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How you can feel valued in your role

May 24, 2018

Most of us have mixed feelings about our jobs.  Sometimes it is easy to describe what we love about our roles, at other times, we struggle to remember why we took the job and can’t wait to get out of the door at the end of the day. According to the experts, one of the key drivers of happiness at work, is the human need to be appreciated for our efforts. When your manager and/or colleagues don’t notice (your contributions) it makes you feel as if you don’t belong” Annie McKee, author of How to Be Happy at Work.  It may also be career limiting if you feel you can’t share your achievements and successes – something that can be difficult to talk about, without coming across as arrogant and self-promoting.  

Here are five ways to help you feel appreciated and valued and boost your opportunities to get ahead.  

  • Take a moment to reflect. Think about why you took on the role in the first place. What did you hope to learn and achieve, what aspects of the role attracted you to it? Reminding ourselves of why we took the role in the first place, allows us to reflect on whether we are achieving the things we set out to do.  While you won’t enjoy all aspects of your role, you will have had an opportunity to play to some of your strengths, do what you enjoy and learn some new skills. Reflecting on what you enjoy and have achieved, will help you to understand whether it’s time to move on or time to take on some new responsibilities.  Doing this self-reflection before you talk to your manager will show her/him that you are serious about your career and want to get ahead..  

  • Talk to your manager.  We all like to be recognised in different ways.  For some of us, nothing says ‘well done’ better than a pay increase, for others, public acknowledgement and appreciation are what we long for.  Sharing with your manager what it is that you value, and what you need to feel appreciated will help them understand how they can provide the support and recognition that you need.  Of course, be realistic about what is possible – it won’t be practical to get a pay raise every time you do something great, but there will be other ways in which your manager can make you feel valued and appreciated. 

  • Build meaningful relationships. Your workplace can be an amazing opportunity for you to meet new people.  Take a moment to talk to them about what they need from you, how you can support them and what they need to get ahead. Remember, people don’t care how much you know, until the know how much you care.  As you show that you care about your co workers, they will feel drawn to care about you as well.  

  • Be a problem solver. Every job comes with its own problems, and it’s easy to focus on the issue, without being part of the solution. It is up to you to change that! Problems create opportunities for you to grow your skills, think outside the square and go beyond the requirements of your role. When you become the person whom others look to for solutions, instead of just another voice complaining, people will soon turn to you for advice and this will add significant meaning of your role. 

  • Be confident (not opinionated). People will be far more willing to trust someone who seems confident. Try to maintain a cheerful, steady, assured demeanour. This certainly does not mean you should be obnoxiously egotistical. Do you research to make sure your opinions are supported by facts and not just opinions. But when you are sure you a right, be confident. This will be a huge plus to your boss and co workers.    

  • Recognise other’s contributions. We all like to be validated and appreciated.  Chances are your colleagues feel like you do.  Taking time to recognise their unique contributions and achievements will go a long way to inviting reciprocal behaviour.  Don’t forget about your manager – just because they are more senior than you, doesn’t mean they don’t need to be valued.  A kind word coming from a team member about how a manager is doing, can go a long way. 

Your workplace is your place to shine. By putting these tips into practice, you can feel valued no matter what your role!