We all have a sense of purpose and worth in the workplace, some stronger than others but sometimes it feels as though our dedication, commitment, and innovation are being taken for granted. Some of you may consider yourself extremely lucky by having a supportive manager that appreciates your work. A leader who understands and supports your career development and progression and someone who provides regular feedback to help you grow without feeling threatened. Some of you, on the other hand, may not be so lucky. Surrounded by toxic management that doesn’t show any appreciation or empathy towards their employees. Where growth or promotions are a mere figment of your imagination. A hope that one day change will come, yet this doesn’t mean those feeling unappreciated or undervalued will change their situation anytime soon. Before you lose all sense of worth, self-esteem, and purpose, check out these 6 signs you’re being undervalued and unappreciated at work – it may change your perspective.
1). Missing out on promotions
You have been working your backside off to stand out from the crowd. Achieving better results than most of your colleagues, getting involved in projects, making a huge impact on the company to only be turned down for a promotion that you may have been a perfect fit for. If the reason you were denied a promotion was reasonable and understandable than perhaps you would accept it, learn from it, and work on improving yourself. However, if the reason seems to be quite irrational, then chances are you’re not appreciated in the way you hope to be and this decision will have quite an impact on your future at the company.
2). Your Paycheck says otherwise
Money is a big motivator as to why we work in the first place. In order to survive, we need to earn money to pay the cost of living. But are you being paid in accordance with your level of work? Only very few are. Most people know the average salary based on a specific role, but this should only be a guide as every role in every organization is vastly different. If your employee is asking you to complete myriad tasks outside of your usual role or is expecting you to do overtime without reward, then chances are you are being underpaid. A difficult situation to overcome is knowing you’re being paid the same to those who do half the amount of work as you do. In such a situation, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion with your manager. Asking for a justified payrise is not uncommon and if your employer truly values you, this shouldn’t be difficult to achieve.
3). You don’t have access to growth opportunities
Many of us are driven. We want to continue to push our boundaries and learn new skills to grow in our professional careers. But do you have access to growth opportunities to advance your career? It’s quite clear as to how you are seen by the organization or manager if you find that there are growth opportunities available but always offered to colleagues instead of yourself. At this point, the only opportunity for growth may mean it’s time to move on.
4). Zero Autonomy
We believe trust is the most important trait that any individual or business requires in order to succeed. If you’re not trusted and are constantly being micromanaged by your manager where you cannot do your job without looking over your shoulders, then it may be a sign that your skills, experience, and knowledge and undervalued in your current role. Nothing says ‘we value you’ like watching your every move.
5). Unable to take annual leave (Paid time off)
In Australia, permanent staff members are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave and should be able to take it when it suits you but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Yes, most businesses will ensure your absence will have a minimal impact on day to day operations, but if you find yourself constantly having to fight an uphill battle when trying to take annual leave where your applications are either rejected or extremely difficult to get approved, at which point you have to start asking yourself, why are they making it so difficult? Does it feel like your colleagues are fighting the same fight? You may not consider this an issue or a big issue at that but all small signs add up to the bigger problem of you being undervalued.
6). Acting in a higher role without remuneration
It’s quite common to be asked by your employer to prove your worth by acting in a higher authority role before officially being promoted or moving into your desired role, but it’s important to ensure it isn’t for too long. The longer you allow this to be case, the more your employer can take advantage of your additional skills and experience for less pay. And if after this ‘trial’ period you were not given the opportunity after working more for less, understand why and determine if it was for a valid reason. If the end result makes you feel as though your employer has taken advantage of you, filled with empty promises, you need to assess whether your employer is the right one for you.
Whether you fall into one of these categories or all of them, it’s important to consider your options. We recommend taking some time off and really think about what makes you happy and what you want from an organization. Don’t let yourself be undervalued for any reason. Start looking for new opportunities and find a job and an organization that truly values you, where you are appreciated and rewarded appropriately. You never know if you never try.