Ask Sue


Find Jobs, Post Resumes

Ask Sue 

Choosing Careers 

Job Search Strategies

Interview Tips 

Resume Tool Kit 

Cover Letters 

Sample Resumes 


Home Business  

Human Resources & Management  




Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Getting Noticed

Dear Sue: Have you ever noticed that the people who are "good" workers never get any recognition? I've noticed that all of the attention goes to the people who are problem employees or those who make mistakes.

I am a dedicated worker and follow the rules, which is more than I can say for some of my coworkers, yet no one acknowledges me. How can I feel empowered or motivated when working in a situation like this? 

- Unmotivated

Sue Says: First of all, give yourself credit for being honorable and making an effort to make your workplace a better place. I can understand how frustrating it must be for you if you feel your efforts aren't acknowledged.

Some managers realize the importance of positive reinforcement, but others simply expect a person to perform well. You probably need to rely more on yourself, rather than looking to others for reinforcement.

If you need feedback, you may have to ask for it. Do your best, put more of your time and energy into your work and spend less time fretting over your coworkers?

Dear Sue: I enjoy working for my company. Employees are given a lot of freedom and flexibility. That's the good news. The bad news is that the independence and empowerment is being abused.

Because of the lack of direct supervision, many of my coworkers end up goofing off and working as little as possible. If this continues, the rest of us who do work will end up having to more and pick up the slack. I've brought this issue to management's attention, but nothing has changed. Do you have any suggestions? 

- Concerned

Sue Says: Your concerns are legitimate, but unless you get support from management, there may not be too much you can do. And if you continue to dwell on what you perceive to be the shortcomings of others, you may end up hurting yourself in the process. You might be perceived as a troublemaker.

Try talking with your coworkers about your concerns. Don't accuse or blame anyone, but express your feelings about what you see happening, and the possibility of losing the freedom all of you have if it is abused.

Try to focus on the positive things you see happening, and don't let the things you can't control take away from the enjoyment you say you get working for this company.

Dear Sue: I am very shy and have a difficult time speaking in front of others. Whenever anyone questions something I did, I don't even defend myself because my mind goes blank. I have a lot to say, but I just don't react quickly enough.

The problem is that I can tell people are getting irritated with me. What should I do? 

- Shy

Sue Says: Many people are shy and have found ways to overcome their shyness. You have identified a problem, which is always a first step toward resolving it.

When you are caught off guard and feel tongue-twisted, rather than feeling pressured to respond, let the person know you need a little time to gather your thoughts. Explain that you have a lot to say, but just need a little time to respond.

It will also help if you work on building your confidence by taking some type of communication or self-improvement class.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
For more Ask Sue articles, click here.

Share This Page




Source of images:

Privacy Statement

The information compiled on this site is Copyright 1999-2016 by Attard Communications, Inc. and by the individual authors.
Career Know-How is a service mark of Attard Communications, Inc.