If you are starting to get the feeling in your gut that your company doesn’t care about you, then you are probably right. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you realize that you are not a valued team member. Don’t take this personal because chances are your company may not value their employees very much in general. This could also be an isolated issue on your team or in your department.
Regardless of the source of the problem, if you are in an environment where you are not valued, then it will be difficult to find a path to a fulfilling career and life.
Let’s face it we spend the majority of our time at work and if you accept this reality then you are going to likely spend the majority of your life miserable. You can hope things will change and get better and convince yourself that it’s not that bad. In reality, the only one who you are convincing, is yourself.
I’m going to go through some common signals that you are in an environment that does not care about you and value what you bring to the table. It is up to you to choose to ignore the evidence in front of you. I hope you have the courage to walk away if you are in a toxic situation.
1. You don’t get invited to meetings where key decisions about your job are made.
There’s nothing worse than when a decision has been made about your job or how you do your job without your input. This usually happens when those who are making the decisions do not value your input.
Yes, I understand there are circumstances where decisions cannot be made in a collaborative way, but if the trend is to leave those out who are closest to the work, then that is the signal your perspective is not valued.
2. You can’t remember the last time you were recognized for going above and beyond.
Sometimes a simple “thank you” is all it takes to make your day at work. As human beings we crave this recognition and acknowledgment for going out of our way for someone.
When you continued to invest your extra discretionary effort and do not receive any acknowledgment in return, then it can become demoralizing. It’s okay to want to be recognized for your efforts. It also doesn’t take much for a leader to acknowledge high performance.
3. Your performance review felt like a transaction.
Have you ever had a performance review that felt more like a transaction than a meaningful conversation about your performance? Did the conversation feel scripted and distant? Chances are your company treats this process as “a check in the box,” rather than an opportunity to provide real coaching and development.
Yes, managers are busy and it takes effort to have a more meaningful conversation. Maybe they don’t want to make any false promises about the future. The fact is, all of this could be resolved through transparent communication.
Instead, you are left without any actionable feedback or idea about what your future at this company could look like.
4. Your attempts to share your ideas and thoughts in meetings fall upon deaf ears.
How many times have you been asked to speak up in a meeting and share your feedback? Then, once you actually shared your ideas or thoughts, you realized that no one really wanted that feedback after all.
If you had several meetings where you shared an idea or thought and were completely ignored or brushed off, then your voice may not be valued on this team or in this organization.
5. You keep getting passed up for promotions.
You’ve been told that you should pay your dues and continue to learn your job before you are able to earn a promotion. The problem is you paid your dues, but you are starting to see people who have been there less time getting promoted while you stay stagnant.
6. You’re asked to do things your boss isn’t willing to do.
Are you asked to maintain a strict schedule in the office to keep up perceptions? Maybe you are asked to work on the weekend or during your vacation. You are happy to help out the team when necessary, but you noticed that your boss doesn’t hold themselves to the same strict standards. The “Do as I say, not as I do” management style is more prevalent then we would like it to be.
7. You don’t get any projects that further your development.
Once you master a job, it’s natural to seek out more challenging projects or assignments. If you’ve asked for opportunities to stretch your skills or knowledge, but you still are NOT given opportunities, then this could be a sign that your development is not important.
There are so many ways that you could add value on top of your existing responsibilities without sacrificing the work that needs to be done. If your boss doesn’t buy into this idea, then you are not going to grow and go very far anytime soon.
8. You get the impression your boss thinks “you’re lucky to have this job.”
Do you get the impression that your boss believes that you are lucky to have your job? Many leaders who survived the recession are still in the mentality that everybody is lucky to have a job.
When your leader has this mentality, then it becomes really difficult for you to get what you need out of this work experience to further your career. I’m not saying to put your career needs over the organization, but for the experience to be a win-win for everyone.
9. You’ve taken employee engagement surveys every year, but nothing changes.
Year after year you’re asked to give your feedback on the annual employee engagement survey. Sometimes you even have a little bit of hope that maybe this time things will be different! Maybe the leadership will act on the survey results and your work environment will improve.
Unfortunately you’ve participated in several of the surveys now. You see a lot of people talking about the survey and the results, but you don’t see any action towards change.
10. You’re given unreasonable deadlines.
Have you ever been given a same-day deadline? Maybe this has happened one too many times. You end up having to scurry and change your plans with your family or your friends just to put out another fire for someone else who has no respect and doesn’t plan ahead.
Yes, there will be times where you need to take one for the team. However, if this keeps happening and you are seeing a trend, then it’s likely that your job is taking over your life. It’s up to you to decide where to draw the line and if it’s worth it.
11. You don’t have the resources to do your job.
Have you ever had a leader who had extremely high expectations and intense goals but provided zero resources to meet these goals? It’s one thing to have high standards, but it’s unrealistic to expect extreme results without adequate resources. There’s nothing I hate more than being set up to lose from the very beginning.
If your requests for more resources are turned down and your boss is still not willing to negotiate the goals, then this is a signal that your well-being and success is not important to them.
12. You’re paid below market for the value you contribute.
Sometimes companies cannot pay the market value for a position because their profit margins are thin. Then there are sometimes when the company chooses not to pay because they do not place a high value on their employees. If your company is making a ton of profit and you’re still paid below-market, then you may want to start looking elsewhere.
When you are in an environment that does not value you it can be hard to be honest with yourself. Sometimes it’s easier to rationalize the situation and stay where you are. If you get to a point where you see your unhappiness at work is impacting your family, your friends, and your health then you may want to face the fear of leaving. Don’t let fear drive your decisions in your career.
When you are in a bad work environment that does not value you, it can be a big hit to your self-esteem. You start to doubt that you deserve to be treated any better than you currently are. I am here to tell you that you are worth it and you do not deserve to feel this way.
If you want to start making progress today towards finding a job you love where you are valued and respected then please check out my free three part video course and you can start making progress today.