Welcome back! So recently, I was talking to a friend about her value at work (she was basically venting), but to make a long story short, she busts her ass at work and it seems to never be good enough for some of her counterparts. I was able to empathize with her very easily because I have been there and know the feeling all too well.
No matter what industry you work in, if you are a person that gives their all at work the last thing you want to feel is undervalued. The truth is, there could be various factors or people that may contribute to this feeling and this trick is knowing how to combat that while still keeping your dignity.
I want to note that while this could be somewhat of a normal feeling at times (because there will be good days and days at work) but you must assess how often you have this feeling. This should NOT be an ongoing feeling. If you feel that you are undervalued continuously in your job, it may be time to look for a new one.
If this is not the case, then you are in luck! This may not be the end of the road for you at your job, in fact, you can still turn it around by following these tips!
Keep Your Receipts!
Yes – keep everything! This means, emails, phone call logs, and any other documentation that you might need in order to bring forth that you are in fact doing your job. Speaking from experience, there are so many times that conversations with candidates (or lack thereof) were brought into question, so I learned early on to document everything.
Speak To Your Supervisor
I encourage you to check in with your supervisor regularly, but especially when you are feeling discouraged. When approaching your supervisor, you want to be strategic.
- Be solution driven, you want to be clear that you are a team player and you want them to advise you on how to handle the situation.
- Ok, break out the receipts. If you have proof or an example of the problem, that would be a great opportunity to give them a better idea of what you are facing and how to handle it.
- Clearly, explain your feelings (without getting emotional) and how it is affecting your productivity. Stress how you want to this to change and ask for feedback on how to change it.
Flex Your Strengths
That’s right. Sometimes people just don’t know everything that you are capable of and they underestimate the value you can bring to a company. If you have some extra time, try taking on more responsibilities. Ask a coworker if they need help with anything or add extra detail to a work project that you normally wouldn’t. Stepping up at work could work in your favor by showing your peers you have initiative and showing the company that you are not one dimensional as a worker.
Assess Your Relationships
Assess whether the problem stems from a particular colleague or group of co-workers. You want to be clear in that assessment, so gauge how you work with others outside of them. Does it seem like it is only you that they act like this towards? Is it during time-sensitive projects? Or maybe they act like this towards everyone? These are very important questions to ask yourself and in the process take inventory of how they treat others as well.
Hopefully, this is something that is already in the works, but just in case it isn’t, now is the time to do it. Building rapport with your coworkers cannot only be empowering but it can help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. Often times, we carry a lot of weight and we forget that in many cases you have a team around you that you can pull resources from. In other instances, they could vouch for you actually adding value to your role. No one knows your work ethic (or lack thereof ) more than the people who work directly with you regularly.
Come Up With Your Mantra
Sometimes you have to be your own biggest supporter. That means that when the odds are against you, come up with a strong, powerful statement to restore faith within yourself. Breathe deeply and repeat this to yourself as many times as necessary until your nerves are calmed. Remind yourself that you are worthy and you have a right to be here just as anyone else.
Being open is something that you need to be mindful of. So often when you feel undervalued it is easy to throw in the towel and let that feeling affect your productivity. Changing your perspective is necessary in order to turn the situation around not only for the company’s benefit but for yours as well. Let’s say that your current role does not pan out – this is still experience that you are able to put on your resume and can be the stepping stone to your next career move. Keep in mind that doing your best always is necessary for your reputation as a professional and sets a tone for your career.
Know When To Fold
Each story is different. No matter what the reason is for this feeling, as I’ve said before, it is not normal to feel this regularly. If you have exhausted all of your resources on trying to turn the situation around, you have to realize when it is time to move on. Let’s be clear – business is business. Just as you want to be valued, the company wants to see value as well. If your position at a company is no longer mutually beneficial, you may need to start looking for a new job that might be a better fit.