The feeling that we are underestimated often becomes a cause of discomfort at work. But before you figure out where it comes from and how to deal with it, it is important to determine what meaning you put in the concept of “value”. For some, this is career advancement, while for others, a good relationship with the boss.
How to understand that you are underestimated
Dangerous signals can be very different. And not all of them are obvious at first sight. A person must have high emotional intelligence and keen senses to recognize the early signs that he is underestimated, because they are quite insignificant. Here is some of them.
1. Your opinion is ignored
When your colleagues or boss routinely dismiss your suggestions or pass them off as their own, they send you the message, “You don’t offer anything worthwhile.”
If this often happens to you, first make sure that you communicate your thoughts clearly and intelligibly. If that’s not the problem, ask directly why your suggestions aren’t being considered. For example: “Please help me figure out what’s wrong with my idea.” Such a wording will not sound like an attack, which means that the interlocutor will not have a desire to defend himself.
2. You do not delve into the work
Detachment is a common symptom of being unappreciated. We all want to feel connected to others, feel important, and know that we are being heard. This is our neuropsychological need. When it is not satisfied, we stop delving into what we are doing.
Therefore, if you often “disconnect” from work tasks, it may be that the inner feeling that you are not appreciated.
3. You are only assigned small tasks.
It’s a wake-up call when you’re busy day after day with minor tasks that aren’t your job and don’t use your professional skills, like making coffee or taking notes in a meeting. Companies need people to run small errands, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the boring chores. Especially if colleagues are assigned more interesting promising projects at this time.
Before you once again agree to take notes at a meeting, determine your priorities. Every “yes” you give to one task means an implicit “ no ” to another. If you spend a lot of time doing things that are several levels below your abilities, there will come a time when the work will no longer please you.
Analyze what the key people in your company consider important, what goals they set for themselves, and how you can help achieve them. Once you find the answers, talk to the leader. Say that you have noticed a free niche, and ask if one of the employees is engaged in this direction and if your help is needed.
If you have already explained to your superiors that you want to develop, but nothing changes, perhaps the reason is different. Apparently, your management for some reason does not consider you a strong player. Overcoming this prejudice can be difficult. Think about whether you want to spend time on this.
4. Your work is monitored
When a manager micromanages you, it means they don’t value you enough to give you complete independence.
If your boss constantly monitors your activities, and not just gives you tasks, try to offer him an experiment. For example: “I know that you are worried about the deadline. But when you constantly check on how things are going, I lose focus, and this prevents me from doing everything on time. Let me try to work on my own.” Don’t forget to mention that this is an experiment. This way there will be more chances that the boss will agree.
5. You have a small salary
Your salary is one of the main indicators of how much the company appreciates your contribution. If they give you good feedback and constantly praise, but do not raise your salary, you are clearly underestimated.
This may seem like a minor issue now. However, over time, the likelihood that you will continue to receive less than you deserve increases. Your current salary serves as a starting point for future negotiations. It’s much easier to negotiate a salary of 65k if you’re already getting 60k instead of 50k.
If you suspect that you are not getting enough, study the market and find out how much specialists at your level earn. With this information, you can go to the boss and build a conversation, for example, as follows: “The duties that I perform do not correspond to my position and salary. What do we need to discuss and review my position in the company?”
How to fix the situation
If you are familiar with any of the five signals, then it’s time to talk to the leader . Do not silently accept the fact that your potential is buried in the ground. But instead of complaining, take action. Remember that you are in control of your career. Stand up for yourself, at least for the sake of your mental health.
If that doesn’t motivate you much, consider how much money you’re wasting by staying in a job where you’re not valued. Think about whether you really prefer to avoid an uncomfortable conversation and continue to earn less. Not protecting your interests is too expensive.
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