Author Topic: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter  (Read 1304 times)

FIRE47

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No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« on: November 30, 2018, 09:25:10 AM »
Just looking for anyone with similar experiences/vent

I am treated ok at work and they make sure my pay is constantly increased just enough to make it somewhat hard to get much more elsewhere unless I leave the city. Due to the structure of the organization, some chance and the particular mix of work as well as my own personality (I take some of the blame here), I have begun to drift relatively early in my career. It is not through lack of effort or technical skill - just I am doing things for people who don't really matter as much and who do not really care to mentor me or champion my cause to the people who do matter, and the things I am best at are not valued very highly here - I also work for so many people perhaps I have just fallen through the cracks. Although the works need to get done and someone has to do it and it makes the company good money, just don't expect anyone to really care.  If I do good work it will go unnoticed, likewise no one seems to expect very much of me. Essentially I am a B+ performer being treated otherwise like a C level performer. In my recent performance meeting I got the sense no one even knows what I do from month to month , this is somewhat normal in the industry not to know from day to day or week to week what someone is working on but not to this level of basically having a year pass as a relative ghost.

I left another firm where I was in the top 10-20% of their performers and never realized that the validation and recognition of being that person was actually important to me until now - I just got tired of the workload and travel.

Essentially I feel I would have to burn the building down or increase my current performance beyond a level I am capable of for anything bad or good to happen to my current progression path.

I am 10 years out from FIRE currently making around a top 15% income with indefinite  5-7% increases and perhaps a 15% in 2-4 years, but my peers are leaving me slowly behind and being compensated and recognized to an ever increasing greater extent and up until now I had envisioned better things.

My only options as I see them are to sink to the level of a C+ performer and be content to collect a decent pay cheque or to leave as only perhaps 1/4 of the problem is under my control and the rest is inherent to the organization.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 04:06:22 AM by FIRE47 »

StetsTerhune

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 02:31:38 AM »
I worked for a large organization, and was always pretty quick to leave a role where I felt like I was being boxed in like that. You don't mention that as a possibility, but I'd recommend thinking about it. I would also encourage you to think long term. I read an article recently about how common it's becoming for people to switch to a lower paid job that they feel offers more growth potential.

That said, I eventually took the route of just being a C+ performer and not caring. But this was when I was only a couple years away from FIRE.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 03:46:19 AM »
My advice to you (and to myself) is to let your desire for external validation go. Take pride in those parts of the job you enjoy, by being internally satisfied with a job well done. If others happen to notice something exceptional, don't worry. They will assume you want to impress others and won't feel that their worldview is being challenged. Of course, the tedious majority of the job should only get the minimal time and effort that is necessary to keep the money rolling in.

FIRE47

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 04:02:28 AM »
I worked for a large organization, and was always pretty quick to leave a role where I felt like I was being boxed in like that. You don't mention that as a possibility, but I'd recommend thinking about it. I would also encourage you to think long term. I read an article recently about how common it's becoming for people to switch to a lower paid job that they feel offers more growth potential.

That said, I eventually took the route of just being a C+ performer and not caring. But this was when I was only a couple years away from FIRE.

Iíve basically told myself to work on my career as if FIRE has no impact to avoid coasting and leaving money on the table or kneecapping my career early and later regretting it - maybe if I was a year or two out it would be different. To some extent the job meets my needs of being just good enough that I will be able to meet all of my financial goals/needs but this hard turn from my expectations up until a year or so ago is a hard pill to swallow.

The thing is there is no variable compensation or even paid overtime, the model is built around advancement being the motivator so it has basically taken all my motivation the fact that there is nothing even just basic recognition, there is no difference between putting in 40 hours a week or 60 hours, putting in a C+ level performance or an A-. At this point I have been typecast in a certain role and thatís it.

I am not the kind of person to complain but I feel like I am obligated to discuss the issues and give them a chance to fix things before I leave for my own conscience and to leave on a good note if nothing changes. I donít see from my point of view how it will be fixed given the details of the situation.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 04:11:11 AM by FIRE47 »

clarkfan1979

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 08:21:54 AM »
Based on everything you said, it may be time to leave. If someone considers themselves a good performer they typically want to work for a company in which performance is compensated. I also struggle when an organization fails to properly compensate good performance. It's not really about the money. It's about the money supporting your value.

When talking about how your performance is related to compensation, I think your situation is better than mine. I teach college. I can only get 3 raises during a 30-35 year career. We get cost of living adjustments every year, but everyone gets the same amount. There is very little incentive to take on additional tasks or perform at a high level, so many people just do enough to not get fired. For faculty who have tenure they can really flirt with the line on how little they can do without getting fired.


Boofinator

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 09:18:55 AM »
How long have you been at the new job? My experience is that it takes several years for someone to become competent when taking on a new job (depending on how different the duties are). So at your previous job you might have been ultra-competent, but at your new job you're the new guy doing C-level work for a couple of years until you get the swing of things. If that is the case, I wouldn't take it personally nor would I expect changing jobs to necessarily fix the problem.

In my opinion, this is an often-undiscussed downside of moving jobs.

SwordGuy

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 01:59:28 PM »
Always be the best you can be at what you choose to do on a daily basis (provided you keep a good work-life balance).   Practice for the person you want to become or remain.

If you want recognition, ask for it.

Ask the people who are your customers to mention your good work to your boss(es).   Ask them to mention how you helped them and the organization do well.

My last 3 years at work were similar except I didn't give a damn about career advancement.  (Been there, done that, just wanted interesting work with nice people until I FIRED this year.)

None of the government people really knew what I did.  None of them who should have been paying attention to it did so.  So, about twice a year I would go to my government boss and explain that good people need attaboys when they've done good work.   So, for the next 10 minutes, I needed him to let me tell him what I had accomplished so he could do provide the necessary management input.   I did it with light-hearted, joking manner, but I was serious.   This is an example of what the talk portion would be like: 

"For example, it used to take someone in my job 2 to 4 weeks to put together a custom application that would do this task.  Plus it would have defects in it that might interrupt the task.   That was a problem because this app is used to track information that could result in people living or dying, and time is of the essence.   A year ago, I got it down to 3 days of my time.  I worked on other things for awhile, but two months ago I got it down to 4 hours.    Today, I've gotten this task down to zero seconds.   That's right.  Zero seconds.  And the next time you need a custom app like this it will also take zero seconds of my time to get it ready.   Since it no longer requires me to program in a hurry, I won't have the opportunity to introduce random new defects into the code, either.  So, now it's time for my attaboy!"


Note that I never explained a single technical thing about how I had done it, I only focused on benefits to the organization:  time, money, quality, achieving the mission.


Hope that helps you become less invisible!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 07:59:59 PM by SwordGuy »

BicycleB

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 07:44:18 PM »
^Wow!

@SwordGuy, you opened the mind of more than the OP...

FIRE47

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Re: No longer valued at work/your work doesn't matter
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 11:22:22 AM »
Always be the best you can be at what you choose to do on a daily basis (provided you keep a good work-life balance).   Practice for the person you want to become or remain.

If you want recognition, ask for it.

Ask the people who are your customers to mention your good work to your boss(es).   Ask them to mention how you helped them and the organization do well.

My last 3 years at work were similar except I didn't give a damn about career advancement.  (Been there, done that, just wanted interesting work with nice people until I FIRED this year.)

None of the government people really knew what I did.  None of them who should have been paying attention to it did so.  So, about twice a year I would go to my government boss and explain that good people need attaboys when they've done good work.   So, for the next 10 minutes, I needed him to let me tell him what I had accomplished so he could do provide the necessary management input.   I did it with light-hearted, joking manner, but I was serious.   This is an example of what the talk portion would be like: 

"For example, it used to take someone in my job 2 to 4 weeks to put together a custom application that would do this task.  Plus it would have defects in it that might interrupt the task.   That was a problem because this app is used to track information that could result in people living or dying, and time is of the essence.   A year ago, I got it down to 3 days of my time.  I worked on other things for awhile, but two months ago I got it down to 4 hours.    Today, I've gotten this task down to zero seconds.   That's right.  Zero seconds.  And the next time you need a custom app like this it will also take zero seconds of my time to get it ready.   Since it no longer requires me to program in a hurry, I won't have the opportunity to introduce random new defects into the code, either.  So, now it's time for my attaboy!"


Note that I never explained a single technical thing about how I had done it, I only focused on benefits to the organization:  time, money, quality, achieving the mission.


Hope that helps you become less invisible!

Thank you. There is nothing to lose by following this advice.