No doubt about it, most of us at one time or another can identify with Comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s trademark lament, “I don’t get no respect.” That’s not surprising because our need to be appreciated along our career path is not always satisfied.
But stop and think the next time you are tempted to moan and groan about not getting respect and appreciation on your job.
Are you sure your boss and your peers are short on respect for what you do? They may not show it in tangible ways, but are you missing the positive signals?
Often, subordinates are reluctant to express their appreciation and respect because they don’t want to be seen as sucking up. Or they could be blinded by envy. In any case, at the end of the day, it’s their willingness to rely on your leadership and expertise that counts in totaling up the respect account.
Your boss may fail to verbalize his respect and appreciation for you because he knows you will carry out your assignments without pats-on-the-back. He needs all the time he can get to push other less motivated people and to clean up their mistakes.
The boss may believe that you are a professional, paid to do a job, so stroking is not necessary.
It could be that he doesn’t really understand how vital your contribution is to his success and that of the organization. For example, the boss who came up the route of manufacturing may be slow to pay respect to the job the public relations staff is doing because he doesn’t understand the function.
You may feel that this is not the way it should be; but we are dealing with the real world here.
Respect That Really Counts
What kind of respect really counts toward your career success? Sure, it’s nice to get compliments about your job performance. A “thank you” for a job well done is always appreciated. A bronze plaque is a special “feel good.” But these expressions of respect and recognition are short term.
But what really counts at the end of the day is respect measured by the assignment of more responsibility that leads to a promotion with more authority and a bigger paycheck.
Steps You Can Take
What’s to be done if you feel that you are not getting the respect you feel you deserve?
First of all, take inventory of what really counts in the career rewards you receive for your efforts. The respect and recognition account is short on the balance sheet of your career, take steps to be sure your peers, your boss, and your subordinates understand your contribution.
This is a delicate task. You don’t want to come off as a braggart who’s hogging the spotlight. But you do want the organization to recognize your true worth. Get the help of a third party–a respected mentor, a career coach–who can advise you and speak up for you.
If you believe your increasing responsibility and paycheck don’t reflect respect and appreciation for your contribution and your employer is unwilling to correct the shortfall, you may want to look elsewhere for a job that will result in these true measures of respect.
I wish you career success!
Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work