I Feel Undervalued at Work - What Can I Do about It?

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I sure hope you can help me as I am in desperate need of your advice.

I have been working with the same company for over two years. It’s not that bad because the pay is pretty good and the work environment is not too stressful. I also always get off on time, and I’ve literally never seen anyone stay behind to work overtime.

The problem, however, is that I feel undervalued. Although my work responsibilities are now completely different, no one seems to have acknowledged what I contribute to the project. If anything, it often seems like I’m picking up the slack for everyone on my team and my efforts go completely unrecognised. This is also affecting the quality of my life as I’m usually so tense after work that I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve tried talking to my boss, but nothing has changed. Should I start looking for a job elsewhere? Finding a similar role might be close to impossible, though. Or should I just stay here and give it another shot? Please help!

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Kyriaki says:

From what you are telling me it sounds like you want to gain more respect at work and be more challenged in your job. First of all, you should know that you always have a choice. So you are either going to let this go, abandon all hopes and quit or step up. Personally, I would suggest going with the second option and try talking to your boss again. This time, however, you need to prepare to discuss your role within the company and talk about how far you have shifted from what you were hired to do in the first place. In essence, you should get down to what you want out of this job and what you need to be happy in it.

Since you are content with your salary and job environment, I think it’s best to focus on your day-to-day duties. While there is only so much that you can do as an employee, most of the time you can only do what you are being asked to do. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for more variety in your job. Doing so can give you a chance to try different things and prove to your boss that you can handle a lot more than you are given.

Feeling undervalued shows that you need some kind of reassurance from your boss. But, before you show others that you are good at your job, you have to believe in yourself. Not getting praise from your boss doesn’t mean that you aren’t good at what you do. If you want to show others that you are a worthy employee who takes on big projects, you have to hold onto those times where you have been praised, either by your colleagues, boss or clients and keep to that as a positive feedback.

So even if your boss hasn’t praised you for a while, you need to be able to remind yourself of all the times when he or she did and figure out ways to boost your morale. Feeling like you are picking up the slack doesn’t help you move forward. This kind of thinking only undermines your value. The secret to workplace success is making sure that you are giving your 100 percent in any task you are given, no matter how boring, time-consuming or difficult it is. Once you can do that, you will start getting more responsibility in your role and more likely to take on projects.

When you decide that you are willing to go the extra mile is when you start feeling like you are part of a group and you know that your contribution - whether big or small, counts towards something. That’s when you manage to come up with impressive results that are beyond your boss’s expectations and become better in your job and career as a whole. As such, I would suggest giving it another shot. Besides, you have nothing to lose. If it still isn’t working out with you current employer, then you can start looking for another job