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What to do if you are undervalued at work?

You don’t have to brag about your abilities, but you can be specific and proactive.

Not being assigned a project or job opportunity you know you’re capable of is really frustrating — and it could indicate that your boss isn’t stimulating your abilities.

You may assume that your boss knows about your previous experience and updates your contributions to certain projects, but those accomplishments can be “lost”. So what should be done?

Identify why you are underrated

The first step is to determine why you are being underrated and whether the reason is within your control.

We must acknowledge that if this were to happen because of sexism, or some other bias, these rules would not apply. There is very little you can do to someone who is sexist or “disliked”. You have to find another workplace where people will value and respect you more.

However, it is also possible that the underappreciation is due to misinformation about your background and your contributions. In this case, there are a few strategies you can put in place to make sure they know what you’re capable of, so they can keep an eye on you for future opportunities.

Be specific and proactive

If you are being underestimated because of misinformation, you should be specific about your various achievements and contributions.

Track indicators of how your various projects have performed, be specific about your exact contributions, and refer to different aspects of your professional background, including any certifications related, work you have held in the past, or additional skills for which you have had a previous role.

Being specific about what you did, in the right context, is important because sometimes your boss doesn’t know what your resume is—or they may have forgotten. However, to get that next chance, they need to know about what you did. What you’re doing is convincing your boss or co-workers why they should invest resources in you.

You should also be proactive about different opportunities. Find more ways to demonstrate your abilities. Think of it like an “audition”. It may take time to help your boss understand what you can do.

What do you think?

Written by Martinus T.