Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: Vojtěch Vlk
“A hard-working and dedicated friend of mine has been in the same position for many years without receiving the recognition that he deserves.
It is time for a change. Either your friend needs to be up front with his boss about getting credit where credit is due, or he should leave his job in search for work that is more rewarding.
When preparing to discuss this issue with his boss, it will be useful for him to think back over instances that might have caused rifts between him and the boss. For whatever reason – fair or not – the boss probably doesn’t have complete confidence in your friend. If he chooses to stay in his current position, he must find a way to win back the bosses trust and confidence.
Have your friend create a list of all possible instances where there were misunderstandings and communication gaps between him and his supervisor. It is important to also include problems that arose between himself and his colleagues. This is a time to be reflective, honest, and self-critical.
Discerning questions to contemplate:
- Does he trust and respect his boss? If not, how does he cover up his dissatisfaction, if at all? Is he expressing it to colleagues or using passive aggressive behavior to seek revenge? How does he get along with other staff members? Is he respected by his colleagues, or just tolerated? Does he enjoy his work and teammates, or is he just putting in the time? What truly creative and valuable new ideas has he contributed in the last year? Does he bring joy and enthusiasm into the office, or do dark clouds gather around him? Stifled emotions and repressed anger are easily felt when working in close vicinity.
- Openly approaching the boss with an action plan that address personal weaknesses and smoothing over past differences will be seen as a sincere move that may win back trust. On the other hand, if disparities between them are more the result of personality differences, then few options exist other than moving on. If your friend is truly talented and collaborative, he is wasting precious time and energy in a work environment that doesn’t reward his efforts. A change will do him good.
Article prepared by Renée LeMoine, Executive Director, LeMoine & Associates