Everyone wants to be appreciated for the time and effort they put in. But think long and hard before you quit a job due to feeling unappreciated. Remember, your company sends you a paycheck to acknowledge the work you've done, so a personal display of appreciation may not always occur the same as it does in your relationships with your pals or family. Consider a few important things before throwing in the towel and putting in a notice of resignation.
Assess your Feelings
Feeling that you are unappreciated is unpleasant, but you must assess whether those feelings are coming from within or from your environment. This means stopping to evaluate areas of your life where you do feel appreciated. For example, perhaps you feel appreciated at your local gym, but not at work. Find out what it is about the gym that makes you feel appreciated, such as the "Hello's" and "What's up's" you hear when you walk in the door. Or, maybe it's that people know you by name. Then, decide if these are things you could foster in your own workplace. Before you quit, find out if you simply need a change of perspective.
Do it for You
According to Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project" and contributor to The Huffington Post, feeling unappreciated can stem from a real desire for "gold stars," or praise. If you don't receive it, you may quickly grow resentful. She offers five suggestions for dealing with lack of appreciation, and the first one is to do things for yourself. Focus on doing things that make you happy, so that once they're finished you don't need extra praise. Having completed a project can be fulfillment enough. Remember that you don't have to keep the job you have. You choose to keep it if it fulfills you. The day you leave, the company will look for a replacement, and probably without emotion. It's best to find a job that fulfills you without extra pats on the back.
Ask for Appreciation
If, in assessing your feelings, you decide that you desire feedback and praise from your managers or supervisors, ask for the feedback you want. It may come in the form of a new job title, a higher paycheck, more flexible hours or more perks. Decide exactly what you want and prepare to ask for it in an assertive, professional way. For example, instead of focusing on the negative, focus on benefits. Rather than stating that working in the office is distracting and inefficient, say that flexible work hours and work-from-home status will help you produce more efficiently and balance your social life with your work. Managers are interested in finding the most efficient, productive ways to meet numbers, so phrase your desires in a way that serves that purpose.
Express your own Appreciation
Rubin also points out in her Huffington Post article that expressing your appreciation to others reminds them of how good it feels to be appreciated. Likewise, it helps you stay aware of how much those around you are doing, which helps you avoid growing resentful. Odds are that you're working hard, but others are too. It's OK to need a little praise now and then, but make sure you're appropriately praising yourself and recognizing the fulfillment you get from the things you accomplish at work.
Jan Archer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a master's degree in creative writing. Roth has written trade books for Books-a-Million and has published articles on green living, wellness and education topics. She taught business writing, literature, creative writing and English composition at the college level for five years.