I’m in a pretty rubbish situation at the moment with regards to work. I’m stuck in an office job which doesn’t inspire me, and to be quite frank I feel unappreciated most days. This obviously isn’t good for my overall sense of well being.
We’ve recently had a pay review, and I consider myself a hard worker. I don’t enjoy the job but I put everything I have into doing as much as possible, to the highest possibly quality. The pay review does not reflect this. Pretty tricky to get over working at full pelt and then not getting the appreciation you feel you deserve for it.
But, like everything negative which happens in my life, I’m trying to use this as a learning curve. How can I turn this negative situation into a positive? How can I use these feelings to grow as a human being and become better for it?
This doesn’t necessarily have to be with regards to work either. How many times in your personal life do you feel that someone doesn’t completely appreciate what you do for them? It could be your parents, your partner, your friends. It happens a lot.
But luckily I think it can be pretty easy to overcome. Obviously the spectrum of emotion is massive, and you’ll never stop feeling it, but you can learn how to cope with these feelings and turn them into something positive within your life!
Do it for you.
Whatever it is that you’re doing, don’t do it for someone else. Do it for you. In this way your sense of achievement isn’t reliant on how someone else reacts to whatever you have done. You won’t be waiting for somebody else to say “Good job” and give you a pat on the back, you can do that yourself.
Set yourself a goal, and achieve it. Internally you can give yourself a big high five, maybe even give yourself a little treat for doing it. But do it all for you. I’m an absolutely huge fan of To Do lists, make yourself one and feel great about everything you tick off.
Stop caring what other people think.
This is such a massive thing. Being empathetic is brilliant, caring about other people is wonderful, but caring about how they perceive you is pointless.
If you stop caring what your boss thinks of you, you won’t be trying to compete with your colleagues to be the best on the team. I know this is difficult for purely commission based jobs, but you can try it.
Instead of focusing on what they think, you can focus on the task at hand, whether it be creating a spreadsheet under a deadline or doing the hoovering before your Mum comes round for dinner. It is applicable across so much of your life.
And it does strongly link to the previous tip. At first glance it can seem selfish, but it’s not. There is a fine line between self care and self obsession, but with the right tools and advice you can learn to tread that line perfectly.
Take a step back.
So many times I find myself getting far too involved in my work. I have a really high work ethic and I like everything to be totally perfect 100% of the time. But this isn’t practical.
By taking a step back from the situation you’re in you can look at it from an outside perspective. You can see clearly what is actually required of you and can formulate a plan to tackle this.
By doing this you’re also making yourself less personally invested in what you are doing. You can think about things more pragmatically and any response back to what has happened won’t feel as personal. You’re much less likely to feel like you’re unappreciated if you’re not emotionally invested in the task at hand.
Express the fact that you feel unappreciated.
This is relevant for work and personal life. If you’ve tried all the above steps and still feeling unappreciated then you need to vocalize that. It may be that the other people involved are completely unaware of this.
People are not mind readers. If you don’t tell people how you feel how are they supposed to know? It’s completely justified that if you feel unappreciated you should tell the other parties involved that you feel this way, and why you feel this way.
Talking about emotions can be a minefield. Intentions can be misconstrued, but if you discuss your feelings rationally and without judgement everyone will end up feeling better. I’m sure if someone told you that they felt you didn’t appreciate what they did for you, you would possible feel a little upset with yourself about that.
By discussing how you feel openly you’re creating an honest dialogue. It could be that they don’t feel your contribution was significant to warrant any gratitude, but that they will work harder to make you feel appreciated in the future.
Just make sure you don’t get upset, and never personally attack another person for your own emotions. That’s a sure fire way to cause an argument. No one wants that.
If all else fails and you cannot get to a point where you feel comfortable with your situation, leave it. You don’t have to work with a company who doesn’t appreciate what you do. Much like you don’t have to stay with a partner who doesn’t appreciate your efforts.
I know this is a pretty strong response, but if you can honestly say you have tried everything else to deal with how you’re feeling, then what other action can you take? Feeling unappreciated is a pretty glum place to be emotionally. You have a right to feel like what you do is worth something.
This is something I’m strongly considering in my work life. It’s not easy leaving a job, especially if you’ve been there a number of years, but when it comes to your long term happiness I consider that a small hurdle to jump. Wish me luck in the comments guys.