Merge's Blog

Feeling undervalued at work?

Last week I blogged about one idea of what to do when you feel undervalued at work, and specifically by your boss.  It was to spread the word about your good work yourself.  I had promised though that I wanted to share one more idea on this topic.

First, reflective

This strategy is at first reflective.  Ask yourself: What do I need to feel valued?  Keep in mind that the answer to this question will differ greatly from person to person because different people are motivated by different things.  Would you like more flexibility – in your work responsibilities, in your working hours, in where you work?  Is it recognition you need – you just want others to acknowledge that you are making a significant contribution?  If this is it, then do you thrive on public acknowledgement or private appreciation?  Are you seeking more autonomy and decision-making authority?  Or perhaps you’d just like more support or assistance, either on a temporary or permanent basis?  Could it be that getting a bigger expense account or more vacation time would translate to you feeling less undervalued?

Next, active

While your first step is reflective, your next step is active.  Once you know what it is that will stop you from feeling undervalued, only then can you do something to actually get it.  Now you need to set up a meeting with your immediate manager or supervisor to discuss what it is that you require in order to feel valued at work.  If it’s a change in working hours, or an adjustment in work responsibilities that you want, then a conversation with the boss is the only way to get this ball in motion.  If you need to negotiate for temporary assistance or a larger expense account, then you’ve got to start by talking to the boss.  If you want to be given more autonomy or work from home two days a week, then you have to focus on highlighting the benefits to your boss.

My point: if you’re feeling undervalued at work, then waiting for the boss to change that for you may very well be akin to waiting for the earth to stop rotating.  So it’s up to you to articulate what you need to change this reality, and then present the case to your boss to make it happen.

So … I’ve shared two ideas so far.  But what do you have to add to the discussion?  How have you dealt with a workplace situation in which you’ve felt undervalued?  I would love to hear about your experiences, please add your comment below.

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