Feeling unappreciated at work is demoralizing and frustrating. Everyone deserves to work somewhere where they’re valued and rewarded. Here are six signs you’re underappreciated — and what to do about them.
1. Your boss takes credit for your work.
Nothing tastes quite as bitter as the experience of having a work win and then watching your boss take all the glory. There are a few options here: Send an email to the entire company saying, “They were my ideas. MY IDEAS!!!” — or simply have an open, honest conversation with your boss. Start by mentioning how it makes you feel to be pushed aside like that, and that a little nod in your direction recognizing your contributions would be a good incentive to keep performing at your superhero level.
2. You don’t get paid enough.
Plain and simple: Not getting paid what you’re worth feels awful. It makes the slog of the workday seem endless, and depositing those anemic paychecks feels like a slap in the face. On the upside, you aren’t helpless. In fact, you can:
3. You feel like nobody notices you.
If people are overlooking your progress, make them notice. Start sending regular project updates, or schedule meetings to present what you’ve been working on. Another option is to snarl and glare through meetings, muttering “I’ll get you” to no one in particular — the person next to you will definitely report it to HR, and then you’ll get noticed for sure.
4. You constantly get interrupted in meetings.
This likely isn’t about you — it’s about some self-congratulatory blowhard who can’t part with the sound of his own voice. You might consider wearing a shirt that says, “You don’t need to have an opinion on everything,” or you could learn some strategies to make sure you’re heard. You can easily get the floor back by making a joke about the interruption or simply saying, “I wasn’t finished speaking.” In a pinch, a bullhorn works wonders.
5. You feel uninspired.
When your good work goes unremarked upon, it makes sense that your workdays would feel like one long, dragged-out black cloud. Schedule a meeting with your boss to talk about taking on a new project — it’ll show how motivated you are and give you something interesting to do. Alternatively, you could dedicate your office time to writing erotic fan fiction. Just try to feel uninspired while writing “The Forbidden Love of Sherlock and Watson.”
6. You got passed over for a promotion.
Sabotage the person who got the job at every turn with old school hijinx. Replace their sugar stash with incorrectly marked salt packets (you have to DIY these, but your dedication will pay off). Call insistently to ask if their refrigerator is running. Rig the office spring cleaning initiative so they always have to do bathroom cleaning. Or, sit down with your superiors and have an honest conversation. Ask what you can do to increase your chances for the next time around.
If all of these fail and you work with maniacal jerks who continue to make you feel like you’re not valued, it’s time to get out. Wanting to feeling appreciated is human, and you deserve better.