Every single one of us has bad days at work. Even employees working in their dream job will encounter setbacks and frustrations. The problem arises when those setbacks and frustrations outweigh the enjoyable times. If you are feeling continually unappreciated at work, the solutions below may help.
Eliminate Your Emotions : If you feel like every great idea or suggestion you put forward is generally ignored while your colleagues are praised for their efforts, your stress levels are probably running high. You may feel frustrated, resentful and emotionally exhausted all at the same time. As tempting as it may be to vent your feelings on your boss and co-workers, don’t. Not only is it unprofessional, it will undermine your credibility. If things are really that bad, remove yourself from the immediate situation; take a ten minute break, make yourself a drink, get some fresh air outside the office. If that’s not possible, grit your teeth and quietly count to ten. Allowing your emotions to dominate will only exacerbate an already difficult situation.
Work Out What Makes You Feel Valued : It’s easy to work out why you feel unappreciated at work; long hours, an unmanageable workload and lack of recognition for your contributions at work are just some of the most common. Turn that on its head and analyze what would make you feel valued. Understanding what it is that you need to improve your current circumstances will enable you to be pro-active and turn the situation around. Sometimes, it may be something as simple as your boss saying ‘thank you’ for a job well done, or the afternoon off in lieu of the long hours you’ve worked.
Talk To Your Manager : Don’t seethe inwardly, it will eventually permeate your work and affect your relationships with your colleagues. Once you understand what’s causing your malaise and how it can be put right, request a meeting with your boss to discuss your concerns. Far too few employees get any one-to-one time with their boss outside their annual performance review, by which time the damage is done. Prepare an agenda explaining your predicament, together with suggestions on how to improve the issues that concern you. Present solutions, not problems – and don’t ever make it personal.
Look For A New Job : You may have already followed the previous advice, had a candid discussion with your boss and discovered that things aren’t improving – and in some cases may be stagnating or getting worse. If this is the case, you may need to look for a new job, either within your current company or with a different employer altogether. Before you make that step, be sure that you have reviewed all of your options and understand what it is that is making you feel unappreciated at work. Always check your own attitude too; if in doubt about how you may be perceived, ask a colleague or friend you can trust.
Focus On Your Career Development : Are you up-to-date with the skills needed to carry out your current role successfully? Are there any areas that would benefit from training? If you are finding it difficult to secure another job or improve your current situation because you lack those skills needed to move or excel, request additional on-the-job training. If the answer from your employer is negative, is it feasible to fund your own training or seek support from a mentor? You’ll feel better for being pro-active.
Help Your Colleagues : How can you help your co-workers? Where can you share the benefit of your skills and experience to help others who may be struggling or lacking knowledge (without expecting anything in return)? Try it next time you are feeling unappreciated; it will help you to feel better about yourself and may also help to put things in a new perspective.
Remember Your Long-Term Career Strategy : What is your long-term career strategy? It’s easy to get so swept up in what’s directly in front of us that we forget our career strategy and lose sight of our long-term goals. Why are you in this job? Does it fit within your long-term career plan? If not, how can you readjust your situation and get yourself back on course? Do you have an advisor or colleague you can consult for guidance and support? Is there someone within your social network who will provide candid advice? Revisit your original long-term career strategy and if you don’t have one, perhaps now is the time to create it.
Make A Difference In Your Personal Life : Are there issues in your personal life that are affecting the way you feel about your job? If your work/life balance is suffering or impacting your attitude at work try to identify areas where you may be able to improve your personal life. Perhaps you can volunteer for local charity work or in schools. Serving others will again take the emphasis off you; what’s more, it may give you the clarity you need to put your working life into perspective and move forward.