Do You Feel Undervalued at Work? Here’s What You Should Do.

Feeling undervalued at work? It might be time to do something about it. But first, ask yourself if you’re being realistic about your expectations. When you’re ready, talk to your boss about your achievements and where you could improve, says author Annie McKee, as quoted in the Harvard Business Review. Other steps she suggests would be to help make you and your team stand out more, praise others and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes.

There have never been this many unhappy people in the workforce. How do we reconcile 4.5% unemployment with an average 300 – 1,800 applications per job? You have to feel bad for the truly unemployed job seekers who need some income. They’re being drowned out.

Well, one idea is that companies have made it too easy to apply for positions (generally online), leading to the situation where there are hundreds or thousands of applications for each position. As a result, prospective applicants get weeded out by quick passes, and hiring managers are making snap-decisions based on a 7-10 second resume scan. Who you know and who can get you past that first weed-out are paramount, and we see the same well-connected candidates have their pick of jobs, while many more qualified and talented people simply never get an opportunity.

With regard to 4.5% unemployment, remember that U-3 only considers as part of the labor force individuals who are actively looking for a job; it doesn’t include involuntary part-time employment, seasonally-unemployed, or people who have given up on looking for work; labor force participation is down 3.5 percentage points, and prime-age labor force participation is down 1.7 percentage points from where they were in late 2007 before the crash.

“I was abused on my Federal contract with HHS. I could have done some amazing things for them. I was hired for my experience with knowledge management, analytics, science, and database design. But they kept me in some probationary technical writing role. I was told it was just for a year while I learned the ropes and that every new contractor went down this path. The last 3 contractors were Federalized after one year. Due to budget cuts, I replaced all 3. That’s a lot of grueling technical writing. To make matters worse, I remained in that task for 4 years. Again, budget cuts. No one was brought in to replace me and push me up the chain. When I finally complained about being used as a glorified secretary, I was let go. I could have solved so many of their problems.” Matthew Giarmo, Ph.D.

Sadly enough, you don’t learn enough about these people to anticipate that they are capable of such schemes. It took quite a number of Feds to keep me down. The maliciousness was institutional, with Feds slavishly complying with the conduct of others (mostly out of fear). A collection of individual persons socialized into a corporate culture and encouraged to behave in ways that might be uncharacteristic of them as individuals is a fact of life. So I disagree. Companies can create group minds.

Start planning your exit.. because who is anyone else to tell you what you’re worth and capable of? You don’t need external validation to feel great.. you already are great! Work for yourself and your clients will see it more clearly than any boss ever will.

The problem is most people can never get paid enough “money” to equal their self worth. We work to earn a living, not typically to find happiness. We should never place our happiness or self worth in the hands of our supervisors or employers. Our self worth and happiness should be in the work products we produce. The employer is responsible for ensuring you have a workplace conducive to produce….not your morale.. You don’t want them in charge of your “happy”… Happiness and appreciation has different meanings to different people. Some want overtime, some don’t… some want flex-schedules, some don’t…. Plan for what you want. If you don’t have a plan, then you’ll be the victim of someone else’s plan.


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