Emily Perron here with the final addition in this series. Over the past couple months, I’ve been answering some of the most common questions I get as a career development strategist.
The final question I hear most often sounds like this, “I work really hard, but my job is going nowhere. How do I get recognized for my contributions?”
Or in other words, “How do I get promoted?”
With both recognition and promotions, it may feel that you have little control over receiving them.
But there are a few things you can do to take initiative and get the recognition you’re looking for.
If you’re curious, read on to learn what actions you can take to have more control.
Do what you can.
According to Emilie Wapnick in How to be Everything,
YOU CAN’T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S REACTIONS BUT YOU CAN CONTROL WHAT YOU DO.
Instead of stressing out over how others might perceive you or your work, focus on what you can do.
An easy place to start is to act like the co-worker or leader you wish you had.
Try commending coworkers on the work that they do. This can create a ripple effect in your workplace where others begin to notice others’ contributions and you too.
And there’s no reason you can’t reward yourself.
Schedule a massage, indulge in your favorite dessert or use a vacation day or two to take time for yourself.
Ask for feedback.
I know this can be scary for some. But it’s the fastest way to get what you’re looking for.
Feedback and its equally fun cousin “constructive criticism” often get a bad reputation.
For many, just hearing the word is enough to fill them with a sense of dread because of its negative connotation.
But, the truth is, feedback can be positive, negative or neutral.
It’s really all how you perceive it.
And honestly, people are usually so busy thinking about themselves and their problems that they don’t take the time to think of others.
They probably haven’t even noticed that you aren’t getting what you need, because they are wrapped up in their own needs.
So, if you’re not getting enough recognition, ask your manager and your co-workers what you’re doing well. Or ask them what strengths they see in you.
Remember, you can only control yourself. And the more you ask for feedback, the easier it gets and the more information you have.
Learn about other opportunities.
If you’re not getting the recognition or promotion you deserve, it may be time to move on and find a new job.
When that is the case, one of the easiest ways to get started is to start learning about the other options you have available to you.
An effective strategy to do this is to ask a few people for an informational interview.
Essentially, an informational interview is an informal conversation to learn about another person’s career, experience or education. You can meet over lunch or coffee and learn about them.
When you need a boost...
When I need a boost at work, I remind myself of this quote from the book Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar:
WE CANNOT, THOUGH, SIMPLY HOPE THAT THE RIGHT JOB OR RIGHT EMPLOYER WILL BE HANDED TO US. WE HAVE TO ACTIVELY SEEK AND CREATE MEANING AND PLEASURE IN THE WORKPLACE.
It’s up to you to take charge of your career and your life because you are the only one who can. I know you can do this and I’m here to cheer you on each step of the way.
If a friend shared this with you and you want our emails delivered straight to your inbox...
Sign up below and you'll also receive a free copy of my guide, The Practical Guide to Getting through the Week. Inside, you'll find five of my best tips for creating positive change in your day-to-day routines.