“ I Work My Butt Off & No One Appreciates Me….”

How To Deal With Feeling Under Appreciated at the office

Are you feeling unappreciated and are always giving your very best? Are you waiting on someone to say “thank you, good job, well done?” Well this was written with you in mind. There came a time early on in my dental career that I became fed up with feeling unappreciated, over worked and invisible to the doctor. I felt like he was never going to say” good job”, “thank you”, or even I noticed…. It had built up and built up to the point that I was on the verge of explosion. I just didn’t know what I had to do in order to get some form of appreciation from the doctor.

I was beginning to get the “slow down attitude” the one were you say to yourself over and over that I will just do the bare minimal each day like some of the others – who cares, no one will even notice.
Well the moment had come, my emotions had gotten the best of me and without hesitation I let it go- the words, the tears, the anger all spewed out onto the doctor in one unscripted moment. I was cleaning my room with the worst thoughts in my head and I’m sure the most negative expression on my face when the doctor stepped back into the room and said, “ Is something bothering you that you would like to share with me?”  … and those words triggered my meltdown.  He was silent as I spewed all my frustration at him. It was though he was a punching bag and I was the boxer jabbing over and over and over at it. I grew silent as tears ran down my face and in that moment the doctor spoke, with a cool and calm demeanor. He  said, “I had no idea that you had this much frustration built up inside with your position in my office and with your team members.” My jaw dropped and I remember feeling even more frustrated and angry because it was about feeling unappreciated. He didn’t hear a word I had just said. I was always the one that jumped in first, cleaned up the break room, took the trash out, worked through lunch, stayed late, put supplies away and so on. I then said “ don’t you see what I do each day in this office as I refreshed his memory with all my ongoing actions over the past two years.  And again in calm, soft-spoken words he responded to me- “That all sounds like it is part of the job that you are paid to do for me, correct?” I was without words. Frustration, pride, anger and resentment filled my head (but I was first…. always willing… the most…..). “I employ you to be your best for this business, these patients and your team each and every day! I probably have failed to say thank you for giving your best but I thought you understood that that was a requirement to work here each day.” He continued on to tell me, that I had done what he had asked but that I had never really stepped out of that specific box.  I was dependable, always willing to help etc., which were all requirements for being a good employee and maintain secured spot on the team, but that I never brought anything new, different, about that to the table.

In that moment what I had been so angry over, so stressed over and built up so much anxiety about was my 100%. I felt abused and unappreciated and my doctor felt that I did what he paid me to do each day and nothing more… WOW that moment kicked my pride to the curb and kick started my journey to be more, more than what was already expected of me.  I had to really step back and evaluated the underlying reasons that I was feeling unappreciated and here are seven solutions that wanted to share with you.

7 Solutions For Feeling Unappreciated At Work:

1. Take Your Emotions Outside:

If you’re feeling unappreciated at work, chances are your emotions are also running high. You may feel angry, frustrated, stressed, exhausted, or all of the above. I’ve been there and understand what how you maybe feeling, but you have to maintain your professionalism at work or people will quickly lose respect for you no matter what the circumstances. So if you feel like you’re about to explode or burst into tears, take a walk outside or step into the bathroom and find a positive focus to think of but don’t let it out in front of your ream.

2. Don’t Underestimate Stress:

Stress has a sneaky way of creeping up and consuming every inch of your body and your mind. Your health can become compromised quickly if you aren’t sleeping enough, develop high blood pressure, stop eating healthy foods, and give up exercising all together. Make sure you take time for yourself and your loved ones each week to unwind so your life away from work won’t suffer.

3. Make Your Contributions Known:

You could be the own cause of feeling unappreciated at work without even realizing it. If your managers and colleagues have no idea what you’re doing all day, how do you expect them to look up to you or acknowledge you for any of your hard work, ideas, and contributions? Make sure your boss actually knows what you’re working on.

4. Work On Your Professional Development:

Have you considered if your lack of appreciation around the office is because your skills have gotten rusty, your performance is under par, or you haven’t taken enough training classes? Get proactive with your career development, make an effort to work on some of your weaknesses, learn new skills, and increase your production.

5. Figure Out What Will Make You Feel Appreciated:

This may sound a bit silly, but it’s actually important to ask yourself why you’re feeling under appreciated at work. There are lots of reasons to consider and maybe you have several things causing your feelings such as:  change of hours, change of pay structure, not having access to resources, new team members, being short handed, or even lack of acknowledged for your efforts. Once you can identify what you want, talk to your manager or doctor about it and work together on a plan of action. Remember a goal needs a time line and action plan!

6. Be A Better Coworker:

Have you stopped to think if you’ve been a lousy coworker lately? How you interact daily and communicate with your team members could easily have something to do with why you’re feeling unappreciated at work. When was the last time you held the door for someone, said hi in the hallway, or used “please” and “thank you” in your conversations? Just don’t turn into a push over and say “yes” to everything, you could end up with people walking all over you and still be unhappy.

7. Reconnect With Your Goals:

When you’re working on so many things at once, it’s easy to forget all the positives about our jobs and the goals that we’ve set. Don’t lose sight of your career goals! If you feel like you’ve gone way off course or feel like your contributions have become meaningless, ask a mentor or your manager for advice and support. Thinking about the big picture, remembering why you’re doing what you’re doing, and re-centering yourself really helps.

I hope these 7 solutions for feeling unappreciated at work will help you. If you’re unhappy, don’t keep everything all bottled up inside – take action! Until the next time, “Stop Whining and Start Doing”- Get to Work!!!

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