How To: Stop Feeling Undervalued At Work

Work, Work, Work

Whether you hate your job or love it, there’s no denying that your workplace is where you spend the majority of your time. If you’re a nine to fiver, you’re spending on average eight hours working a day – that’s 40 hours (before overtime) a week, or 160 hours a month.

That’s a lot of time spent in a place which may be causing you to feel unhappy. From time to time, everyone gets a little fed up or irritated with work. But if you keep finding yourself frustrated or as though your hard work goes amiss, then you may be undervalued.

Sign you’re undervalued by your boss:

  • You’re underpaid
  • Often overlooked by bosses for promotions and opinions
  • Lack of appreciation
  • You don’t receive praise
  • They don’t make any time for you or provide you with constructive feedback
  • You don’t get things you need to do your job
  • Your boss has no interest in you as a person.

If you start to notice these behaviours and issues arising at work, there’s a chance you and your work is undervalued.

Don’t fear, we have some top tips on what you can do to stop these feelings, or least to try and understand why this is happening.  

Assess Your Work 

The first step is to do some self-reflection and ask yourself whether the work you are creating and providing is:

  • In-line with company standards. 
  • Completed to a high level.
  • On-time.
  • Valuable to your company and colleagues. 

If you feel overlooked and undervalued, there’s a chance your productivity, motivation and general demeanour has shifted and your boss may have noticed. 

Are you making yourself available to your boss and colleagues, taking onboard any feedback or criticism and are you aligning yourself with the company goals and ethos? These are all things you should take into account.

Talk To Your Boss

If you’re going above and beyond to impress your boss and colleagues and your work is still going unrecognised, it may be time to speak to your boss. Opening up a conversation about how you feel and how the situation can be resolved is a helpful way of moving forward. It also lets your boss know how you’re feeling and what they can do to improve.

Be cool, calm, collected and most importantly, be prepared when meeting with your boss. Set the tone of the meeting and come with examples to help illustrate your point. It’s also a good idea to try and figure out what validation you’re after – do you thrive on feedback and criticism or, is it purely monetary?

Support Yourself

We all want to be supported, appreciated, and recognised for our hard work. It also motivates us to know when we’re valued. However, you can’t always rely on others to validate you and your work

Validating yourself might help you in appreciating your work more. Try keeping a thought journal or evaluating your workday each week, understanding what you did well and what you could have done better – be the first line of your own support system.

Moving On

If you’ve tried everything and there’s no change in how you feel at work, then it may be time to move on or seek advice from a career coach

Moving on doesn’t necessarily mean slamming your resignation on your boss’ desk. It can be anything which you believe would help you feel valuable. It could be seeking further learning opportunities, making peace with the situation or moving to a different department.

We all experience moments like this, where we find ourselves frustrated and irritated with work. But when moments become days, weeks and months, it can begin to take a toll in other areas of your life. So take some time for yourself and make sure you’ve thought through your options. 

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Sajal Azam

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