Not getting recognition

What Keeps You Awake at Night?

Not getting recognition

You put in lots of time. You work you butt off and accomplish more than any three people you work with.

Yet, for all of your efforts you are not receiving any recognition. In fact, your annual performance reviews are average at best. You could have done a lot less and gotten basically the same review.

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.”                                     Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru

I had some instances like that with a manager who gave me little or no credit for the time.

And when I was taking off a day to participate in a company sponsored golf tournament he made me use a vacation day in order to go to the event. He brought up about company and personal time, a concept that had never crossed my mind till then. It was at that point that I decided to only put in the time that showed on my bimonthly pay stub (80 hours every 2 weeks).

I still did more in that amount of time than most others did. But the company lost out on all of the extra work I was doing as it never fit into a 40 hour week. When I finally got a new boss who appreciated my work and work effort, my time and contribution went back up. But I was always careful to not overdo it, because recognition seemed to go only so far.

So, is that what is bothering you?

Is that what is keeping you awake and causing those sleepless nights? Are you not getting your just due and even worse, people who don’t do half of what you do are getting lauded for how wonderful they are?

What are you to do about it? You hate to talk and brag about yourself. and you don’t like it in others and wouldn’t dare consider doing it yourself. You aren’t Mr. or Ms. Popularity, so forget about that getting you any kudos. Do you just have to have self-satisfaction and hope that is enough, or are there other avenues to take that will get you the recognition and even reward your feel you so justly deserve?

Before you get too far with thinking the worst, there are some things you should do to find out if you are reading things the wrong way. These are:

  • Check with others – There are people you can talk to who will give you the right dope on what is going on. These can be co-workers, other managers or possibly Human Resources.

Ask them directly what both they think of you and your work and what they may be hearing from others. Make sure they are reliable sources and don’t tend to deal in gossip or hearsay. Listen to what they are telling you and weigh it against what you already know and feel.

You may be surprised to find that you are more highly thought of than you realize. Or you may find some flaws that need fixing. In either event you will learn about what is really going on so you can then take whatever action is needed.

  • Talk to your boss – This may sound like bad advice since you may already have a poor opinion of him or her. And you may already feel that they are predisposed to you and do not value you.

But if you haven’t “cleared the air” with them you may be making a wrong supposition. By talking it out you will get a better idea if you were indeed correct about your relationship with them or you may find  that there is just a misunderstanding between you.

Even with bosses I was not in love with, I had some very direct conversations. There were then no suppositions and we both knew where the other stood. I made no threats about leaving, but knew I was really going to get no recognition and it was time to move on.

  • Praise and recognize others – Be above the fray. Just because you aren’t getting your due does not mean that you act in kind towards others.

That doesn’t mean that you hand out false or meaningless praise. It needs to be genuine. And while doing the right thing in regard to dealing with others, it may come back to help you in the end,

By giving recognition, those receiving your accolades may in turn realize that you need some well deserved recognition as well. It may seem that you should receive such without praising others, but extraordinary times may sometimes demand extraordinary actions. Besides which, it is the right thing to do or you are just like the people you are unhappy with.

  • Keep track of your accomplishments – Make sure you keep records of the things you have done and the accomplishments you have made. Be honest and give credit to others involved, but also take credit for your own part in all successes.

Use these records in the appropriate instances such as performance reviews. Make sure they become a part of your personal record.

Even when doing this you may not get the recognition you are seeking, But it is making others aware and someday you can use these when potentially seeking a position somewhere else.

  • Take the next step – If after doing what was recommended above, nothing changes, it may be time to move on. Some bosses and companies just don’t get it and you do not need to live in that exitance forever.

At least, you tried your best to get the recognition and reward you deserve. You have also learned more about yourself and how to deal with others and hopefully your next situation will be much better.

In the end, it was not a waste of time. You should have learned some important things. And most importantly you know just how good you are. Now  take that somewhere where they will recognize it as well.

“There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise.”                            Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

So if a lack of recognition and reward for your hard work is what is bothering you and causing you to lose sleep, you need to follow the steps just outlined.

I did. And when I was certain that the situation was real, I did something about it. I moved on to a place where I felt appreciated and rewarded.

It isn’t worth losing sleep over. If you are doing good things, it is probably not only helping the company, but in some ways you as well. Identify those bright spots and use them to buck yourself up until you get to a better place. And there are better places, believe me. Just don’t lose sleep over it. It only makes you feel worse and doesn’t change the situation. Only you can do that by making the necessary changes. And while you do, make sure that it does not keep you awake at night.

7 thoughts on “What Keeps You Awake at Night?”

  1. Recognition & Praise;
    Pete’s article addresses an enduring issue that is universal. It is my belief, that all self-starting, pro-active, risk-taking individuals who exceed the “job description” have or will
    experience the feeling of lack of recognition. Its a natural human condition in the workplace.
    My suggestion is to continue exceeding expectations, control what you can, bring influence to what you cannot directly control. These actions are bring internal satisfaction.

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