So, you finally gathered up the courage to talk to your boss about getting a raise. Or you have some great ideas you are excited about that you think would really make a difference for your company. You present your proposal to your manager and you get one big disapproval. Not only doesn’t your manager have time for you, he/she flat out rejects your idea without even giving it a fair consideration. And, as far as getting a raise, not a chance. All of a sudden you feel undervalued. What do you do next?
The first logical step would be to go back to your work and continue with your daily duties, right? Perhaps. You could also consider his/her point of view and try not to take it personally. You could “suck it up” and do what’s expected of you so you could keep your job for a long time. The problem with this approach is that you will be “sucking it up” at this job for a long time. Long enough until you become so miserable there, you will be ready to quit any day.
What Most People Do
When you do not feel valued or appreciated at your job, things usually don’t get any better. You will not be happier unless something drastically changes. The only thing that will grow is your tolerance. Because having a job and holding on to it is so important to you, you may choose not to do anything about things you don’t like. You will grow to tolerate them. Those unpleasant things will likely get worse as your tolerance of them increases. Slowly, but surely, you will start having more and more days when you are ready to quit on the spot. Except that you will get over it and come back to work the next day.
The problem with this approach is that you will continue to be miserable. But, most importantly, it will make it harder for you to find another job when you are really unhappy at your current one. Your energy will be more desperate as you search for other jobs and you might inadvertently push potential employers away. Besides, when you are unhappy and feel undervalued, it is hard to see your own value and notice your accomplishments. And those accomplishments are what will sell you during your next job interview.
Unfortunately, what most people do when they feel undervalued at their job is pull their value away. They become less motivated, don’t try as hard, start feeling resentful and, overall, give less to their jobs. And furthermore, as they give less, they become even less valued. The longer you stay in this type of situation, the harder it will be to get out. Unless of course, it gets to the point where you have no choice but to leave.
What Could You Do Instead
First of all, don’t pull away your value. It’s not so much about what you can give to your company, it is more about what you can give, period. Your next employer will need to see the proof of that. That is what will make them want to hire you. When you are overworked, exhausted, frustrated and possibly even bitter, it is hard to look attractive. Even if you try to hide it during your job interview, it will show up somehow.
Second, start looking for another job. And start early. As soon as you realize that you are not happy about certain aspects, it goes against your values and you know they will not change. But look smart. Don’t just look for anything as you may think anything is better than the mess you are in. Know exactly what you want and be very selective about it. After all, companies will be very selective about you.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.