FEELING taken for granted? Thinking all your efforts go unnoticed?

Well, try these ideas and become a workplace star!

As part of my work, I talk to a lot of recruiters and job seekers. One of the issues that comes up again and again is the feeling that you are not appreciated for the work that you do.

You may be feeling it right now. The question is: How do you turn it around?

How do you go from being underappreciated to being appreciated?

I asked around for advice, and here are some tips I received, along with some I have learnt along the way. (For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume that you deserve to be appreciated!):

1. Let your work speak for itself

Part of letting your work speak for itself is communicating it clearly to those you want to impress.

Have you ever walked your audience through the thought process of your work?

For example, web designer Paul Boag, co-founder of Headscape, makes sure that the first time a client sees a website he has designed, it is accompanied by a video of him explaining the design.

That way, he can communicate his thought process along with his work, thus minimising confusion when it comes time to review.

2. Love what you do

Says Mr Luke Filose, NGO marketing and engagement manager, EMPG at Intel: “If you don’t appreciate your own work, if you’re not passionate about it, why would you expect to make an impression on others and have others recognise you and appreciate you?”

3. Have faith in yourself


“Do not underestimate yourself,” says Mr Liam Virinovi, self-development expert and founder of Free Infinite Possibilities.

“There is an energy with what you do and how you respond. If the energy or attitude you give out is from a position of weakness and doubt — in other words, ‘Please listen to me, I’m smart’ — others will not take you seriously.”

4. Initiate the appreciation

If you don’t feel anyone is appreciating you, ask yourself whether you are appreciating others. Start by taking the initiative and recognising others’ work. Compliment in person or via e-mail, and let others know how well you think a colleague is doing.

5. Align yourself with rock stars

Who are your company’s rock stars? Can you align yourself with them by getting on their team, or at least commenting or complimenting them on their work?

This is a sensitive area because if you go overboard with this process, you could quickly be labelled as a kiss-up, and your efforts will have backfired. Be genuine about your interest in rock stars’ work and your desire to work with them.

6. Be sociable with key people outside of work

Co-workers really loosen up and you form stronger bonds with them when you leave the office.

To form a stronger bond with a co-worker, take him out for a low-pressure, casual lunch. Keep work and yourself off the agenda. Spend the time trying to learn more about the other person. Keep asking questions to show that you are honestly interested.

The best compliment you can give a person is simply to show interest. This is your chance.

7. Seek acknowledgement outside the company

Sometimes, as hard as you try, you simply can’t get anyone within the company to recognise how awesome you are. In such a situation, most employees start looking for the door.

But if you really love your job and you want to keep working at the company, you could seek acknowledgement outside of the organisation. If this recognition becomes public, via traditional or social media, it will have a far-reaching effect within your organisation.

Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to get people within your company to recognise your talent is have someone outside the company point it out.

The best way to get recognition is to participate in industry events and, especially, to start volunteering. Not only will the public recognition get back to your company, but your managers may feel a bit threatened that you might jump ship, as others are seeing something in you that they didn’t.

8. Lack experience? Quote other people

You may be awesome, but you also may be green to the industry, so it is essentially impossible to show off how much you know and what you can do.

This is where you have to use the knowledge of others to your advantage.

Make sure you are continually reading trade publications, and attend as many trade functions you can. Do your best to share the knowledge with your co-workers.

The more you do this, the more that knowledge will be attributed to you — and the more you will be seen as a valuable resource.

Be patient

No one gets immediate appreciation for their work. But if things aren’t going your way, never do anything drastic, because that will immediately be seen as a sign of desperation and it will most definitely backfire.

If you truly are doing great work, communicating that work to others, and making the connections you need to within and outside the organisation, then you will see others start to truly appreciate your efforts.

This article was originally a report published by David Spark of Spark Media Solutions’ (@dspark) for Intertainment Media’s Ingaged Blog. It was published on award-winning keynote speaker and executive speech coach Patricia Fripp’s website. For details, visit: www.fripp.com/store/public-speaking/