You want a better job or even a promotion will do. You’ve worked hard and feel you deserve it. It seems you’ve been proving yourself for as long as you can remember and you still haven’t achieved what you think you should have. Other people are getting recognised instead. You start disengaging with your work, withholding the effort because you are not appreciated anyway. No one seems to notice so why bother, you may as well stop trying altogether. In fact, unless they start to notice soon, you will prove you are worth more by completely showing disinterest and they deserve it.
You are now in a downward spiral of disconnection and negative patterns. The problem is, your behaviour is now far away from being considered for all the positive and upbeat opportunities that it is impossible for others to value you as a candidate for a promotion or role. What’s more, as you start considering other opportunities outside the business, you haven’t been behaving in ways that you are proud of, which makes you question whether you can do a good job at all. Maybe it’s better to stay put where it’s safe.
This is not just a widespread pattern but a major obstacle for organisations who want to perform better as a whole. You haven’t always been in this helpless situation but the reality is you can’t help yourself, let alone help your business. Before you do anything, you need to switch yourself over from creating a debit in your value-bank to a more positive credit position, where you act in ways that improve your self-esteem and self-worth so you can get your full worth externally. Be it from your current company or a new job.
Your promotion starts with you. No-one is going to be able to evaluate you until you start showing visible signs of productive behaviours. That means talking and acting in ways that are aligned with your values and your potential, all the time. You do this for you, not for the company. Potential cheerleaders need evidence to refer you. If the only behaviour they have witnessed has been moodiness and indifference then there will always be another option for a recommendation. You need to make this decision, no-one is going to give you a chance if you don’t make the switch.
Demonstrate your abilities by bringing tangible improvements to your projects and tasks. Impress the team. Again, do this by challenging yourself for you, find what you value about your skills and choose to apply your strengths. Once it clicks that your disengagement is harming yourself (and your future roles) as much as the business, it will become obvious that even if you attend the next interview with apparently great enthusiasm, your current state will show that you are not quite running on all cylinders.
Stay aligned to your values. Once you act towards becoming more productive for yourself, you will naturally reduce the internal conflict from acting in negative ways, with toxicity, or involving yourself in politics. It becomes much easier to stay within your values when you are maintaining a strong work ethic. It also reduces the chance that you become the object of rumours and politics which further weakens your position.
Use every interaction to show your worth. You really never know where the next opportunity will come from. Stop all talk of being a victim of the team, company, market and all other external forces and start talking about the good things you are doing. Once you do this, other people will naturally talk about your strengths and you improve the chances of word of mouth recommendations. Now, the key to this is the fact that you will never be able to read or predict these connections. My greatest wins have been from contacts who are, unbeknown to me, strongly and personally connected to peers who they know will be interested in my work. They haven’t put us in contact to do either of us a favour but because they are excited that we might be able to collaborate. Approach everyone with the same enthusiasm and respect and avoid the bad habit of complaining about your work. Instead exchange interests, aspirations and ideas.
It takes a lot of practice to change a habit and your thought pattern is the habit that determines your behaviour. This compounds future thoughts which move you further and further away from where you want to be.
Decide now to stop and reinvent yourself. Choose three to four positive behaviours to practice and focus on bringing them into every opportunity and interaction. Set your intention and commit yourself to behaving in the ways that are aligned with your values and make you feel like you are already worth the promotion or new job. When you do enter negotiation stage you will find you are more authentic, convincing and objective. More importantly, you will also be more immune to any externally negativity.