If you find yourself feeling unappreciated, overstretched and overlooked in the workplace, I suggest that you start thinking about what is holding you back in the first place.
Let's start with below fictional example,
Anna has been in her job for more than 7 years now and has not received a promotion yet. She works for a large organisation and takes on more work and more responsibility each year. She is often asked to train new members of staff who then get promoted over her. She is wondering what could be wrong with her. She is not sure if she would get another job easily because her current employer does not value her, so why would anyone else?
Step 1 - Define a Problem
If you find yourself in a similar situation, I suggest that you consider asking for feedback from your work colleagues, peers, manager and customers. If you are not sure about this because you are afraid of what they may say, or because you have never done it before, I suggest that you start by having a metaphorical look in the mirror. It is important to get feedback on how you may be perceived at work.
I suggest that you select up to 5 people to give you feedback, including your line manager and simply ask them to share their overall feedback about you in a few lines OR ask them share a first word that comes to their mind when they think of you, what you should STOP doing, START doing and CONTINUE doing. You could say the PURPOSE of this request is to improve in your current role, to start preparing for future roles and to continue with your personal development on a regular basis.
It is important to show you are keen and open to get feedback. This is a positive trait to have and shows you are not afraid of it. Many people will appreciate it. Trust me!
Step 2 - Adapt to the Culture
Let's carry on with Anna's example,
Anna had been shocked by the feedback. People said she was good with detail. Everyone had said that the change she could make was to stop complaining and telling everyone how busy she was. Anna was shocked that she was perceived in this way. The main word that people choose to describe her was 'negative'. Anna said she was hoping people would describe her as positive, kind, capable, experienced and fun.
Anna has really 3 choices here. She could change her BEHAVIOUR, change her THOUGHTS about the situation or change the SITUATION.
Let's say for the sake of this example that Anna decided not to change her thoughts. Anna decided that she was no longer prepared to be overlooked for promotion. She decides to change her behaviour, be more positive and fit with the organisation culture or leave the organisation. Anna then spends the rest of the day devising an action plan. She decides to book a session with an image consultant, to get more involved in social activities at work, to start saying 'no' and delegate more tasks which are not in her job description, to stop complaining and leave work on time every day.
A quality becomes a strength when it's right for you and the situation.
Step 3 - Take Back Control
I suggest that you look up Harvey Coleman and his book Empowering Yourself: The Organisational Game Revealed (Author House).
In his book he outlines the factors that get people promoted or recognised in the workplace:
60% exposure (being seen, ensuring the right people know us, inside and outside the organisation)
30% image (not merely how we are seen but how we are experienced by others). I often say to people in this situation - think about how it feels to be on the receiving end of you
10% performance (how good a job we do, what results we deliver)
I have also written a blog on How to Be Recognised as an Employee who has High Potential | Talent Management | Talent Pool | UK that you may find useful to read.
To finish off with Anna's example,
Anna was shocked to see that perfomance played such a small part. Until now, she thought that it was all about getting on with doing a good job and hoping that someone would notice - but they don't. She had realised that it was up to her to let people know how good she was. Anna said that she had learnt a lot about herself during this coaching session and that she would take control of her destiny.
I hope you have found this blog useful and now understand how coaching works and how it can help you identify a problem and focus on action planning.
If you cannot do this on your own, I suggest that you look for a career coach who should be able to help you arrive at right conclusions and assist with right action planning. I also offer 1:1 Upgrade Yourself | Career Coaching sessions which you can book HERE.
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