This happens all too frequently.  The issue is, basically,  that you want either more direction or more recogniton for your work and effort, right?

There are several realities happening here.  Contrary to most business books and management advice gurus, the workplace is full of managers who do not understand their job.  Their job, succinctly stated and oversimplified, is to get work done through others.  Nothing more.

How they achieve that is the difficult part.  Most managers try…they read books, model their own bosses’ behavior, even go to seminars and classes .  Trouble is, they often do a lousy job…and now, they have been promoted, typically because a) they have seniority or b) have done an ‘ok’ job and have moved up the ladder.

Now, you are bright and bushy-tailed (Who says THAT anymore?) and you actually came into the job wanting to be the best employee you could be for the company.  Now, your boss ignores you, and you feel left out, underappreciated, unfulfilled…and, even worse, you are wondering if you are stuck in a job with no future.

Sounds grim.  So, what are some steps you can take right now?

1.  First, get a grip.  As I said in an earlier post:  “MAN UP.”  This is not grade school.  This is the real world.  No one is going to hold your hand here.  This is under your control.

2.  Make a list.  List on one side all the reasons you can think of why your boss might be ignoring you.  Could one reason be that your work is above standards, and he feels you do not need any direction or help?  Or, is he or she really simply a bad manager?  Did you turn a project in with errors one time? 

3.  On the other side of the list, list three ideas for solving each of the things on the left side of the page…these three ideas must be in YOUR control.  Think about every thing YOU can do to help your boss manage you better.  What can you do to fix each reason?

4.  Once you understand that the underlying issues, the better you will be in figuring out how to deal with it.  After you make this list—on one side, are all the reasons why you think your boss is ignoring you, and on the other side, are your ideas on how to handle each one, you are ready for the next  and final step.

5.  The last step.  Now, communicate your plan to your boss.  Don’t hesitate.  Don’t get angry or defensive.  Don’t be accusatory.  Be reasoned. Be logical.  Take charge.  Own the problem. 

This is the hardest thing for people to handle.  Most of the problems we encounter in the workplace are ours, not someone else’s.  It is much easier to think that others are the cause of our pain and suffering. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Be someone who figures it out.  You will be further ahead.