QUESTION FROM A SUBSCRIBER:
There is an employee where I work who whines when she 2 things going on simultaneously. Although her hours are 8:30 -5:00, she shows up anywhere from 9:30 to nearly 2:00, and spends hours on personal phone calls and playing around. Meanwhile, I consistently come in to work at 8:00 and don't leave until 5:00 or even later, often eating lunch at my desk to get even more work done. But somehow she ended up getting a bonus this year when I did not. I don't get it!
- J. S.
I totally understand your frustration!
Working hard alone does not necessarily get you better pay and recognition. A big part of succeeding within most organizations is also playing political game. If you work hard but people who matter don't know you're working hard or don't understand what benefit you're providing, it might go unnoticed.
From situation you described, I would imagine your co-worker who comes in late is much better at "managing" her managers. Her managers may even think she's doing a great job and that she should be allowed to come in late because she's a "star." Think about it: if you thought you had Michael Jordan on your team, would you let him come in late? Sure! You'd probably also give him a bonus because you wouldn't want to lose him.
Someone who works long hours might just be viewed as a worker bee. And if important people don't know what benefit you're providing from those long hours of work, they may just think you're inefficient and can't get things done within regular work hours. I know it sounds cruel, but this is how game works in Corporate America.
PRINCIPLES OF ACHIEVING RECOGNITION AT WORK
1. Don't treat job like it's your only hope of success in world. If you treat a job like you're dependent on it and like it's your only chance of success, your bosses will notice and may interpret your earnestness as desperation. If they think you have no other options, they really have no incentive to pay you more money or to give you a bonus. If they think job you have now is best you can do, they'll likely take you for granted. You should be generally aware of other job opportunities at all times. I don't mean you need to be aware of specific jobs, but you should have a general idea of what else is available out there.
If you find yourself in a position where there are no other attractive options out there based on your current skills and experience, your #1 priority should be to enhance your skills and/or experience to change that. This may mean taking college classes at night. It might mean volunteering for special projects at work so that you can get experience with a new system or new skill. To access JobSearchInfo Education and Skills center, visit this web address: http://www.jobsearchinfo.com/degrees.htm