Many employees feel unappreciated at work. They feel their successes go unrecognized or that they are routinely overlooked for promotions and raises. It can be overwhelming, disappointing, and demotivating, to say the least.
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If you find yourself in this situation, what can you do about it?
First, take an honest look at your performance. If you have a tendency to come in late or to miss deadlines, correct these issues. Make an effort to connect with your peers and managers more. Consider setting up weekly check-ins with your boss. Have lunch with your coworkers.
If, however, your reflection reveals that you're truly doing a great job already, then it could be time to try another tactic: looking for employment elsewhere.
Like it or not, much of your career success is tied not only to your individual performance, but also to the perception management has of you. It is also tied to how well your manager communicates your successes to their manager. If the person who hired you has moved on, you may find yourself stuck with a manager who is less than excited about your contributions.
Many employees take this as a sign to try harder. They may enroll in a new degree program or take leadership classes. They may even start volunteering for causes at work or join the company bowling league. They try to improve their skills and status.
These tactics may work for some, but more often than not, they don't. Once a manager's view of you has been set, it can be nearly impossible to change that perception. This is especially true if the manager didn't hire you. Many managers prefer to handpick their own teams, and they may discredit any pre-existing employees when they take over new teams.
It's sad when an employee spends years trying to impress a manager, only to find themselves in a hamster wheel. This process hinders both the employee's overall growth and their salary potential.
If you have found yourself in a less-than-ideal relationship with your current boss, it may be time to look for a new boss at a new company. Before things become unbearable at your current job, begin looking around for openings.
A new hiring manager will select you because they like you and believe in you. It's an opportunity to start fresh.
Working for someone who puts their faith in you, listens to you, and allows you to do what you're best at is a completely different experience. Going to work will be less of a chore and much more enjoyable.
If you are seeking the recognition you deserve, looking elsewhere can open up new doors to a new manager and a healthier work environment.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.