I had to write this because there are times that most people feel this way. All of us work hard in different areas of life. Sometimes it feels that there is nothing left to go around. We all take on responsibilities that others walk away from because we are ingrained to do good work. But what happens when the extras you take on become unappreciated and expected? I can tell you from experience that taking on more responsibility doesn’t always end up in your favor. Sure, our employers love how we step up and do a great job, yet it doesn’t always get us the promotion we crave.
Let me give you a prime example. Years ago, I worked for a local healthcare system. I took the third shift spot and did an excellent job for them. I started getting prior authorizations for insurance companies when women came into the hospital during labor. I made pre-packaged charts for upcoming Day Surgery patients. I handled Sexual Assault cases while working with the police departments to help put those women as comfortable as possible, considering what they endured. It came to my attention that my supervisor was never going to promote me. He blocked every attempt to transfer. I had to go around him to make that happen. When I inquired why he wouldn’t move me into a higher position, do you know what answer I received? “You’re too valuable at night. You’re dependable. You don’t have children so that you can work Christmas, and you do the work no one else will. We can’t afford to promote you.” It takes a lot to piss me off, but that statement did it. I had gone back to school and gotten a degree and passed over because I was too good at my job. Talk about getting a slap of reality.
That wasn’t the first occurrence. When I worked for fast food, I worked hard. I expressed interest in moving up and promised my time would come. Four years went by, and I hadn’t moved up. My supervisor told me that they had to promote minorities, and I did an excellent job for them, and if I moved up, they’d have to find people that would work as well. I started sensing a pattern I didn’t like. I have always been a person that believes hard work is the key to success. What I didn’t count on was that hard work could also be the key to getting stuck.
I’ve been doing social media work for a while now. One of my clients I do on a strict volunteer basis. I hear complaints all the time. Rarely do I hear anything positive. They say actions speak louder than words. No news should be good news, but many volunteers understand that no one recognizes how much of themselves they give to a cause or organization. For instance, my church gets over thirty hours of volunteer time from me a month. The only thing I hear is what not to put in a bulletin or newsletter. They have no comprehension that I spend over 30 hours a month between Devotions/pictures/announcements/Calendars and social media sites. They don’t understand that I haven’t had a single day off for over seven years from doing it because there is no one to give me relief. Even when I had surgery in the hospital, I still did it from my hospital bed. That’s dedication. It’s also the type of person I am. When I believe in something, I give it everything I’ve got. I don’t expect accolades. What I do expect is a little appreciation for what I do. I don’t want to beg anyone because no one wants to feel like they are forcing others to acknowledge anything.
I’ve done projects for employers and had my bosses get credit for my work. That’s one of the most foolish things that anyone has to endure. No one should steal someone else’s work. If that’s what a person has to do to get ahead, that lie will catch up to them somewhere along the line. What angered me most when that happened was that my boss got an employee of the month after stealing and using my idea.
Life is too short to do things we don’t enjoy. I love working with some of the other churches/groups on social media because they let me know my worth. They show in the little things how much they appreciate me even though I don’t get that from my day job. That job has rewards of different types. I get to meet the most incredible people, engage in conversations with people who teach me things every day.
It’s not always about money in showing people appreciation. It’s about respect. This topic made me think that if I’m struggling with how I’m feeling, what about others that might be feeling the same way? I found five ways through research online that make a lot of sense. I hope it makes sense to you as well.
- Do a reality check. First, take a step back and make a list of all your recent achievements. I think this is crucial because when all you hear are complaints, it’s imperative to remember the good things you accomplish.
- Talk to your boss. If you have a jerk for a boss, talk in a way that makes them think it’s their idea. If you want to get ahead, you need to make your intentions clear. Please give them a reason to like you for a higher position.
- Increase your visibility. Do things to get you noticed in a positive light. Dress for the job you want and not what you have. Work on your speech skills. If any of you remember the movie Working Girl with Melanie Griffith, you’ll recall she learned to talk like her boss Tess. Sometimes we don’t recognize the image we present. Adapting to an environment isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s tough to remember change happens when we allow ourselves to change. Your bosses need to see you are willing to do what it takes to move forward.
- Be self-motivated. No one is going to change your life for you but you. The sooner you realize that no one owes you a damn thing, the sooner you can get off your tush and start taking action. The first step to motivation is getting your feet on the ground and then moving forward. After that, everything else becomes logistics.
- Consider a change. If there is no way in hell you will change your situation where you are, start looking at other options. There is nothing wrong with changing the pace of your life and the direction you’ve been going. You might find you end up happier because of the tough decisions you make.
I don’t know what your needs are. What I do know is that you bring a lot of skills with you everywhere you go. It’s up to you to figure out what you are okay with and what you aren’t. If you feel unappreciated, I hope you know that many people value and appreciate you even if they don’t always show it. Sometimes people get so caught up in their lives that they don’t realize the efforts other people make. It’s not fair or proper, but it happens. So today, remember that you are appreciated. If someone does something to make you feel the opposite is true, do something for yourself to remind you that other people would be lost without you helping them. It’s a Monday. The best feeling in the world is knowing that it’s a new day filled with unknown chances and opportunities. Have a great day, everyone.