You’re a responsible grown-up who more or less knows what you signed up for when you accepted that job offer. You work hard—sometimes even beyond the call of duty—and you don’t really need a pat on the back from management every step of the way.
However, things tend to go south when you give over 100 percent and your efforts are brushed aside for those of a person who does less, or when you’ve made a good and logical recommendation which becomes a success, and yet your input remains unacknowledged. You then keep trying to prove yourself just to get validation, and you start to become bitter in the long run.
“One recurring theme I hear among professionals every day is this: ‘I’m just not appreciated at work,’” writes Kathy Caprino on Forbes. “Overall, I’ve seen that thousands of professionals across all fields, industries, and levels believe that they’re not getting what they deserve at work, and are fed up, demoralized, and disengaged because of it.”
These negative feelings are not entirely your fault—your employer has a huge hand in it, too—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. When you feel like no one gives a crap about what you, it may be time for you to start tooting your own horn.
1. Assert yourself.
Don’t be afraid to put your name on projects or to speak out during meetings. If you feel that you’re being ignored, don’t back down. Instead, be in the middle of the action not because you’re KSP, but you know you can really contribute something that everyone will benefit from. Sometimes it takes a bit of straightforwardness to make others realize your value, so vouch for yourself (without stepping on other people's toes) when you can.
2. Reinvent yourself.
Differentiate yourself from your teammates and prove that what you offer is unique yet still a perfect fit to your group dynamic. Build your personal brand and try to be known for something that no one else is known for.
3. Do things because you actually enjoy them.
Yes, it may be disheartening not to get validated for a job well done, but think about it: Are you doing what you do because you want a pat on the back, or because you really love what you’re doing? Your answer to that question will put things in perspective.
4. Appreciate others.
Get the ball rolling and be the start of positive change. When your teammate does a good job, compliment her. The spirit of valuing others is pretty contagious, and it creates a great environment of cooperation and appreciation not just for your team, but also for yourself. Remember that what goes around comes around!
5. Find greener pastures.
Sometimes, not being appreciated by your colleagues can be rooted in deeper issues that you have no control over. If you feel that you’re being set aside, overstepped, and bullied, speak to your manager about it. If that doesn’t work and coming to the office stresses you out so much that it affects you emotionally and physically, then maybe it’s time to move on.