What to do when you feel like you’re not valued at work

Organisational changes are commonplace in most companies at one point or another. Despite this, the structural changes it brings can be difficult to navigate. I heard from a mid-level leader recently who, following global organisational changes, no longer reports to a senior manager but instead directly to the General Manager. While this move increased the strength of their profile, they learned other senior managers reporting to the General Manager have a higher level (and salary), while they’ve ‌been left at the same level. Naturally, this left them feeling unvalued. So, what do you do when you feel like you’re not valued at work?

In today’s workplaces, where hierarchies are flatter and less managed, it’s quite common for a boss to have people reporting into them directly from different levels of the hierarchy. If you don’t have the skills or experience yet for a promotion, then it may not be personal. It may just be that you are victim of circumstance right now, in being the only person in this lower level, lower salary space. 

Instead, think about this… 

What can you do, in the next 18 month period, to increase their view of you and gain a promotion and salary increase? By focusing your attention here instead, you’re looking at a space that you can influence. Your boss, and the HR team, if they value you, should be working to incentivise you to improve, and to stay. If you can’t get a response in one way, try another. If emails aren’t working, try face-to-face. If that’s not working, try a note left on their desk. You need to show them in very real terms how important this is to you and what an impact it is having on you. 

If they’re not doing that, then the next question you may be wanting to ask is…  

 Am I valued here?

If they can’t provide a justification of why you are where you are (which you’ve already tried to get and they haven’t been forthcoming), and they also won’t help you to understand what you can do to be promoted, then it sounds as though you may need to question how committed they are to having you around. 

This may seem like a very brave question, and it is, but you’re at a stage of needing brave answers or this feeling of helplessness and frustration will only continue. If they can provide an answer, then that’s great, and you have reassurance to continue with the journey you are on. If not, then it might be time for a career rethink. You do not want to be stuck in a dead end in this role. Everyone needs a sponsor at work and if you can’t get one, it may be time to move on. 


Three resources that can help:

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