It’s terrible to feel unappreciated at work. I certainly felt that way when I was a teenager working at McDonald’s. The manager didn’t like me. Even though I was trying hard, he never seemed to notice. And my picture never got added to the “Super Employees” bulletin board. So wrong! I deserved to be included!

Since then, I’ve had a lot of different bosses, and most of them have been great. But I do remember what it feels like to be working hard, stressed out, and trying your best – but not getting any recognition. If you feel like you’re in that type of situation, here are a few ways that you can make things better:

  • Take care of yourself – When you’re tired, angry, anxious, or not feeling your best, it makes everything worse. Take care of yourself by going for a walk, eating healthy foods, getting more sleep, and spending time with people you like. You may also want to talk to a trusted friend or colleague about how you’ve been feeling at work, and ask him or her for advice.
  • Make sure your boss knows what you’re doing – It’s possible that your boss might not know exactly what you’re working on and what you’ve accomplished. Schedule some time to talk to him or her about the things you do and what you contribute to the team.
  • Figure out what would make you feel more appreciated – Everyone is different, and we all have different ideas about what it means to be appreciated. So think about what would make you feel valued. A promotion? Additional resources? Or just having your boss say “thank you” or “good job” when you finish a difficult project?
  • Talk to your boss about why you’re feeling unappreciated – Be calm and specific. Don’t get angry or emotional. Don’t go off on a tangent and start complaining about your coworkers or the amount of stress that you’re experiencing. Talk about the reasons why you’re feeling unhappy or unappreciated – and, if possible, offer ideas about how to make the situation better.
  • Show your appreciation for others – If your boss or your coworkers accomplish something great, congratulate them. And if they do something nice or help you out with something, thank them. The more appreciation you show others, the more you’ll get in return.


Harden, P. (2016, March 10). What to do when you feel undervalued at work. Washington Post. Retrieved from