How To Survive If You Are Overworked And Unacknowledged At Work?


Is there a strong feeling that you’re overworked  or being taken advantage of at work? And there is no appreciation for your effort? Well, that’s the truth behind the corporate world. Unless you’re working in an extremely employee-friendly company, you need to accept the fact that the company you work for is more interested in deadlines than your happiness. A recent study has revealed that the overall employee engagement at work is directly proportional to how much an employee feels they are appreciated by their boss.

So if you feel that you’re doing more than what is expected and still not being recognized, here’s what you can do instead:

1. Check what you can do differently

Even the most stringent processes could be improved with a little foresight. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, dig deep into your problem. Figure out what you can do differently and even better.

2. Reconnect with your purpose

Question yourself: ‘why I am doing this?’ and ‘what am I doing each day at work?’. Is it merely for money, is it for verbal affirmation you receive from others or is it for an entirely different reason? Find out the answers to these questions and recommit to it today.

3. Evaluate your behavior/habits

If you find that the rapport between you, your co-workers and your boss is worsening despite your best effort at work, you need to honestly act. However, before you do that, take a close look at the overall workplace behavior and see whether there’s any chance that you could be the reason for the problem.

Do you give excuses to finish a job within its deadline? Do you gossip in the office hours? Do you bring smelly foods for lunch? Do you criticize your co-workers often? It’s time to evaluate your behavior with honesty. Take help from an outsider and see if there’s anything lacking.

4. Get rid of the multitasking mindset

Many of us are actually very proud of our ability to multitask. So are you, I am sure! But the fact is – multitasking is only a myth. You can produce better results if you concentrate on one project at a time with better planning and execution. Most importantly, set a deadline for your project and then move on to the next one. However, do let your boss know about the deadline and your business planning for the project.

5. Don’t hunt for recognition

This is an important strategy for surviving a thankless job. Do not avoid situations wherein it requires you to come early in the office, stay late, work during the weekends and perform duties beyond your job profile. Simply do it.  If it is solely your responsibility to complete a big project, it is in your best interest to manage it and get the work done on time. Sometimes, being extraordinary is a requirement and you have to accept it without expecting a round of applause for the additional effort you have taken to complete your task.

6. Set expectations

The more your boss thinks of you, the more they expect from you. Soon, you’ll start receiving early morning emails and last evening texts. The ultimate result is – you have no breaks. Becoming an important person in the office is not bad but being available all the time isn’t healthy or sustainable. Here’s where you need to set boundaries and expectation. Speak up and be straight-forward. Not too many bosses can say no to such straight-forward commitment.

7. Identify what makes you feel appreciated

Our wants and needs are different, especially when it comes to what makes us feel appreciated. For some it may be salary increment and for a few others it is the recognition for their efforts. It is important to recognize what makes you feel appreciated. Make a list of the actions and analyze them to make sure what you’ve written is realistic and emotionally healthy to expect from your co-workers and your boss.

8. Be aware of the workplace hazards

It might be that you have to work with someone who is continuously trying to set you up for failure. These type of co-workers always try to take the credit for the hard work that you did and hide your effort under the table. It might be possible that these individuals are overwhelmed with personal and professional issues and being insensitive without realizing it. Check this type of workplace behavior. This kind of behavior is clearly antagonistic and should be immediately taken care of. It is best to minimize your interaction with them.

9. Speak up

The toughest step is to share your concern with your boss. However, do not simply start complaining about everything. Rather, take time to share your concerns, highlight why you don’t feel appreciated and ask for brainstorming ways to help you feel appreciated, resulting in higher engagement level at work. In a nutshell, make sure you have a solution to your problem before you leave your boss’s room.

10. Walk away if all options are exhausted

If you have no time to balance your personal and professional life and your boss is simply not bothered, it’s time to play the final card. Simply look for another job. Your career is too important to waste time trying to please a team that isn’t a good fit. Move ahead and plan your next strategic career move. Your career is in your hands. Ask for what you need and how you can achieve it.