I’ve spent the month of August up to my eyeballs at work. Normally, my work life is fairly laid back. By that, I mean that I’m usually out the door by 5, or very soon thereafter. I don’t have to check my email at night or keep tabs on what’s going on all the time. It’s a pretty good job in that respect.
However, as I said, I’ve been super busy lately (for me). Working till 7 or 8 o’clock a few times, doing stuff on the weekends. I’m not saying this for pity; I know a lot of folks that do this regularly. It’s just been quite a change for me.
I’ve been working on a project that’s very important to the company. It’s much bigger than anything I’ve ever worked on before, and I’ve been given a lot of leeway to do things the way I see fit. As such, I feel a tremendous sense of ownership and a certain amount of pride.
So, when the sum of a month’s effort is rolled into a presentation delivered to the company’s COO and the financials weren’t so much as even questioned, I was a little irritated. I mean, this was important to me, and it seemed as though no one even realized it was there. I know I should have been happy that the project was over, and that the business plan was approved, but I couldn’t help wanting a little pat on the back.
So, I posted the tweet you see above when I got back to my desk. Had a few people make some comments about “keep your head up” and all that, including one by my friend Tim Brownson.
He and I got to tweeting about it, and I confessed that I wasn’t happy that my work wasn’t acknowledged. He came back with the following, which went immediately into my “Favorites”:
Tim skipped an “o” in “other”, but his message hit me like a ton of bricks.
Aren’t I always griping about my job not being “fulfilling” when I’m not doing something important? But when I get to do something that I KNOW was quality work, that tested my abilities and proved my value to the company, I find something else to get upset about. Talk about hard to please, right?
Why do I care if I get applauded? Shouldn’t grown ups do what they do just because they know they should do it? If I needed constant affirmation every time I did my job, then I’m kind of missing the point, aren’t I? Even if you’re one of those people who hates their job (or just feels like you’re a round peg in a square hole, like me), shouldn’t your pride and integrity be enough to motivate you?
Interestingly enough, a few hours after I tweeted about this, the director of the project I had worked on talked to me in front of my boss and told both of us what a good job I did. Man, did I feel like a tool.
So, from now on, I’m just going to do what I know I’m supposed to do. I know that one of my big challenges in life is approval seeking, but it helps to be reminded of it every once in a while by someone besides myself, you know? As long as I can honestly say that I did a good job, and contributed to the success of the team, then that should be okay. I firmly believe that, if you do a good job, the recognition will come (and it did for me the very same day).
Ever been in a situation where you felt you didn’t get the credit you deserved? How did you deal with that? Let us know in the comments…