It’s appraisal (sorry, “self-development meeting”) time at work and after all the conversations at work about filling out forms listing our good qualities, goals and achievements, it’s got me thinking about the people out there who go unnoticed. I don’t know if it is the British thing of underplaying our talents and feigning bashfulness, but it just seems to me a waste of time and something that is holding so many incredible people from getting the recognition and rewards they deserve for their hard work.
I’m talking about those quite individuals who put in countless extra hours, taken on ridiculous workloads and never get the credit for it because they just brush it under the carpet and fail to point out what they are doing to their superiors. This is great for a while, but soon this extra work and time becomes expected of you and if, or when, you leave the company they will suddenly be in dire straights because they never realised quite how much you contributed. Sound familiar? Yeah, it does to me as well.
I’ve been this person who gives extra time and effort to a job and have seen how it can go completely unnoticed. I have had friends who have taken on three times their workload when people have suddenly left and have been expected to continue working like this to save the company hiring more staff. It is not fair – but is the company really to blame?
Of course, the company has a duty to its staff to make sure they are happy and that they are getting the support they need in order to work, but if we never speak up how are they supposed to know? How will our bosses ever realise our true workload and the fact that we are struggling to keep up with it, the fact that we have given up on a social life? The short answer is – they don’t!
The problem is that so many people out there take all this extra work on and although complaining to friends, family and co-workers about it, they never complain or raise their concerns to the people who can actually do something about it! Are we scared to say to our bosses that we do work bloody hard and to list all the extra jobs we take on? Why don’t we say that we deserve more money or more recognition for what we do? And why is it so hard to say when you are overworked and need to lighten your workload?
I guess it’s something to do with fear of failure or worries over what the response might be – especially in the current climate where people are being made redundant and losing their jobs all the time. But this doesn’t mean it is right. I have so many friends who drastically undersell themselves through lack of confidence or just not knowing how to go about it. It is important when you have a meeting with your boss, when writing that CV or in interviews to make sure you sell them the very best version of yourself and to blow your own trumpet because in this world, no-one else is going to do it for you!
I’ve always been a firm believer in being aware of your talents and your skills and making others aware by showing them off. Now for those who are getting nervous – I don’t mean showing off by boasting, I mean making it clear what you are capable of and what you are able to take on. Remember you are the only person who is holding you back!
Here are my top tips for showing what you’re worth:
- If you have no idea where to start, ask a friend/colleague (or your mum) to point out all the things you contribute to the workplace and your particular talents.
- Make a list of these and practise explaining them to friends and family so that you feel confident saying it to your boss.
- Keep your CV up-to-date even when you are in full-time work and make sure to add any skills, first aid courses, management courses etc.
- When you take on extra work that doesn’t come within your job description, make sure to point it out or keep a list for when you next have a meeting with your boss.
- Remember the importance of spinning things to your advantage. You could have “sent a few Tweets” or “handled the company’s social media outlets”. Don’t downplay and realise how things sound to both your boss and future employers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for more money or a new job title – if you can lay out all the extra work you do and justify a pay rise to your boss, you are perfectly entitled to ask. You might not get it, but you will make your boss aware of your workload and that you deserve more.
Have you struggled to blow your own trumpet in the past? How did you overcome this?
After a busy weekend meeting up with my university friends, a crazy night out of dancing in high heels, drinking cocktails and a day of eating food that is very bad for me, it was time to detox. With Friday and Monday off either side of the weekend, I was excited to have a few days off work to really relax and let my body catch up on itself. A big part of this was booking a spa day at the Aqua Sana at my closest Centerparcs (Elvedon).
My friend and I booked the pair’s Spa Day with Decleor Aromatherapy Mind and Body Re-energiser treatment. This gave us all day to enjoy the spa and all of its gorgeous steam rooms, sauna, outdoor heated pool and waterbeds. My favourite steam rooms are the Turkish Hammam to start because the menthol scent is great for clearing the lungs with some deep breathing. This followed by the Indian Blossom room, which is my absolute favourite – the scene is divine! Then the Japanese Salt Steam which is also gorgeous and great for building up a sweat before a cool shower and heading outside to the newly-refurbished pool.
We enjoy a spa day every few months as a treat, but it has been closer to a year since the last one – life just got in the way this time! But it was great to go back after a longer break because the pool had clearly been replaced with brand new pressure jets, seating areas and massage sections which were amazing. Plus the fact that this time it was rather cooler outside meant the heat of the pool was completely enveloping like a warm blanket. But I think one of my favourite parts has to have been the nap I had on one of the water-beds – I definitely need one of these in my life! They offer total relaxation and within seconds of laying my head upon the pillow, I am drifting away into a deep sleep.
We had breakfast and lunch at the Vitale restaurant in the spa, both provided as part of the deal we booked. We enjoy a delicious raspberry and vanilla pastry with hot chocolate and coffee. Later, at lunch, we enjoy fresh paninis in soft, white bread with fillings such as roasted vegetables with grilled halloumi and pesto, and roasted peppers with brie accompanied by fresh juices and water. We followed this with a treat of a chocolate, hazelnut praline truffle cake each – to die for.
After a few more hours relaxing around the spa and warm showers, we headed to the treatment rooms for our Decleor Aromatherapy Mind and Body Re-energiser. Described as “A heavenly massage of easing the tension from mind and muscles. Skin is treated to the wonderfully soothing sensation and exquisite aroma of a warm Decleor Aromaessence Balm. The expert touch of your therapist’s hands melts away stress and eases tense, tired muscles to unwind body and spirit leaving you with renewed energy.”
The treatment was divine, it started with a back massage that led to arms and legs being moisturised and massaged with oils, before finishing with a facial. For one hour I was truly in heaven and my muscles were oh so grateful after the stresses and exertions of the last few months. My shoulders appreciated the massage more than anything and it was lovely to have my face pampered and left softer than a baby’s you-know-what after the oils, masks, creams, lotions and potions had been applied.
I had a wonderful time at the spa and for the money we paid – £90 each – it was incredibly good value. We had a treatment worth over £70, two meals, access to the spa, steam rooms, sauna and pool all day and robes and towels provided. I have been to other spas in the area and have yet to find one that offers quite as good a deal, and such good quality every time. Elvedon also offers far better a spa than the Sherwood Forest spa in Nottinghamshire, from my experience. I’m already counting down to when I can book the next one!
Pictures from The Good Spa Guide.
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Tagged aqua sana, aromatherapy, award, Centerparcs, decleor, elemis, elvedon, facial, food, Friday, grilled halloumi, holiday, hot chocolate, Massage, menthol, mind and body, Nottinghamshire, panini, pastry, pool, praline, pressure, quality, re-energiser, restaurant, review, roasted peppers, roasted vegetables, salt steam, sauna, Sherwood Forest, Spa, spa awards, spa day, Steam room, Swimming pool, treatment, truffle, turkish hammam, value, vitale, waterbed
I, as I’m sure many university graduates and young people, am getting rather frustrated with being patronised.
It is incredibly disrespectful, and seems to be a growing problem as I enter the working world. They always said while I was growing up, “respect your elders”, but respect works both ways and is necessary if anything productive is going to be achieved.
I understand fully that as a recent entrant into the world of journalism I am very naive and lacking knowledge of many aspects of the journalistic world, such as law and public affairs, and will remain so until I have completed my diploma. But it would be nice to be given credit for what I do know rather than being patronised and questioned at length.
I think that graduates who are entering the working world need to remember their worth – while I understand that each and every one of us must be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder and pay our dues – we also have to remember not to give everything away at once, not to work beyond our means just to satisfy a new boss when they are expecting us to do far beyond our expected workload.
It is so easy to get stuck into a routine of working up to an extra three hours a day now that we are in a recession and companies are short staffed. If you arrive early to work and start immediately, work through your lunch and stay late at the end of the day, you are essentially giving up your life for a job that – at the end of the day – might just make you redundant or the company may go under at any time with such an unpredictable economy.
I have done this cycle and received no thanks for all my extra efforts – always claim your time back – and now I choose not to do this. I will work extra, but always take the time back. Just because people are older and more experienced in whatever your field, it doesn’t mean they know more than you – they just know different stuff! You are coming into the industry with a more modern and younger viewpoint, you have a fresh take on old ideas, you have new knowledge of the digital world we now live in whereas the older generation in your office – or those more set in their ways – might struggle.
I actually run the website in my office and am the go-to person for all things digital. It is important to make yourself indispensable (even the editor comes to ask me questions) but don’t give them lots of extra because they will come to expect it – and trust me you will get no thanks!
The problem is that now I am finding, and friends of mine, that the reaction to this attitude and knowledge is sometimes that other members of the office become patronising towards me. They pass it off as a joke, but their comments are out of order and certainly not funny. To any other graduates out there experiencing the same thing – don’t put up with it, but certainly don’t cause a problem about it. Just continue being endlessly helpful and proving them wrong by showing them how they are failing at certain things you know more about.
Never doubt your abilities because you have as much knowledge and as many ideas as any other member of the office. It is easy to let things like this get to you, heaven knows I do, but hey, look at me – I’ve just been made an editor at 23-years-old! Look at your qualities and assess their worth before you let anyone else beat you down – your age doesn’t mean you are worth any less!
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Tagged advice, age, digital, education, Employment, graduate, Graduation, importance, journalism, Knowledge, patronise, Self-employment, skills, value, Work, worth, youth