I work at a charity and, while I love my job, I feel undervalued. My boss never notices the work I do; if she does talk about a success, she doesn’t attribute it to me. I don’t want to sound petty by waving my hand all the time saying “I did that”, but how can I get her to recognise what I do?
I’m struck by how you label this behaviour as petty, instead of assertive. It only becomes petty if you’re being smug or demanding too much attention, but it sounds as if you are not being recognised at all.
Bosses are often mentally stretched, and if someone doesn’t put up their hand, it’s not always easy to see who contributed what. It’s time for you to take responsibility for showcasing your work. I tell my team to always track their work using the productivity app Asana, or just a good, old-fashioned list. We do a regular “stand up” meeting; it takes 10 minutes to gather and each person says what they are working on that day.
Have you ever sat next to your colleagues and thought: what are they doing all day? Well maybe someone is thinking that of you. You could start by sending your boss a Monday-morning memo of your tasks. It needn’t be long, just the highlights broken down: what we achieved last week; what I am working on this week; where help is required. Senior people love being asked advice, and getting your boss involved directly in your work, even if it’s just a brief comment, fosters collaboration and recognition.
Sending the memo may sound OTT, but a good team leader welcomes an update of where you’re at and keeps track of what you are doing. It will also come in handy when you ask for that pay rise.
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