I am feeling under-appreciated by my boss. How can I bring this up to him in a way that promotes a better relationship when I'm not sure how he or she will react?
What is the behavior that makes you feel underappreciated? Be specific; it may help to write it down. Now, observe your boss. Does he treat others in the same less than appreciative fashion? If the answer is "yes," you know it isn't personal.
If, however, you're still not certain whether his lack of appreciation is directed solely at you, or you feel he's generally disinclined to praise, but would still like to convey that you need his recognition, go to him at a time when there is not much going on, perhaps at the end of the day.
First, say something positive about what he brings to the table and what you've learned from working with him. Affirm your commitment to his team and wanting to see it succeed.
Next and most importantly, let him know that when he acknowledges your work and successes, it goes a long way. Then, let go. If he gets the message, that's great. If not, the most important person who can validate your effort is YOU. Give yourself a pat on the back. You sound like you deserve it.
How do you know if it is time to leave a job?
Are you finding it hard to get up in the morning and get to work? Do you feel you are doing the same old, same old everyday? Are you just staying because it is a steady paycheck? If you've answered "yes" to those questions, it's time to leave. But, you don't have to take radical action and quit. Instead, start to network, get those feelers out, go to events, schedule appointments with people who are doing what you would like to be doing.
Remember: higher-ups love to mentor on a limited basis. Set up a twenty minute information-gathering interview with them—that's just enough time for you to make an impression.
For more career questions, please e-mail Helene Lerner.
For more than a decade, Helene Lerner has been addressing the concerns of contemporary women. As a prolific author, public television host, Emmy Award-winning executive producer, Fortune 500 workplace consultant, she covers a wide range or issues. As CEO of Creative Expansions, Inc., Helene has produced more than 20 television specials and written nine books. Look for her latest book, Smart Women Take Risks
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