Written By Ritika Trikha
Overworked. Undervalued. Now What?
You’re working your fingers to the bone – extra hours, extra projects, extra everything. And yet no extra appreciation is coming back your way. No one seems to notice your hard work. What to do?
No matter why or how you found yourself in this situation, you can turn it around. It’s time to take back control.
As Roxanne Peplow of Computer Systems Institute notes, “You cannot seek praise from others—it has to come from within.” Rather than waiting to be recognized and praised by others, choose to be proud of your accomplishments in their own right. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Shed light on your achievements when appropriate. And look for ways to acknowledge the efforts of others who contribute to your success — those on your team.
“If you feel that you are doing more than what is expected of you and it isn’t being recognized, you are making yourself a victim. When you victimize yourself, it’s impossible to be positive,” Peplow says.
Try these 5 steps to find the recognition you deserve:
1. Look Closer — Then Speak Up
If it seems like you’re swamped, first reexamine your workload. You may benefit from smarter ways to prioritize and minimize work. If that’s not enough, don’t be a hero. Talk with your boss.
“Many employees mistakenly believe their job is at stake if they say they can’t handle one more project. More projects equal less focus and lower quality,” says Steve Duffy, president of ListHere.com. Like many other managers, Duffy would rather have an employee deliver great results than take on too much and fall short.
Tell your manager. He wants to know. After all, his success depends on your ability to perform.
2. Do Something You Love — After Hours
Balance in other areas of life can make or break your workplace happiness. Fast Co.Create suggests that professionals develop a “passion project” outside of work.
Firstborn Creative Director Adam Rubin is also a children’s book author. He told Fast Co.Create that having a side project is not only personally gratifying, but also translates positively back to his work. For him, writing children’s books as a sideline “is an excellent exercise in simplicity and rhythm. It has helped me improve the brevity, clarity and pace of my writing.”
3. Stop Taking On Extra Work From Slackers
If you’re overworked because you’re picking up slack from one or more colleagues, enough is enough. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a boiling point, says Joseph Grenny, co-author of New York Times bestseller “Crucial Confrontations.”
Grenny led a study that suggests 93% of employees work with others who don’t pull their weight — yet only 1 in 10 of us actually confronts underperforming colleagues. If you feel uncomfortable speaking directly to offenders, you have two alternatives: 1) Just say no to helping in the future, or 2) Discuss it with your boss (see suggestion #1).
4. Get Enough Sleep
When you’re overworked, sleep is probably the first thing to go. “Work can keep us up at night, worrying about what is next or staying up because work still needs to be accomplished,” says Chris Ohlendorf, Partner at Versique Search and Consulting.
Realize that the more sleep you lose, the closer you are to burnout. And burnout won’t advance your career.
5. If All Else Fails, Start Searching For The Next Job
If your boss is simply not budging, you have no time to balance your life, and you’re surrounded by slackers, it may be time to reward yourself by jumping ship. Just make sure you’re not job hunting on company time, warns Lida Citroen, personal branding and reputation management expert at LIDA360.
Her advice: “Networking — online and in person — and studying industries, companies and business leaders will help you become more proactive in your career.”
Chalk It Up to a Lesson Learned
ListHere.com’s Duffy also offers some final words of wisdom for those who have reached the point of no return – treat any company the way it is treating you. “Remember that a company only hires you because you can add value to their bottom line.”
If you’re no longer moving forward in your career, accept the lessons learned from this experience, and find a new employer. But avoid repeating past mistakes. In interviews, be sure to ask questions that will help you determine whether or not that company will be a better fit:
- How would you describe your management style?
- How did this position become available?
- What kind of recognition system is utilized here?
- Can you tell me about the growth opportunities available to employees?
Take back control. Embrace and celebrate your achievements, while helping others see your value and respect your contributions. You have nothing to lose!
(Author Profile: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. When Ritika’s not writing, she’s obsessing over social media (and listening to Jay Z!). Connect with Ritika on Twitter!)
Republished with permission from YouTern.
Image Credit: Stock.xchng