you have already taken an honest look and feel you’re doing a great job, it could be time to try another tactic. It might be time to stop beating yourself up and to look elsewhere for employment.

Much of career success is tied not just to your individual performance, but to the perception management has of you. It is also tied to how well your manager promotes your successes to their manager.

If the person who hired you has moved on, you may find yourself stuck with a manager who is less than excited with your contributions (regardless of how great they may be).

Many employees take this as a sign to try harder. They enroll in a new degree program or take leadership classes. They could even start volunteering for causes at work or join the company bowling league.

They try to improve their skills and status.

These tactics might work. Sadly, it is often unlikely.

Once a manager’s view of you has been set, it can often be nearly impossible to change.

This is especially true if they didn’t hire you. Many managers prefer to handpick their own teams and may discredit any pre-existing employees.

It can be a sad situation when an employee spends years trying to impress their existing management, only to find themselves in a hamster wheel.

This process both hinders the employee’s overall growth and their salary potential.

If you have found yourself in a less-than-ideal relationship with your current boss, it may be time to look for a new one. Before things are unbearable at your current job, begin looking around for openings.

A new hiring manager will select you because they like you and believe in you.

It’s an opportunity to start fresh.

Working for someone who puts their faith in you, listens to you and allows you to do what you’re best at is a completely different experience.

Going to work will be less of a chore and much more enjoyable.

And it may have much less to do with your quality of work than your relationship with your boss.

If you are seeking the recognition you deserve, looking elsewhere can open up new doors to a new manager and a healthier work environment.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.