How to Stick With a Job Where You Feel Unappreciated

Posted September 26, 2013 by Sarah Jarvis in On the Ladder

It happens to everyone at one time or another: you are working in a position where you enjoy the work, but you cannot please your boss no matter how hard you try. You do your best to complete tasks keeping his or her standards in mind, but your work never seems to measure up to what he or she expects from you. Whether you feel your boss does not like you personally or you have a hard time receiving constructive criticism, it is important to stop and re-evaluate the situation.

I found myself in a similar set of circumstances not long ago. I felt frustrated with my supervisor and was on the verge of quitting when I decided to ask a mentor for advice on how she would handle the situation. She gave me three steps to follow, which I have described in detail below.

Change your perspective

First and foremost, my mentor told me to stop looking at the issues I was having with my boss as a bad situation. I am just starting out in my career. More than likely, it will not be the first time I do not become friends with the person supervising me. Instead of focusing on how I cannot change the way my boss feels about me, learning how to calmly and professionally handle the problem is a much better use of my time and will help me in the future.

Open the lines of communication

Arrange a one-on-one meeting with your boss to discuss how you can better meet his or her expectations. Taking the initiative to learn how you can improve shows your supervisor you take your job seriously. Before sitting down with him or her, write down all of the points you want to cover in the meeting. Use specific examples of when you thought you missed the mark on a certain assignment, so your boss knows you are aware of when you made a mistake and want to correct it.

Network – make the most of your coworkers

If you cannot improve your relationship with your boss after taking the time to meet with him or her, reach out to your coworkers. Of course, you should avoid discussing your issues about your supervisor. Instead, ask them where they worked before joining the company and what they do now. Taking an interest in the people you see everyday but do not necessarily work with could give you the opportunity to work on different projects with different people in the same office.

In closing, I recommend anyone who is having difficulties at work to seek out the opinion of an objective outsider you can trust.

About the Author

Sarah Jarvis

Sarah Jarvis is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Journalism focusing on Strategic Communication and Sociology. She currently lives in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California to earn her masters in Communication Management. She also works at Career Girl Network as a Marketing and Communications Specialist and generates social media content on a weekly basis for Rescue Desk – Virtual Assistant Services, which is based in Madison, Wis. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as attending concerts and movies.