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You're going above and beyond at work...but no one seems to notice!?

Originally published on Career Experts.

 

One of the most common reasons why middle managers decide to leave their job is because they’re not recognized for their effort - especially if they feel as if they’re contributing more than others. If you’re in this category, hold off on the cardboard boxes before you consider why your managers might not be taking notice. It could prevent you from leaving your job unnecessarily...and hopefully lead you to the best of career advancement solutions: getting the promotion you deserve.

 

1.    It’s not me. It’s them.

 

Is it really? Sure, you’re applying that elbow grease by the pound, but no one sees anything particularly special about your work. In fact, from what you can tell, your accomplishments don’t pass for more than standard fare at your company. But double check and ask your colleagues directly. Is your output less, the same, or more than theirs? You might be surprised to find out that you’re only Joe or Jane Average. If this turns out to be the case, it’s time to understand that it’s you, not them. When managers find themselves in an environment that’s not a good fit, they’ll often misread the effort meter. The simple reason is that it’s probably taking too much effort to do what is expected. So while you are indeed investing more time, you’re most likely not in the place that’s right for you. Time to check out other career advancement solutions.

 

2.    It’s all in the marketing.

 

Whose fault is it when a product’s target audience isn’t aware the product exists? That’s right - it’s the marketing department. What about all of your effort? Who’s your target audience? And if they don’t know about your effort, whose fault is it again? BINGO. So please don’t follow the assumption that the right people will somehow know about all of the effort you’ve been putting in. Instead, run your career like a marketing campaign, emphasizing self-promotion. Yes, it sounds cheap (and might be sometimes), but the alternative is that someone else takes the credit for your work...and then you’re overlooked when promotion time comes around.

 

3.    Compliments are costly.

 

Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve seen more and more senior managers hesitate and even avoid giving compliments to their middle managers. The reason? Dinero. The old adage was “compliments cost nothing.” But they certainly do today, as many middle managers are quick to respond with another adage: “put your money where your mouth is.” So it’s no surprise that instead of handing you a compliment, your managers remain quiet, for fear of having to back it up with a performance bonus. The good news, though, is that your work might actually be getting noticed...and that a well-deserved promotion is on its way.

 

4.    Plain old jealousy

 

It’s ugly and it’s one of the oldest in the book, but other people might be just plain old jealous of you. You’re burning the midnight oil and turning out some great results, but at the same time you’re (inadvertently) making the slackers look bad. So of course you’re not going to get recognition for your effort; it would just shine a brighter light on what the others haven’t done. And what happens instead? Your amazing accomplishments, which should be a cause celebre, are actually belittled by others, so as not to draw too much attention to their lack of results. Keep yourself on your toes with this one, as the gap between what you’ve done and how it’s received can throw you off course when it comes to assessing your own accomplishments.

 

Now you decide

 

Once you’ve understood why no one seems to notice your going above and beyond, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s time to hit the road. If it’s a matter of lack of awareness or simply a corporate culture that frowns on patting managers on the back, give yourself some time. But if you’re making stupendous effort to accomplish what everyone else does much more easily, it could be time to move on. Just remember that whatever you decide, you should understand why you weren’t recognized for your effort, so that you’ll identify the signs again in the future.


 

And always remember:

 

Great managers are made. Not born.


 

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