16/10/2017 7:56 PM AEDT | Updated 16/10/2017 7:56 PM AEDT

How To Tell If You're Being Taken For Granted At Work

It has nothing to do with your salary.

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A little 'thank you' goes a long way.

They say you spend a third of your life at work (or 35 percent, according to this writer's calculations), so you'd want to hope your job is satisfying, at least from a professional point of view.

And part of job satisfaction, in our opinion, is being recognised for the work that you do and the goals you achieve.

That's not to say your superior should spend all day lavishing you with compliments (that would be weird and potentially grounds for harassment) or praising you for doing the bare minimum -- let's be real, you have to earn your stripes -- but giving credit where it's due is important.


According to leadership and people-management specialist Karen Gately, it's even more important than your wage.

"In my experience, the thank you, the pat on the back, the words of recognition are far more important than financial rewards when it comes to energising human beings," Gately told HuffPost Australia.

"If leaders aren't doing those basic steps and demonstrating appreciation for their workers, it's actually a real missed opportunity; if people feel over time that there isn't fair recognition, it drains their energy and undermines the strength of their commitment."

So how can you tell if you're being taken for granted at work?

"Obviously the most important signs of appreciation is just a thank you. Whether or not people are taking the time to look you in the eye and say 'well done and thanks for the effort'," Gately said.

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Exclusion from opportunities is one sign you're not being taken seriously.

"If people aren't able to deliver on common courtesies it's a clear sign appreciation is lacking."

Another sign you are potentially being overlooked is if you're being excluded from opportunities.

"If people aren't recognising you for projects or involving you in step up opportunities, or things you feel you should be included in, that's something that might need to be addressed," Gately said.

"That's assuming you actually have whatever you think you have to offer. I mean, you have to make sure you have done the training and put the effort in to be skilled."

In terms of how to address the situation, Gately said it pays to be upfront.

Ultimately you need to choose to be in an environment where you can thrive, and if a culture is undermining that, then you have to ask whether it's worth it.

"Like any relationship, I think everything starts with an honest conversation," she said. "Your manager might not be aware for whatever reason. They might not appreciate the extent to what you feel unrecognised."

And if that doesn't work? Have a good hard think about your workplace and whether it's the right place for you.

"I think then there are decisions to make about your employer's values," Gately said. "Whether or not it's the type of environment where people are respected. Then there's a choice about whether to move on or to start change in the organisation yourself, though that will obviously depend on your position.

"Ultimately you need to choose to be in an environment where you can thrive, and if a culture is undermining that, then you have to ask whether it's worth it."