Career Advice

Helene is the founder of, a site whose tips on skill building and strategies for advancement as well as juggling career and family, have made it one of the premier sites on the web for career women. The site offers access to power contacts and an active message board-based community forum, complete with free personalized career coaching by esteemed business professionals.

Helene Lerner

Career advice for women


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?

Advice from Helene Lerner:

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?

Advice from Helene Lerner:

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.

More career advice for women

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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Comments on "Career advice for women"

Lauren January 21, 2013 | 12:15 PM

Great tips!! As far as leaving a job, I think when you know you know. Make sure to have another job lined up first though if you don't have the means to be unemployed for a bit.

Emily August 15, 2012 | 10:13 AM

I liked this article. I think a lot of times people may feel underappreciated but really it's just the fact that your boss doesn't have the time to praise you (who does?). If it's really bothering you, talk to them so they see where you're coming from and you can take steps to make it better for the both of you.

Ruth Bilson November 10, 2008 | 12:12 PM

I know that I would rather one of my employees come to me and let me know that they feel under appreciated so that I can do something about it.

Ella November 10, 2008 | 12:09 PM

I think that a lot of people feel underappreciated at their jobs. This is good advice and can help to build the confidence needed for an emloyee to approach their manager.

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